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


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Group Category Details
100000019 - (see NOTES)
Date Added
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 29657 32412
329657, 632412


William Playfair, 1822; later alterations; engraved glass by Luke Dickinson, 1997. Classical temple-style former portico of early farmhouse (later a summerhouse) converted to form memorial to Tennant Family. Polished ashlar portico with random whinstone rubble rear.

NE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: crepidoma, paired Tuscan columns to outer front angle (with pilaster to rear behind outer columns) supporting pediment with mutuled cornice.

SE AND NW (SIDE) ELEVATIONS: plain whinstone rubble walls with side of portico to front.

SW (REAR) ELEVATION: plain whinstone rubble wall with evidence of former central window (lintel still in place), much later ashlar block inset (see INTERIOR) with rubble in-fill above.

Engraved turquoise stained glass window to rear (see INTERIOR). Shallow pitched roof of unknown material (likely to be slate) with timber boarded ceiling to interior, stone ridging.

INTERIOR: central ashlar block on rear wall inscribed CHARLES TENNANT 1957 1996 and HENRY TENNANT 1960 1990 (also containing turquoise stain glass in the shape of overlaid stylised teardrops engraved with the words LIKE BRIGHT SHINING COMETS THEY BURNT OUT SO YOUNG TOUCHING EVERYONE THEY MET); timber ceiling and later rough timber rustic bench.

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 hands 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; even after improvement it was still not regarded as being fit for a landowner's principal residence. It was during this time that picturesque-style designed landscaping was carried out which included clumps of trees in the park, a canalised section of the Quair Water, wooding of the valley sides and an avenue of Douglas Firs adjacent to the canalled river. 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; Tennant commissioned David Bryce to design a baronial style house, to which a tower (also by Bryce) was added in 1874. The Bryce house is believed to stand on the site of the earlier house, as records show the Tennants stayed in Prestonfield House, (Priestfield Road, Edinburgh) during the construction of Glen House. The Edgar and Thomson maps also show the older house as standing on the site of the present house. There is a possibility that the portico may not have been moved and that older farmhouse was actually sited adjacent to the Quair Water as the Ainslie map shows the house in a different site. This is unlikely as the Quair Water curves behind the portico and an extended farmhouse would have had to straddle the Quair; there is also no evidence of the meandering Quair being re-routed along this stretch. On the 1st Edition O.S. map, it is called a summerhouse and it stands as the focal point at the end of long avenue of mature Douglas Firs (part of an earlier landscape which run adjacent to the canal). Now called 'The Temple' it has been transformed into a memorial for Henry and Charles, the late sons of Colin Tennant, 3rd Baron Glenconner. Listed as a good example of a (now free standing) Playfair entrance portico and its historical importance in the development of The Glen estate.



William Edgar, SHIRE OF PEEBLES OR TWEEDDALE (1741) for older house. J Ainslie, THE ENVIRONS OF EDINBURGH, HADDINGTON, DUNS, KELSO, JEDBURGH, HAWICK, SELKIRK, PEEBLES, LANGHOLM AND ANNAN (1821 ? Edinburgh) showing farmhouse in different position. John Thomson, PEEBLES-SHIRE (1821) showing earlier house on site of Bryce house. 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. INVENTORY OF GARDENS AND DESIGNED LANDSCAPES, VOL V ? The Borders, pp311-316. Charles Strang, BORDERS AND BERWICK (1994) p227. Additional information courtesy of The Buildings of Scotland, Kitty Cruft. For further information see

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.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 25/06/2019 11:05