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.


Status: Designated


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Group Category Details
100000020 - see notes
Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 78261 45464
378261, 645464


17th century core with later additions and alterations including early 20th century work by Harry Ramsay Taylor. 2-storey with attic, originally near U-plan mansion comprising symmetrical 9-bay, crowstepped and turreted block to left (grouped 2-5-2, recessed at centre); 2-storey wing adjoined to right (subsequently raised and altered); various additions at rear. Whitewashed harl; painted ashlar dressings. Moulded eaves in part; giant order square-plan angle pilasters with corniced and finialled caps; painted margins; flush cills.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrical 9-bay block to left comprising 5-bay range recessed at centre with 2-leaf, part-glazed timber door centred at ground; carved armorial panel off-set to right at 1st floor; ogee-capped wallhead dormer breaking eaves above; single windows at both floors in remaining bays to left and right. Full-height crowstepped wings projecting to left and right with giant order angle pilasters and single windows at all floors to right and left respectively; lower, conical-capped corner turrets to outer left and right with part-glazed timber doors at ground; small attic lights beneath eaves. 2-storey, 4-bay wing adjoined to right with single windows in all bays at both floors; giant order angle pilaster to right; blind elevations to taller blocks recessed to outer right.

SW (SIDE) ELEVATION: 2-bay, crowstepped block at centre with single windows at all floors in both bays; single window at ground in bay to right; single windows at ground and 1st floors in subsequent bay to right; conical-capped corner turret to outer right. Regularly fenestrated single storey, 3-bay range adjoined to outer left.

NW (REAR) ELEVATION: irregularly fenestrated 2-storey with attic, 10-bay range with single bay, flat-roofed projection off-set to right of centre; single storey, 2-bay crowstepped wing projecting to outer right. Separate single storey, crowstepped garage block to NE.

NE (SIDE) ELEVATION: irregularly fenestrated crowstepped block to right; single storey, lean-to addition to lower wing recessed to left (corniced parapet); lean-to addition to lower, gabled wing to outer left. Screen wall linking separate garage block to outer right.

Predominantly 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows; small rooflights; solar panels to front. Grey slate roof; crowstepped skews; beak skewputts; iron rainwater goods. Corniced ridge and apex stacks; circular terracotta cans.

INTERIOR: recast. Ground floor reception rooms with plain plasterwork; some dado rails and panelling; timber panelled doors; fireplaces. Later drawing room raised at rear accessed via small, swept stair. Service quarters to E with service stair. Main dogleg stair to W with timber treads, barley-twist timber uprights, ball-finialled, panelled newels, timber handrails. 1st floor bedrooms with plain plasterwork; timber panelled doors; fireplaces.


Statement of Special Interest

B Group comprises Kames Cottages, Kames House, Kames North Entrance, Kames Stables, Kames Walled Garden and Kames West Lodge (see separate list entries). The house itself was the birthplace, property and residence of Henry Home, Lord Kames (1696-1782), philosopher, judge and agricultural improver. It is here that he wrote many of his works, including PROGRESS IN FLAX HUSBANDRY IN SCOTLAND (1766), and THE GENTLEMAN FARMER (1776), in which he suggested that landowners provide their tenants with a "...hearty meal at which discussions of the best methods to be followed should take place." Home is said to have entertained Dr Benjamin Franklin here in 1759. Between 1783 and 1825 the house was called 'Besborough' after a ship commanded by its then owner, Captain Riddel (see Blackadder's map). A photograph dated circa 1848 (NMRS) shows the E wing prior to its being raised to a similar height as the U-plan block to its left, whilst a photograph dated 1875 (HOUSES OF BERWICKSHIRE) shows the SW elevation with a lean-to addition in place of the single storey, crowstepped wing now set to the outer left. The servants' quarters, originally situated to the rear, have been demolished. Otherwise, little appears to have changed. This well-detailed, "...delightful residence, built in the old Scottish gabled style" (Rutherfurd) remains one of the most significant houses in the parish and indeed, within Scotland as a whole.



Armstrong's map, 1771 (evident). Blackadder's map, 1797 (marked as 'Besborough'). NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1845) p55. Ordnance Survey Name Book (1856-1858) Reel 62, Book 17, NMRS. Ordnance Survey map, 1858 (evident). RUTHERFURD'S SOUTHERN COUNTIES' REGISTER AND DIRECTORY (1866, reprinted 1990) p659. HOUSES OF BERWICKSHIRE (1875), NMRS. F H Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND (1882) p463. F H Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND (1883) p336. C A Strang BORDERS AND BERWICK: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1991) pp62-63. NMRS photographic records.

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.

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Printed: 23/05/2019 22:57