Thomas Harrison, 1796. 2-storey and basement, 11-bay rectangular-plan Neo-Classical mansion with wings. Sandstone ashlar. Rusticated basement; console-pedimented principal floor windows to N elevation; moulded architraves to principal and 1st floor windows. String course at ground floor; moulded string course below 1st floor to front, rear and 1st bay of S elevation return. Moulded eaves cornice and continuous low parapet throughout apart from later addition to far W. Later (1865) central, advanced 3-bay classical portico; utilitarian 19th century servant wings added; further wings added to W.
N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: symmetrical elevation. Advanced central bay of corniced portico; 2 supporting piers. Steps lead up to entrance. Central 3-bay glazed section including glazed door set back with inner piers and coupled pilasters and single pilaster to right and left return. Moulded base, composite capitals, fascia and dentilled cornice to square-plan piers and pilasters. 4 basement windows to each flank; 8 piano nobile windows centred above. 8 1st floor windows centred above principal floor windows. Advanced central section above portico; raised parapet; window at centre; flanking crests. W wing set back slightly; rubble with stucco. Central door; rectangular fanlight; 1st floor window centred above. 2 tall ground floor windows to left and right of door; smaller, squat 1st floor windows centred above. Plain, ashlar band course at upper window level; eaves band; moulded eaves and low parapet. Similar 5-bay E wing; re-faced in ashlar. 5 tall ground floor windows; smaller, squat 1st floor windows centred above; central tympany gable; corniced stack. Later (earlier 20th century) advanced 1st floor porch and forestair to flatted accommodation in part of E wing. Advanced, small lean-to structure to right of W wing; rear wing behind and to right. Advanced, later wing to far right; tooled, coursed stone, ashlar surrounds to windows and door; quoins and eaves band. Advanced section (former drying room) to left; 2 ground and 2 1st floor windows. Former box and gun room set back to far right; 2 ground and 2 1st floor windows.
W ELEVATION: former gun room gable end: forestair to 1st floor door to right. Archway within forestairs; steps below forestairs lead down; window to left of arch. Main house, gable end, left section partially blocked by later wing. Glazed ground floor door to right, flanking glazed panels, rectangular fanlight, radial cames. Principal floor window above; 3 1st floor windows. Slightly advanced section to right; single 1st floor and basement windows; tripartite window to principal floor; 2 outer, square-plan piers; 2 inner, attached Doric columns; plain frieze, dentilled cornice; surmounting recessed, elliptical arch.
S ELEVATION: symmetrical 11-bay elevation; window to each bay; bowed 3-bay centre. Consoled cornices to piano nobile windows except for central 3 windows. Single pilaster at each end of advanced bowed section with attached flanking, single Ionic column; coupled, attached Ionic columns flank central window; plain frieze, dentilled cornice. 3 Coade stone panels depicting the Muses, surmount central windows. E wing set back; central rusticated Venetian door. Lean-to addition to far right; ground floor window. Bowed, 2-storey bathroom section in inner angle; ashlar; rusticated ground floor; 3 windows; single 1st floor window. 2-storey W wing; later 2-storey passage section built in front. Single storey wash-house to far left. Flagstones pave ground to central house section and right and left returns.
E ELEVATION: right section partially blocked by later wing; glazed ground floor door, flanking glazed panels, rectangular fanlight, radial cames. Split ground floor window reveals former entresol level. 3 1st windows. Slightly advanced section to left; glazed basement door; blind 1st floor window; tripartite window to principal floor; 2 outer, square-plan pilasters; 2 inner, attached Doric columns; plain frieze, dentilled cornice; surmounting recessed, elliptical arch. Ground floor of E wing gable obscured by recent lean-to extension. 1st floor window to left. Central tympany gable; corniced stack.
Predominantly 6 and 10-pane timber, inward opening casement windows; single moving pane within for ventilation. Some attachments for exterior blinds remain. Slated, shallow piended roof to each elevation. Numerous coped and corniced stacks; some with fluted shoulders. Solar panels in E wing roof, S facing.
Low sandstone rectangular-plan balustrade with quadrant links; circa 1890; squat gateposts; decorative metal gates enclose garden at S elevation.
KITCHEN COURT WALLS AND LARDER
Tall walls to kitchen court at far W wing to principal elevation. L-plan wing to N; curvilinear tail to E; coped gatepier. Single storey larder in NW angle; 2 timber boarded doors with rectangular ventilation holes. Conical slated roof; central, timber louvred ventilation stack. Wall with corniced gatepier extends northwards from servants wing to meet SE gatepier. Wall to far W with coped and corniced gatepier extends northwards to meet NW gatepier; swept at S.
INTERIOR: not seen, 2000.
19th century. Single storey stable range. Rubble walls; raised ashlar surrounds to doors and main windows; droved stone in places.
N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: door to far right; ventilation opening above with timber louvres. Window to left flank. 6 doors to right (one door blocked to form window); small windows above. Coach-house to far left; window to right; 2 timber boarded doors in right return. Section set back to left; central door with fanlight; flanking windows. Glazed canopy extends from far left section; supporting columns.
S ELEVATION: plain elevation.
W ELEVATION: door to right; blocked window to left.
Timber boarded doors. 4-pane timber sash and case windows; smaller, bottom hung tilting windows above doors. Piended slate roof. Piended, slate coach-house roof raised above stable range.
INTERIOR: not seen, 2000.
