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- Category: A
- Date Added: 12/01/1971
- Local Authority: Fife
- Planning Authority: Fife
- Burgh: Dunfermline
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 8748 87215
- Coordinates: 308748, 687215
Earlier-to-mid-17th century for Sir Alexander Clerk of Pittencrieff; raised a storey 1731; restored and interior remodelled/parapet wall constructed 1908-11 by Sir Robert Lorimer. 3-storey and attic and basement; 8-bay; rectangular-plan large house with central projecting stair tower to principal (S) elevation. Crowstepped gables to either end of main block. Harled with painted stone dressings. Concreted base course; Moulded eaves cornice. Vertical stone margins apart from to E end of main block. Flush stone surrounds.
S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: entrance tower slightly to right of centre. Entrance with roll-moulded surround to left return; inscribed
'PRAISED.BE.GOD.FOR.AL.HIS.GIFTES.' below moulded cornice; early 20th century 12-panel timber door with decorative copper handle. Stone panel carved with coat of arms of Alexander Clerk above. 2 small windows at higher levels; upper one with carved semicircular pediment. 2 small windows at different levels to front of stair tower; pair of windows to slightly projecting upper storey. Slightly irregular fenestration set back to main block. 3 windows to ground and 2nd floors and 4 to 1st floor to left. 2 windows to ground and 2nd floors and 3 to 1st floor to right. Dated 1731 to skewputt to right.
N ELEVATION: irregular fenestration. Entrance with stone surround and rectangular fanlight with ornamental glazing bars to outer right; 9-panel timber door. 5 ground floor windows to left. 4 windows to 1st floor; 5 to 2nd floor, to either side of central wallhead stack.
W ELEVATION: 2 windows to ground floor; one to right to 1st and 2nd floors; that to 2nd floor has shaped pediment with heraldic emblem. Small blocked attic window to right.
E ELEVATION: entrance with stone surround to left; part-glazed replacement timber door. Window above to 1st and 2nd floors; that to 2nd floor with keystone and carved semicircular pediment. Small blocked attic window to left.
Mainly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof; hipped over stair tower. Harled gable end stacks to either side of main block; harled wallhead stack to N elevation; moulded stone coping, except to E gable stack, which has concrete coping.
INTERIOR: large main room to each floor; each with decorative plaster ceiling and panelling (based on 17th century types) designed by Sir Robert Lorimer. Ground floor ceiling appears to have been based on in situ 17th century original; barrel vaulted ceiling with strapwork to upper floor; figures of Industry, Prudence, Justice and Generosity on end walls. Original moulded stone turnpike staircase with early 20th century wrought-iron balustrade incorporating thistle at head.
PARAPET WALL: short section of coped wall along edge of terrace overlooking glen immediately to N of house. Parallel to house except for 2 V-plan projections to N at either end. Stugged sandstone with ashlar dressings; ashlar terminating piers of square plan; chamfered and stepped in in 3 tiers above level of wall; each with band course; top band course adjoins curved cap.
Statement of Special Interest
A significant 17th century large house with earlier 18th century alterations and fine early 20th century interior by Robert Lorimer. Originally built for Sir Alexander Clerk, in 1685 the house was acquired by George Murray. In 1775 it belonged to George Chalmers and by 1800 it had passed to the Hunt family, who sold it to Andrew Carnegie in 1902. The surrounding parkland was opened to the public in 1903. In 1904-05 the house was converted to a reading room and museum. It was remodelled by Robert Lorimer a few years later and is currently run as a museum by the local authority. The park is inscluded in the Countryside Commission for Scotland's Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes. See separate list descriptions for park buildings, including dovecot, Pittencrieff Lodge Gateway, E Gateway, W gateway, Tower Bridge and Bridge to W of Tower Bridge.
John Ainslie, THE COUNTY OF FIFE MAP (1775); 'Pittencrieff House, Dunfermline and its Remodelling' by Sir Robert Lorimer, in COUNTRY LIFE, July 6th 1912, pp7-8; AN INVENTORY OF GARDENS AND DESIGNED LANDSCAPES IN SCOTLAND, VOL 4; TAYSIDE, CENTRAL AND FIFE (circa 1985) pp409-14; John Gifford, FIFE, in the 'Buildings of Scotland' series (1988) p192; Bert McEwan, DUNFERMLINE - OUR HERITAGE (1998) pp200-02.
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