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.

THE CROSS, LEIGHTON LIBRARYLB26371

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
05/10/1971
Local Authority
Stirling
Planning Authority
Stirling
Burgh
Dunblane
NGR
NN 78185 1292
Coordinates
278185, 701292

Description

James Robinson of Park of Keir (Chamberlain to Lord Strathallan), Clerk of Works, 1684-87; restored by Honeyman, Jack and Robertson, mid 1980's. Single storey and basement; rectangular-plan; former clerics' library; with crowstepped gables; large round-arched windows to ground floor and vesica-shaped panel to E elevation; basement vaulted. Harled with sandstone ashlar dressings. 2 windows to W side with moulded architraves.

E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: forestair to architraved entrance to right of library (railings late 20th century); oak door (presented 1924). Entrance to left return of forestair and adjacent basement entrance set back to left; both with boarded timber doors. Near-central vesica-shaped panel with moulded architrave to principal floor; containing marble cartouche and coat-of-arms of Bishop Leighton.

W ELEVATION: projecting ledge above most of basement; entrance to right of centre; boundary wall of manse projects at right angles to right. 2 large round-arched windows to principal floor.

S ELEVATION: round-arched window to left of principal elevation. 2 small lights to gable.

N ELEVATION: blank gable end. Boundary wall of manse projects at right angles to left of basement.

INTERIOR: single-roomed main floor lined with book cases, some fitted. Boarded timber ceiling with decorative timber air vents. Vaulted basement appears to originally have contained windows.

15-pane timber sash and case windows. Grey slate roof. Gablehead stack; both coped; one gabled; cans missing.

Statement of Special Interest

Thought to be the oldest extant purpose-built library in Scotland. A well-preserved late 17th century building, incorporating some interesting features, notably the vesica-shaped plaque with its sophisticated marble Baroque inset on the E elevation and the round-arched windows. It is unusual that the collection it houses has been preserved largely intact and many of its library furnishings also. It was built as a bequest of Robert Leighton, a former Bishop of Dunblane, who died in 1684. He left his book collection 'to the Cathedrall of Dunblane in Scotland to remain there for the use of the Clergie of the diocese', together with a sum of ?100 to provide a room to house them. Lord Strathallan assisted with the practical arrangements, including the transportation of materials, and his chamberlain, James Robison, was responsible for the overall design of the building and settling the contracts for the work. The marble tablet (originally inscribed 'Bibliotheca Leightoniana') however appears to have been Lord Strathallan's idea. The final cost of the building was just over ?162, the balance being made up by Bishop Leighton's sister, Sapphira Lightmaker and her son, Edward. They subsequently contributed a further ?300 to provide a salary for the librarian and money for repair and maintenance. The vaulted basement was to be the librarian's house. The first librarian was Robert Douglas, a former minister and the son of the last Bishop of Dunblane. Most subsequent librarians appear to have also been parish schoolmasters. From 1734 until around the mid 19th century, when demand ceased, it functioned as a subscription lending library (according to the New Statistical Account of 1845 it had 'recently been refitted as a subscription reading room'). It was closed from the mid 1850's until 1989, when it re-opened following its restoration. It continues to be run by Trustees. Bishop Leighton's original collection of approximately 1400 books increased over the years to about 4500 and the collection contains some very rare early printed books. 'Twelve chairs of turkie red lether' bought in 1688 still in situ; also early table with drawers.

References

Bibliography

THE NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND, VOL X (1845) pp1039-1040. A Barty, THE HISTORY OF DUNBLANE, 1992, pp112-17. C McKean, STIRLING AND THE TROSSACHS, AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE, 1994, p 85; undated leaflet by Trustees of Leighton Library.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot/advice-and-support. You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at designations@hes.scot.

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Printed: 25/08/2019 07:50