Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority
The present Buchanan Old House is what remains of a huge 18th century house, also known as Buchanan Place or the Place of Buchanan. The 18th century structures are connected by additions of circa 1936, forming a golf club house, 2 flats and estate offices. It is a prestigious 18th century mansion.
In the late 1720s, the first Duke of Montrose erected a large SE-facing house on this site, to replace an earlier house which was demolished c1724. Subsequent additions and alterations were carried out throughout the 18th century, notably by John Adam in 1751-2, and James Playfair in 1789. Contemporary depictions show the house to have been a long, fairly plain block of 3 storeys, with 2-storey flanking wings and further service wings to the rear. When the house was destroyed by fire in 1850, the ruins were removed; all that was retained were the remains of two wings that had extended NW from the NE end of the main house.
The NE wing consists of a substantial piend-roofed rectangular-plan 3-storey block to the SE; this has 6 bays (7 to 1st floor) of irregularly disposed windows, and to the centre of the SW elevation is a square stair bay which sits in the S re-entrant angle of a small 2-storey transverse wing, with a pend to ground floor, which would have connected to the adjacent SW wing (see below). The NW gable is linked by a slate-roofed pend to a long singlestorey rectangular-plan range, which now forms part of the golf club premises.
Continuing the line of the SE gable of the wing above is a substantial rubble wall, the lower portion of which is battered; this wall is probably a remnant of the rear wall of the demolished main block. There is a large round arched opening in this wall which would have given access to the SW wing; all that remains of this wing at the SE end is the 7-bay SW wall, reduced to 1st floor cill-level, and some low walling which may be the remnants of the NE wall.
At its NW end, the SW wall of this wing joins up with that of the c1936 clubhouse, a near-rectangular block which stands on the footprint of the NW end of the original wing, and incorporates some 18th century fabric at the NW end, including a small rectangular piend-roofed block, 3-bay with double-height round-arched windows and cavetto eaves cornice, which may have formerly been a chapel or meeting hall. The entrance of the clubhouse is at the jerkin-headed SE gable, in a slightly advanced central bay with long and short quoined door surround with keystone detail. To the NW end of the complex, 2 square-plan ashlar gatepiers with pyramidal caps mark the entry to the courtyard formed between the two wings.
Estate Office: situated at the SE end of the NE wing, this portion of the building retains several 18th century features including bolection moulded cornicing to all floors and several classical timber chimneypieces, some reeded or with roundels, with register grates inserted. There is a timber stair with timber-boarded walls against the SE gable. Access was not gained to the remainder of the NW wing, 2004.
There is an open hearth to the SE end of the arched-windowed hall of the club-house.
Rendered; tooled roughly squared sandstone long and short quoins to NW end of NW wing and arched-windowed hall of SW wing; exposed rubble, some brought to courses, to SE wall and SW wall of SW wing. Mostly 12-pane timber sash and case windows, some timber casements. Mostly piended roofs; graded slates. 2 ridge stacks to 3-storey block and gable-head stack to transverse wing; several ridge and wall head stacks to remainder; mix of circular and octangular cans.
To the SE of Buchanan House, set on a sandstone pillar with a square base and stop-chamfered octagonal shaft, a horizontal copper dial, mid 18th century, made by Thomas Wright (1711-1786), 'Instrument Maker to his Majesty' (inscription on dial). The pillar is surrounded by large stone and concrete slabs.
Statement of Special Interest
The golf course was laid out in 1936 to designs by James Braid, a successful professional golfer and eminent golf course designer. The clubhouse was constructed at the same time but incorporates fragments of the previous house. The ground on which the course was constructed was previously used as a race track, as the Montroses bred and trained racehourses.
Scotland is intrinsically linked with the sport of golf and it was the birthplace of the modern game played over 18 holes. So popular was golf in medieval Scotland that it was a dangerous distraction from maintaining military skills in archery and James II prohibited the playing of 'gowf' and football in 1457.
The 'Articles and Laws in Playing Golf', a set of rules whose principles still underpin the game's current regulations, were penned in 1744 by the Company of Gentlemen Golfers (now The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers). Improved transport links and increased leisure time as well as a rise in the middle classes from the mid 19th century onwards increased the popularity of the sport with another peak taking place in the early 1900s.
List description updated as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).