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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Date Added
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Planning Authority
Scottish Borders
NT 54411 35128
354411, 635128


Peter Womersley, 1957. Single storey, 3-bay square-plan Modernist flat roof house designed on a 3ft grid plan joined to former garage by covered walkway forming courtyard and sited in secluded garden with views to Eildon Hills. Sand lime brick construction with floor to ceiling plate glass timber-framed windows and painted timber fascia board.

Predominantly timber-framed windows with single glazed unframed sliding door to bedroom; some later sliding patio style doors.

INTERIOR: fine open plan modernist interior design scheme in place with original open plan layout set around 9ft cedar boarded central core housing boiler, heating system and top-lit bathroom. Interior includes signature fireplace design with black marble mantle running from interior to exterior, bench seating around sunken main living area, boarded hardwood ceilings, original Formica kitchen fittings, fitted cupboards to dressing room and original timber, vinyl and black acotile flooring throughout. Interior further enhanced by contemporary 1950's furniture including Womersley's original stereo sideboard.

Statement of Special Interest

The Rig is a fine example of domestic house built by Peter Womersley (1923-1993) and of particular interest in being tailored as his own home and office, which he created as the prototype of the architecture he hoped to produce in future commissions. The Rig survives largely in its original condition in particular to the interior which is almost entirely as built and embodies the interior design and spacial planning of this renowned borders based Modernist architect.

The Rig is a one bedroom open plan design built around a central timber service core with no conventional circulation space; different areas are defined by changes in level and floor and ceiling finishes. The bedroom is deliberately small though a full length fitted mirror creates a feeling of space. A later temporary removable partition has been erected in the study area to create a second bedroom.

There have been some changes to exterior glazing pattern with the loss of horizontal timber bands and the building was re-roofed with slight gradient and white painted aluminium guttering added to improve drainage, however the overall design and essence of the building remains strong. The former garage is now in separate ownership and the site is now entered by steps from the south.

Although the Rig was funded by an inheritance it was still a very modest building costing just £4,000 to construct including the attached garage. It was built on a former orchard belonging to Melrose Abbey. Peter Womersley subsequently added further office accommodation to the north of the existing garage to include more office space and a reception area with large fixed glazed window and integral seating overlooking a courtyard. In 1978 he converted the office accommodation to a separate house in order to sell the property. Known as The Rig Office it has subsequently been further extended in similar style and remains in separate ownership though physically linked to The Rig by the original covered walkway.

List description updated at resurvey (2010).



House, Architecture and Building, (July 1958). The Bespoke House, Architectural Prospect, number 12, (Winter 1958). Architects' Approach to Architecture, RIBA Journal, (May 1969). RIBA Journal, (July 1973). Kitty Cruft, Buildings of Scotland, Borders (2006), p319. Charles Strang, Borders and Berwick - RIAS Guide (1994), p187.

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 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: 17/11/2018 15:50