Late 18th century, symmetrical, 2-storey and raised basement, 3-bay rectangular-plan villa on sloping site rising to NW. Significant later alterations include 1830s aggrandisement of principal (SE) elevation with an imposing Greek-revival portico, architraved windows and tripartite 1st floor windows to end bays. Further alterations; earlier 19th century single-storey and basement rear wing to W, large gabled 3-storey mid 19th century rear wing to N forming overall square-plan.
Architraved and margined windows throughout, bracketted lintels to principal elevation ground floor windows, these and other windows formerly had cornices (now missing, 2003), predominantly 12-paned timber sash and case windows. Harled principal elevation framed by long and short quoins, rendered SW gable, random rubble to other elevations. Pitched, graded slate roof, moulded eaves cornice to principal elevation. Raised ashlar skews to main house with bracketed skewputts to SE, corniced ashlar gable apex stacks with raised polished margins, circular clay cans.
Notable features: principal (SE) elevation, timber panelled door with geometric fanlight, entrance portico comprising heavily-corniced, decorated entablature, supported on fluted Doric columns and raised upon plain steps. NE elevation: paired windows to ground and 1st floor with central attic window, irregular fenestration to rear wing. Band course running entire NE elevation with remnants of banded rustication to E arris. Stone steps leading to basement door, squat basement window to right, tall stair window to rear (mid 19th century) wing with large tripartite window with stop-chamfered mullions at 1st floor. SW elevation: single windows to ground, 1st and attic floors (modern render possibly masking corresponding blocked windows at ground and 1st floor). Irregular fenestration to rear W wing, door at 1st floor. Droved ashlar wall linking W quoin of late 18th century house to former boundary wall creating covered entrance to side door. 2 doorways in linking wall, left door margined, decorative pilastered and gable-pedimented doorpiece to right, corniced parapet with blocking course, covered vestibule at rear with mono-pitch roof. NW (rear) elevation: 3-storey gable wing to left; windowless apart from single attic window. Piended 2-storey wing to right with lean-to laundry.
INTERIOR: basement of late 18th century house; series of former service rooms to E, (W unseen, 2003), all with stone flag floors. Small room to E with stone slab shelves at waist height (possibly for food preparation), door and internal window giving access to former kitchen to NE; timber boarded presses to kitchen. Small vestibule to N of kitchen, stone double sink set at base of tall stair window with staircase opposite running to ground floor. Room to NW with stone hob grate. Stone flags to hallway at ground floor, stone cantilevered stair at 1st floor, timber at 2nd, decorative cast iron balusters with timber handrail. Predominantly timber fielded panelled doors and window shutters throughout house. Former dining room at ground floor to NE, black marble mantlepiece, decorated cornice, pair of presses to NW, press to left with small, glazed internal window opening into service stairwell. Ground floor to SW subdivided. 1st floor; bedrooms with simple cornices, timber mantlepieces with cast iron grates. Large room to 1st floor of 3-storey wing; black marble mantlepiece with console brackets decorated with thistle and shield motifs. Simple attic bedrooms to 2nd floor. Rear (W) wing; large, renovated kitchen at 1st floor, sizeable range opening to NW, timber-lined open roofspace.
BOUNDARY WALLS AND GARDEN STEPS: random rubble boundary walls, low to SE and NW, high to NE, modern rendered wall to SE creating small front garden. Steep flight of stone steps setback to right of principal (SE) elevation leading to rear garden.
Statement of Special Interest
A late 18th century house, considerably altered in the fashionable Neo-Greek style of the earlier 19th century to a smart, classical villa. Photographs from the 1970s indicate that the harling was possibly lined in order to resemble block ashlar, and it is probable that the entire basement was rusticated with horizontal channelling. The sophisticated portico, architraved tripartite windows and other features would also have been added at this time. 1830s alterations to the window pattern of the principal elevation necessitated the use of blind windows at 1st floor to ensure overall symmetry. It is possible that to the SW gable there were paired windows at ground and 1st floor matching those of the NE gable, only single windows at each floor are present now, (2003). The house has an association with the Sawers family, it is probable that John Sawers a local merchant lived there in the 19th century with his family. His son, also John Sawers, was Provost of Stirling between 1849-1858, he infamoulsy fled Scotland to Sweden after he was implicated in the collapse of the Stirling branch of the Western Bank of which he was Agent. At some point during the late 19th century the fortunes of the house declined, the evaluation rolls of 1900 record that 6 different families were in occupation at this time. Although the 3-storey gabled wing would have been built by this time, (significantly enlarging the house), living conditions must have been very cramped, with some families perhaps living in single dwelling rooms. This multi-occupancy of the house explains the large number of doors, especially the link wall to the SW with its doorpiece; the vestibule to the rear gives covered access to a doorway with an internal stair leading directly to the 1st floor. The house was in multi-occupancy for the majority of the 20th century, with the evaluation rolls showing 5 separate families living at the house in 1970. It is possible that the kitchen to the rear W wing was originally built as a wash house and was converted to a kitchen when the house was sub- divided. The boundary wall to the NE is of some age, it is clearly depicted on John Wood's map of Stirling, 1820. Today, the house has effectively been returned to a single dwelling (2003). Listed in 1978 as category C(S). Upgraded to B, September 2003.