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- Category: A
- Group Category Details: A
- (see NOTES)
- Date Added: 12/08/2003
- Local Authority: Scottish Borders
- Planning Authority: Scottish Borders
- Parish: Traquair
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NT 29758 33026
- Coordinates: 329758, 633026
David Bryce, 1854 with circa 1905 alterations by Robert Lorimer, further alterations 1911, gates 1914, Thomas Haddon. Wall dividing garden from entrance courtyard with flight of steps, tall ashlar gatepiers with Lions surmounting and wrought-iron gates. Series of harled rubble terrace walls with stone steps throughout garden; ashlar garden benches and semi-circular flight of steps.
NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: squared terminating piers carrying stone vases at base of parapet walls flanking flight of ashlar steps, tall squared gatepiers to rear with moulded caps and tall seated lions surmounting (paw nearest steps resting on ball); plain wrought-iron 2-leaf gate with ornate scrolled side panels and overthrow; terrace wall (with matching vases along length) adjoining to flanks and meeting house to left and swimming pool wall to right.
GARDEN FEATURES (TERRACES, SEATS AND STAIRS):
SE AND LOWER TERRACE AND SEATS: small harled rubble retaining wall with narrow flight of stone steps flanked by (later) rubble quadrant flower beds; upper terrace integral to garden front of main house (see Glen House list description). Paired harled retaining walls form lower terrace (to E of Glen House and Service wing) with flights of stone steps in W angles (formerly sunken area with shrub beds). Long stone benches with arched pedimented rear and scrolled sides terminating in ball finials on moulded bases set to SW and NE of terrace. Further pair of rounded piers with pair of wrought-iron gates (with tulip dog bars and foliate upper band with initials P and G to centre of band and dated 1914 believed to be the work of Thomas Haddon) to SE of lower terrace.
UPPER TERRACES: 3 harled rubble retaining walls (to SW of house, lowest to SE, highest to NW) with narrow flights of stone steps with terraces between; stone flagged walks leading to highest SW terrace accessed by wide semicircular flight of stone steps, straight steps between wing walls and terminating in semicircular steps. To NW terrace, classically styled stone bench with scroll ends, heavy legs and moulded back; stone inset into terrace wall behind PAMELA HER GARDEN 1911.
Statement of Special Interest
Part of an A-Group with all other Glen estate buildings. The Glen estate can be traced as far back as 1296 when Sarra of the Glen swore allegiance to King Edward I of England. The estate remained in the family's hand until around 1512, when the grounds became fragmented and parts were sold to neighbouring landowners and families. By the 1700's, there were 2 main parts of the estate, Easter and Wester Glen. Easter Glen was sold to Alexander Allan (an Edinburgh banker) in 1796 for #10,500. At this point, the house was a fairly small plain farmhouse. His son, William Allan (Lord Provost of Edinburgh) was responsible for enlarging and extending the house, the architect being his friend William Playfair (see The Temple, listed separately); even after improvement it was still not regarded as being fit for a landowner's principal residence. The 3,500-acre estate was bought in 1852/3 by Sir Charles Tennant, owner of the chemical works of St. Rollox, Glasgow, for #33,140. The house was by then outdated and not suited to modern family life; he commissioned David Bryce to design a baronial style house, to which a tower (also by Bryce) was added in 1874. Charles Tennant was a well-known patron of horticulture and the fine arts as well as a successful industrialist. He improved the estate landscape (1860-1890) and was responsible for the building of a school, farm, worker's and estate cottages, walled kitchen garden and kennels making the Glen virtually self-sufficient. Robert Lorimer carried out internal remodelling after a fire in 1905 also added the garden terraces and later redesigned part of the walled garden. Tennant's son Edward and his wife Pamela were looking after the house at the time of the fire and they became subsequent owners of The Glen after Charles's death in 1906. The terraces to the SW of the house followed much the same plan since they were created but were altered into a more cruciform flower garden for Pamela, the inscription to whom is still found above on of the seats. These formal gardens were of extreme importance. Bryce designed some of the terraces whilst 2 landscape gardeners remained on hand and over saw the laying out of the terraces and planting. Around 14 gardeners were employed to tend to the kitchen, walled flower and formal gardens. A team of horses was used to cut the grass and they wore special shoes so as not to damage it as they went around. The gardens are less formal today but still add a fine aspect to the landscape. Listed as important examples of Bryce and Lorimer designed landscaping and for their importance around the centrepiece of an intact later 19th century estate (other estate buildings are listed separately).
J Blaeu, TVEDIA (1654, Tweeddale from ATLAS NOVUS) showing earlier house on the estate. J Ainslie, THE ENVIRONS OF EDINBURGH, HADDINGTON, DUNS, KELSO, JEDBURGH, HAWICK, SELKIRK, PEEBLES, LANGHOLM AND ANNAN (1821 ? Edinburgh) showing plain farmhouse. RSA CATALOGUE (1855) 573-Glen, Peeblesshire ? The seat of Charles Tennant Esq, Entrance front; (1856) 610-Glen from North, 699-Glen from South; (1860) 601-Billiard Room, Glen; (1863) 361-Glen; (1875) 937-Glen with recent additions. 1st Edition ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP (circa 1857) showing Bryce house and associated estate buildings. William Chambers, HISTORY OF PEEBLESHIRE (1864). J Buchan, HISTORY OF PEEBLESSHIRE (1925) pp537-541. Nancy Crathorne, TENNANT'S STALK (1972) for the history of the Tennant family. Valerie Fiddes, (Ed), DAVID BRYCE (1803-1876) for further information on Bryce works. Charles Strang, BORDERS AND BERWICK (1994) p227. Additional information courtesy of The Buildings of Scotland, Kitty Cruft. For further information see www.glenhouse.com
Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.
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