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
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

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 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.

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 and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but 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. 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 advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 19/03/2019 21:08