Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.

NUNRAW OLD ABBEY WITH SUNDIALLB7321

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
05/02/1971
Local Authority
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
Parish
Garvald And Bara
NGR
NT 59753 70615
Coordinates
359753, 670615

Description

Mid to later 15th century keep incorporated in Brown and

Wardrop, 1863-4, Baronial mansion with late 19th century

additions, partially sited on the Z-plan of the former late

16th century castle and imitating the 15th century work.

Georgian stable court to E. Red sandstone rubble to keep,

stugged ashlar later work.

15TH CENTURY TOWER: at SE corner of present mansion, adjoined

to S at ground by service court. Square plan with cap house,

irregular later windows inserted to E, arrow slit to N,

billetting to parapet walk with rope moulding below at angles

and with rainwater spouts.

N ELEVATION: squat porte cochere of 1880s, adjoined to 19th

century reproduction of earlier keep; round arched entrances

to N and E and W sides of porch, with base and string

courses, and with parapet, raised and corbelled at angles;

heraldic carvings above archways. Further 19th century tower

at right angles to right, recessed and with round stair tower

set in re-entrant angle. Irregular windows with moulded

surrounds. Cap houses to both towers and conical roof to

stair tower cap house. 2-storey bay set between earliest keep

and 19th century work to W, given canted oriel.

W ELEVATION: tower to NW with recessed bay adjoined to right,

and slightly advanced gabled bay further right, linking with

slightly lower SW tower, again with cap house, and round

stair tower set in re-entrant angle. Corbelled canted balcony

(known as the pulpit) by window 2nd storey window of SW

tower, probably added later.

S ELEVATION: sturdy, consoled balustraded balcony on E return

of SW tower, with small canopied niche above and round-arched

doorway to re-entrant angle formed with 3 recessed,

irregularly grouped bays running E; yett grille to tower

doorway. Corbelled, gabled lookout turret clasped to SE

angle.

SERVICE COURT: rubble masonry; entered by round archways,

surmounted by late 19th century octagonal birdcage cupola

with decorative crown cap.

Gun loops at intervals in 19th century work. Variety of

glazing patterns. Slate roofs. Crowstepped gables and billet

moulded coping to gable end stacks. Pierced ashlar parapet by

N front.

INTERIOR: heavy victorian decoration; fine oak work of circa

1860, in linenfold panelling and geometrically panelled

doors. Stone flagging to hall with timber balustrade at foot

of stone dog-leg stair; stone newel stairs in towers. Notable chimneypieces, one with stone hood, one in marble with Ionic

pilasters, and one in timber with composite pilasters,

billeted mantelpiece and ornate cast-iron grate. Barrel vault

to 15th century tower.

PAINTED CEILING: between 1603 and 1617. Discovered in 1863,

and partly re-sited in the Chapel, partly taken to Museum of Antiquities. Tempera on board and beams. Initialled PHC

(Patrick Hepburn and Helen Cockburn); adorned with heraldry,

monarchal arms, musical instruments and exotic animals, and

guilloched ribbons on the beams. Black line drawing remains,

but not the white ground; much red and yellow detailing

survives.

SUNDIAL: 17th century. Polyhedron, multi-dialed stone

sundial, on cubic sundial pedestal and octagonal base; cupped

dials on 4 faces of polyhedron and small dials for places

such as Cairo, Jerusalem and Philadelphia.

Statement of Special Interest

Original keep close in form to Huntingtower, Perthshire and

Affleck Castle, Angus. After the Hepburn family it fell to

the Hays, and to Walter Wingate Gray, Glasgow merchant in the

later 19th century. In 1946, the Cistercian monks arrived,

residing at the Old Abbey while the new Sancta Maria Abbey

was built to the SW, and currently it serves as a Retreat.

The work of the late 19th century could possibly be by

Shiells and Thomson, who built the Baronial house of Linplum

nearby. The fine painted ceiling bears similar line drawing

to that at Sparrow Castle, Cockburnspath. Lodge and dovecot

listed separately. Lime tree avenue leading to Abbey. The Old

Abbey merits category A not only for its painted ceiling, but

also for the unusual incorporation of small windows in the

19th century design, a unique treatment of the revival style.

References

Bibliography

MacGibbon and Ross CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC vol 111, p393 and

vol V p477.

C McWilliam LOTHIAN (1978) pp369-70.

RCAHMS INVENTORY No 45.

Thomas Bonnar, watercolour of ceiling in Edinburgh

Architectural Association SKETCHBOOK 1875-6.

MR Apted PAINTED CEILINGS OF SCOTLAND Plates 55 and 56.

PROCEEDINGS of the Society of Antiquaries vol. xxxviii,

1903-4, p.151ff.

The Edinburgh Collection, Edinburgh University Library MSS,

RA No 9002.

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Printed: 18/11/2018 22:39