After John Gordon, circa 1870. Tall Italianate house on SE facing sloping site. 2-storey and attic over raised battered basement, roughly L-plan with S re-entrant angle infilled in early 20th century with glazed conservatories. White harled with self-coloured painted ashlar dressings.
Entrance in main SW entrance front; square corniced, ashlar with slender pilasters and round-arched entrance porch reached by steps. Remainder of re-entrant angle infilled at raised ground floor and also 1st floor by glazed conservatories with original cast-iron glazing bars (in ground floor incorporating mask decoration) but renewed roofs. Attic floor rises as single view-room served by taller slender square Italianate campanile-like stair tower: principal stair lit by round-headed 3-light arcade. Shallow bowed bay front dining room (ground floor) and drawing room above in SE elevation; 4-light square-headed window to dining room; 4-light round-headed windows with
blocked imposts to drawing room above; pair of oculi below tall round-arched stair window in taller bay to left, 2-light arcade to
attic. Similar detailed windows, of single, 2- and 3-lights, elsewhere in 1st floor, SE and SW. Rear and NE elevations with plain fenestration.
Single storey, 3-bay service wing, extends at NE with small round-headed windows.
Mainly glazing in timber sash and case windows, modern windows to dining room; shallow slate roofs with deep plate glass eaves and exposed rafters; end and ridge stacks. Ornamental urn with anthemion and decorative detailing masks chimney stack above attic room as apex finial; tall hand thrown chimney cans elsewhere. Decorative cast-iron apex finial to SW gable.
INTERIOR: entrance porch floored with coloured encaustic tiles leads to entrance/stair hall. Dining room with original wooden chimneypiece and deep plaster ceiling frieze; also centre ceiling rose with oak-leaf detailing. Original wooden balusters to staircase leading to 1st floor landing and drawing room. Drawing room with decorative plaster freize and white marble chimneypiece; decorative cast-iron detailing to window frames, outer reveals in bowed bay faced with bevelled mirror.
Cast-iron spiral stair winds serves attic view-room, upper portion
of tower constructed of bolted iron plates. Former laundry in basement where stove to heat flat irons survives as fitting.
URNS: group of decorative shallow urns on corniced dies at head of entrance steps.
GATES AND GATEPIERS: 2-leaf decorative cast- and wrought-iron gates: panelled square-section gatepiers with pyramidal caps.
Statement of Special Interest
South Colleonard was built by George Wilson Murray closely following a design for Oakleigh Villa by John Gordon, illustrated in VILLA AND COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE; Oakleigh, now named Creggandarroch, to be found at Blairmore, Dumbarton. Murray originated from New Pitsligo,
Aberdeenshire, spending some years in Australia as a builder/entrepreneur. He purchased the already established
Banff Foundry in the Spring of 1863 and ran it with considerable
success until his death in June 1887 aged 53. Murray developed
and invented a range of agricultural machinery which he exhibited
and sold internationally. He married in September 1863; there
were two daughters of the marriage. It is not known when he moved to South Colleonard, which he leased, building his unusual house on a slope just below the farm.
The house is of interest for its Italianate design, its close adherence even in the interior to Gordon's design, and particularly for the structural incorporation of cast-iron components obviously drawn from the industry carried on by the owner/builder.
Neither farmhouse nor farm buildings are included in the listing.