Statement of Special Interest
A-Group with Broomhall Ice-House; Broomhall, Limekilns, 9 The Old Orchard; Broomhall, Limekilns, 9 The Old Orchard Garden, Broomhall Doocot; Broomhall Policies, Courthill Cottage; Broomhall Policies, East Lodge; Broomhall Policies, Former Brick Works and Broomhall Policies, Hillock. The Broomhall Estate (formerly Wester Gellett) once belonged to Dunfermline Abbey until it was bought and renamed by Sir George Bruce of Carnock in 1580, in whose family it remains. The Bruces are connected to King Robert the Bruce. The original Broomhall House is said to date from the 1650's, however, nothing of this remains and the present house incorporates the 1702 house which was built for Sir Alexander Bruce; the entresol of this house is visible in the E gable wall and the garden front was a later addition. In 1766, Charles, 5th Earl of Elgin commissioned John Adam to remodel the house but the Earl died in 1771 before the work was probably even begun. It was not until 1796 when Thomas, 7th Earl of Elgin commissioned the architect Thomas Harrison, that work began again on Broomhall. However, the design for the N front and wings could not be agreed upon, and Harrison's seeming lack of attention to Broomhall in general, and a lackadaisical response to the Earl's correspondence led to the Earl's commission of up to 14 architects who produced drawings for the completion of the house, including a portico. One of those architects included Sir Robert Smirke, whose 1810 scheme for Broomhall, consisted of a vast Doric portico with 8 columns. According to the 11th Earl of Elgin, the façade which was completed in the Charlestown quarries was ready to be place on Broomghall but because of financial problems, the 7th Earl sold it to the Comissioners in Perth for approximately £460 where it was erected as the Sheriff Court in 1819. None of the plans from the numerous architects for Broomhall came to fruition during the 7th Earl's lifetime (he died in 1841). It was not until the end of the century that the house was finished. In 1865 Charles Heath Wilson and David Thomson from Glasgow added the portico to the N front and designed the hall, incorporating the remaining Elgin Marbles into the walls at this time. The wings were completed in 1812(East) and 1820(West) and the entrance hall was remodelled in 1890 by R Rowand Anderson. FW Deas added the bowed bathroom extension to the S elevation, E wing in 1910 or 1912. The Venetian doorway to the E of the bathroom came from a Summer house once situated behind The King's Cellar in Limekilns. The wings housed the servants; the male and female staff were separated by the main part of the house. The ground floor of the E wing was at one time a small indoor riding school. The interior of Broomhall was not seen at the time of resurvey but the hall is said to have fragments of Greek sculpture in the walls and a trabeated ceiling dating from 1890. The richly carved timber chimneypiece in the NW dining room is reputed to have come from the bed of Queen Anne, James VI's wife. There are decorative friezes in the drawing room (William Porden, 1810) and carved chimneypieces. The stables are surprisingly plain in design for Broohall. Charles, the 5th Earl of Elgin, exploited the deposits of coal and limestone on the Broomhall Estate, to create an industry which involved the establishment of the largest limeworks in Scotland, a foundry, brick works, the export of coal and coke and the necessary transport for the materials which included wagonways and the harbour. Nearby Charlestown village was built by Charles in the shape of the letters 'K' and 'E' to accommodate his workers. Thomas, 7th Earl of Elgin led a Parliamentary and diplomatic career and whilst Ambassador Extraordinary to the Sultan of Turkey, he secured carvings and sculptures from the Parthenon which were in danger from destruction by the Turks. The Earl brought the relics back to Broomhall where some remain, and deposited what became known as the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum.
The Earl increased the size of the railway to the cove fields North of Dunfermline and had inclined plane sections built (C. Langdale, Engineers) and iron rails laid. By 1830, upwards of 1,000 men were employed in various departments of Broomhall Estate. The 7th Earl travelled on the Rocket Locomotive in 1830 but disliked its swinging motion when moving and ordered his own design of locomotives from 2 Scottish sources. He also designed a number of passenger omnibuses for the railway and it was in one of these that the Carnegie family began their journey to America.
In 1864, on the sudden, unexpected death of the 8th Earl, whilst Viceroy of India, the trustees of the estate began a systematic leasing system for all the various industrial and other enterprises on the estate. These continued until the impact of the Royal Naval Dockyard at Rosyth began in 1911 began to draw off the employees of all smaller local enterprises for the needs of the Admiralty.
J Blaeu, THE SHERIFDOME OF FYFE, 1654; J Ainslie, COUNTY OF FIFE, 1775; 1st Edition OS Map, 1856; A Millar, FIFE, Vol 2, 1895, p225; T Harrison, FAMOUS SCOTTISH HOUSES, THE LOWLANDS, 1928, p45; J Mordaunt Crook, BROOMHALL, Country Life, January 29, 1970; J Struthers, BROOMHALL, FIFE, Dissertation, 1974; SCOTSMAN NEWSPAPER, 19.10.1976; SCOTSMAN MAGAZINE, 7.10.1983; J Gifford, FIFE, 1988, pp102-104; A Kelly, MRS COADE'S STONE, 1990, pp321, 428; G Pride, THE KINGDOM OF FIFE, 1990, p33; S McKinstry, ROWAND ANDERSON, 1991, p211; H Colvin, A BIOGRAPHICAl DICTIONARY OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS 1600-1840; 1995; p469; G Fairfull Smith, CHARLES HEATH WILSON AND DAVID THOMSON, AHSS Magazine, No 11, 2000, pp5-6; N Haynes, Perth and Kinross, 200, p.14; Additional information courtesy of the owner.
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Printed: 23/01/2019 22:54