Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Group Category Details
100000019 - (see NOTES)
Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 33119 35380
333119, 635380


Dated 1834. Circular-plan summerhouse with thatched conical roof. Softwood frame and lathes. Internal finish of willow or hazel twigs. Heather-thatched external walls. Overhanging reed-thatched roof. Two-pointed arched openings.

Interior: herringbone pattern walls. Date '1834' and coronet cipher inlaid in contrasting materials. Continuous arcaded bench (most supports missing). Circular pedestal table of matching hazel twigs. Heather ceiling with contrasting star detail and ribs.

Statement of Special Interest

A-Group with Traquair House (LB15429), Exedra (LB49401), Bridge on East Drive (LB49397), East Lodge (LB49399), Tearoom (LB49403), Estate Office (LB49400), Craft Workshops (LB49398), Walled Garden (LB49404), Gardener s Cottage (LB49402), Bear Gates and Avenuehead Cottages (LB15430).

This summerhouse is sited to the southeast of the house in what was once (on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map) a rectangular area regimentally laid out with trees. It is believed the summerhouse was constructed during the tenure of Charles VII and last Earl of Traquair. When he inherited a debt ridden Traquair, he streamlined the estate and managed to carry out a programme of modernisation and farm building. He was also an eccentric and curious man who enjoyed gaining fresh knowledge on a range of astonishing subjects. He enjoyed sharpening razors and disliked wasps (he regularly employed the village children in paid wasp hunts). The summerhouse appears to be one of his less eccentric projects. Similar examples of summerhouses, "moss or heath houses" are illustrated by McIntosh and Loudon.

The summerhouses were known more precisely by the plant that was used between the upright twigs of the structure. Not only did this weatherproof the structure but also gave a natural appearing habitat for the plants. If different types of mosses were used, it was known as a moss house (or mossery) and if heather was used it was known as a heath house. McIntosh expected such structures to last approximately 40 years. The Traquair summerhouse is a particularly remarkable survivor as it still contains the original internal fittings. The exterior walls were most recently re-thatched in 1990.

It is among a relatively small number of buildings with a thatched roof found across Scotland. A Survey of Thatched Buildings in Scotland, published in 2016 by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), found there were only around 200 buildings with thatched roof.

Listed building record revised in 2019 as part of the Thatched Buildings Listing Review 2017-19.



Canmore Canmore ID 218448.


Thomson, J. (1821, published in Atlas Of Scotland, 1832) Peeblesshire showing earlier structure.

1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (circa 1857) 1:10506 scale showing summerhouse.

Printed Sources

Loudon, J.C. (1822) An Encyclopedia of Gardening, pp.400-401.

McIntosh, C. (1853) The Book of the Garden, pp.707-711.

Maxwell Stuart, P. and F. (reprinted 2000) Traquair Guidebook.

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings Scotland (2016) A Survey of Thatched Buildings in Scotland. London: SPAB. p.358.

Online Sources

Historic Environment Scotland (2018) Scotland's Thatched Buildings: Introductory Designations Report at

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 27/03/2019 00:18