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- Category: B
- Date Added: 16/08/1999
- Supplementary Information Updated: 16/08/1999
- Date Removed: 28/10/2015
- Local Authority: Scottish Borders
- Planning Authority: Scottish Borders
- Parish: Bunkle And Preston
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 83182 56362
- Coordinates: 383182, 656362
Pre 1600. Remains of 2 detached buildings (possibly once united) comprising former keep/kitchen block (E) and guard house (W). Harl-pointed cream sandstone rubble; weathered ashlar quoins and long and short surrounds to openings; rubble voussoirs and relieving arches in part.
KEEP/KITCHEN BLOCK: 2-storey, rectangular-plan, roofless structure with crowstepped gable wall to N (missing to S); square-headed doorway centred at ground to N (accessing upper floor). Remains of fireplace (former oven) to S, with arched openings at ground. Various segmental-arched and square-headed openings to E and W (some architraved surrounds).
GUARD HOUSE: 2-storey, rectangular-plan, roofless structure with doorway at ground to E; oval gun-loop to left; sandstone projection to outer left (former sundial?). Architraved surround to upper window opening with cross hatch carving beneath cill; corbelled base beneath ruinous stair turret to NE angle; remains of moulded eaves course to SE.
Statement of Special Interest
SCHEDULED ANCIENT MONUMENT. Recorded in the OS Name Book as "...an ancient castellated edifice said to have been the baronial residence of the Lumsdaine family." Thought to date from at least the 16th century, possibly as far back as the 1100s. Set within the grounds of Blanerne House (see separate list entry), on a plateau overlooking the Whiteadder Water. MacGibbon and Ross note that the guard house (identified as a dovecot by the Ordnance Survey) was at one time fitted out and used as a dairy to serve the house. Of the 3 castles within the parish, this is the most entire - Billie and Bunkle, both Scheduled but neither listed, being mere heaps. Despite its ruinous state, Blanerne retains numerous architectural details - the crowstepped gable, corbelled turret, gun-loop and cross hatched cill amongst the most notable.
NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1845) p119. Ordnance Survey Name Book (1856-1858) Reel 60, Book 5, NMRS. Ordnance Survey map, 1862 (evident). D MacGibbon & T Ross CASTELLATED & DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, Vol 4 (1892) pp383-384. RCAHMS INVENTORY OF MONUMENTS AND CONSTRUCTIONS IN THE COUNTY OF BERWICK (1909) 13. C A Strang BORDERS AND BERWICK: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1991) p40.
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