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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: A
  • Date Added: 09/06/1971


  • Local Authority: Scottish Borders
  • Planning Authority: Scottish Borders
  • Parish: Duns

National Grid Reference

  • NGR: NT 80968 54773
  • Coordinates: 380968, 654773


John Kinross, 1900. 2-stage Border pele tower with forestair, stair tower and cap house, adjoined to SE corner of dairy court (see separate listing). Sandstone rubble with droved ashlar dressings and part harling. Base course. Roll-moulded surrounds to openings. Deep, corbelled ashlar parapet with gablet coping and waterspouts.

FORESTAIR AND RECESS: encircling tower from S to W, stepping up over arcaded recess to W, with gablet coping to stone stair and carved armorial panel to half-way platt: W recess of 2 openings with squat columns and quasi-cushion relief carving to capitals, ornate cornucopia carving to central spandrel; heavy carving between columns to side wall; 2 decorative timber benches.

W ELEVATION: door at head of forestair to upper stage with shouldered surround jumping fleuron studs and with carved rose at centre; Miller crest carved to left of door; window above to right.

S ELEVATION: largely blank with window to upper stage at centre.

N ELEVATION: to dairy court. Door under cloister garth in ornate ogeed surround with carved fleuron and Miller motto carved on stone ribbon above. Stair tower projecting to left with gabled cap-house; narrow windows, 1 corniced, 1 ogee-arched, slab roofing and ridge finial.

E ELEVATION: deep base course; large window to lower stage at centre and smaller window off-centre left above; ashlar buttress to right carved with heraldic plaque.

Small-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows. Decorative lead hoppers and square downpipes. Boarded doors with decorative bronze handles. Leaded viewing platform.


MILK HOUSE: 3 x 3-bay, vaulted gothic interior in form of chapter-house, with marbles and alabaster from seven different countries, decoratively inlaid to floor, walls and bench of green marble. Stone groin-vault with carved boss at centre, of maid milking.

TEA ROOM: Tudor-gothic interior with built-in Spanish oak wall cupboards, ribbed geometric ceiling.

UNICORN STAIR: after stair to Old College, Glasgow University (except

2 unicorns instead of lion and unicorn). Flight of steps to S of dairy tower with decorative ashlar balustrade and panelled, ball-finialled dies at foot; dies at head of steps bearing lion and uniciorn statues, with lead horns and chains to cartouches.

Statement of Special Interest

Part of the Buxley A group. The unicorn stair is closely paralleled on that at Old College, Glasgow (demolished on the advent of the train), though here the guarding animals are a lion and a unicorn rather than two of the latter. The squat form of the tower, after examples such as Kirconnell Tower and Darnick Tower, was favoured by Kinross who designed similarly sturdy towers for his churches, St Peter?s Fraserburgh, and St Mary?s, Chapeltown. The arcaded seat recess echoes the form of covered walkways to laird?stown houses, such as Elchies House, Elgin, and the house (now altered) in Kirkgate, Leith. The Milk House form can be seen as inspired by the Chapter House at the Inchcolm Abbey and those of its ilk.



MacGibbon and Ross, CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, Vol IV, pp155-159, 329, 505: and Vol V, pp86, 311, 261.

About Designations

Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 27/10/2016 21:37