Andrew Heiton, 1875-1886. 3-, 4- and 5-storey, all with raised basement and attic, H-plan, Baronial hydropathic hotel on ground falling steeply to SE, with pavilion and conical roofs, semicircular and polygonal towers, porte cochere, verandah and crenellated bastion wall. Bull-faced squared and snecked rubble with raised bull-faced quoins and architraved surrounds some dressed. Bolection coursers and moulded eaves course. Stone transoms and mullions, stop-chamfered arrises.
NW (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrical. Recessed gabled bay to centre with single storey vestibule and piended port cochere on cast-iron columns with semicircular multi-pane fanlights projecting at ground, lower flat-roofed additions projecting to each side; recessed face with 4 closely aligned windows to 1st and 2nd floors, and bipartite window with deep-corniced windowhead giving way to relieving arch in gablehead, and broad shouldered stack straddling ridge above. Flanking 3 bays further set-back with largely regular fenestration to each floor, and pedimented dormer windows above. Projecting pavilion-roofed outer bays each with decorative cast-iron brattishing, that to left 4-storey with 3 tall windows to ground and 2 windows to each floor above giving way to pedimented tripartite dormer window; that to right 5-storey with 2 windows to each floor and tripartite dormer as above. Inner return each with dominant stack breaking eaves and largely regular fenestration.
SE ELEVATION: symmetrical. Dominant canted 4-storey towers to outer bays each with opening to each face of battered raised basement, 9 light wide-centre transomed tripartite window with relieving arch to each face of tall 1st floor, tripartite centre window with single flanking windows to 2nd and 3rd floors, 5 small windows with moulded heads to circular 4th floor, and deep cornice giving way to single jerkinheaded dormer window and conical-roofed lantern. Recessed centre bays with glazed full-width verandah to ground, slightly advanced gabled bay to centre with paired decoratively-capitalled columns and round-arched timber bargeboarding, flanking bays each with dividing columns and decorative cast-iron railings all supported on heavy ashlar columns at brick-infilled basement. Regular fenestration to 1st and 2nd floors, jerkinheaded dormer windows and tiny conical-roofed semicircular towers in re-entrant angles.
SW ELEVATION: asymmetrical elevation with variety of elements including tall transomed windows to ground floor, conical-roofed canted tower in bay to left of centre and 2-bay 5-storey bays to outer left. Battlemented terrace with bartizans to outer right at basement.
NE ELEVATION: altered elevation with variety of elements including small polygonal tower projecting to left, battlemented terrace as above but with modern stair tower, and full-height stack.
Mainly 4-pane and plate glass glazing patterns in timber sash and case windows. Grey slates. Coped rubble stacks with ashlar-coped skews. Decorative cast-iron finials.
INTERIOR: some fine plasterwork cornices and ceilings, panelled timber dadoes, and architraved doors. Identical cantilevered staircases to each outer tower with timber balusters and ball-finialled newels. Marble fireplaces. Ground floor retains much original detail, bedrooms altered. Some coloured leaded glass to entrance hall. Hydropathic spa pool with segmental- and round-headed arches.
TERRACED GARDENS: formal terraced gardens to NW with square-section piers, ashlar walls and garden statuary.
Statement of Special Interest
In June of 1873, the Balnakeilly Estate feued this site to the Athole Hydropathic Company Ltd. In September of the same year a prospectus was produced to raise capital of £40,000. Under the supervision of Mr Dick building had commenced by February 1876, and by 1877 a further £20,000 borrowed from the Scottish Provincial Assurance Company. During excavation of the site, Pictish remains were uncovered. Building was halted during 1883 owing to the bankruptcy of Mr Dick who sold to Mr William McDonald, owner of the Royal Refreshment Rooms in Perth. By 1886 The Atholl had opened and provided 'a rejuvenating spa' with water taken from Moulin Burn and heated. Francis Norrie-Miller, General Manager of General Accident Insurance Company purchased the hotel in 1911 and sold in 1913 to the Atholl Palace Hotel (Pitlochry) Limited Company. In 1915 the building was used house pupils of Queen Margaret Girls' School, and again in 1940 became the war-time residence of the Leys School, Cambridge.