Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

Croft Downie, excluding 20th century flat roof extension to the northwest and boathouse to the northeast, Craigton Point, North KessockLB8014

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NH 66684 48830
266684, 848830


A large two-storey house, dating from around 1820 to 1840, designed in the cottage ornée (ornamental cottage) style. It is constructed of red sandstone rubble with broached or polished ashlar dressings. The three-bay main (south) elevation has two Roman Doric columns that support a central projecting porch and an upper storey room. There are bipartite windows in the outer bays, with eaves raised over to give swept heads above the windows.

The east elevation has four bays, with bow windows to the outer bays of the ground floor. The west elevation has three bays with a canted window to the southwest.

There are deeply ribbed Tudor style hoodmoulds to all the window openings. The windows are timber double glazed units with applied diamond pane astragals). There are overhanging timber bargeboarded eaves. The roof is slate and there are corniced ridge chimney stacks, with stone copings to the roof ridges.

The interior was seen in 2017. The internal plan form has been significantly altered and there are few architectural features of note.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: the attached 20th century flat roofed extension to the northwest and the boathouse to the northeast.

Statement of Special Interest

Dating from the early 19th century, Croft Downie is a distinctive cottage ornée or ornamental cottage style house with a good amount of surviving exterior architectural detailing which is typical of the building type. The building retains its picturesque setting in its prominent position over the Moray Firth.

The building known as Croft Downie dates to the earlier part of the 19th century. It first appears as Craigton Cottage on the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed in 1872). It is described in the Ordnance Survey Name Book as being a 'fine two Storied Villa Slated and in excellent repair and has suitable offices attached it is situated on the property of [The] Right Hon. [Honourable] H. J. Ballie of Redcastle'.

The ornamental cottage or cottage ornée style became popular in Scotland in the first quarter of the 19th century. This rusticated style of cottage architecture stems from the 18th century Romantic period and is characterised by decoratively carved bargeboarding and ornamentation. The style was increasingly popularised following the publication of James Malton's Essay on British Cottage Architecture (1802) and John Papworth's Designs for Rural Residences (1818). It was a fashionable architectural style due to the growing interest of the middle-class in the picturesque and designs for a home with a rustic retreat appearance. The cottage ornée style was further popularised by J.C. Loudon in his Encyclopaedia on Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture (1846). Listed examples of the cottage ornée style can be seen predominantly on large estates in Scotland. Some examples of this style include the Gardener's Cottage on Drumlanrig Estate (cat A, LB17297); and Ladyholme Cottage designed for Coulter Mains House (cat C, LB1425). Croft Downie is unusually large and does not form part of a planned estate.

A number of houses in this architectural style survive from the early 19th century however the building type is relatively rare in the Highland region. Although the windows have been replaced, some chimneys removed, and the interior has been significantly altered, the building retains sufficient architectural interest in the external design and stonework, from the Doric-columned porch, to the hoodmoulds and canted bays. Croft Downie is a notable and unusually large example for its building type and date. This is described in more detail below.

There is an associated timber boathouse at the nearby shorefront, to the northeast of the house, which is also depicted on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. This boathouse is now in a ruinous condition and is not of special interest in listing terms.

Architectural or Historic Interest


The internal room layout, in particular the ground floor, has been extensively altered. There are few decorative features to the interior. There is no interest in listing terms under this heading.

Plan form

The plan form of the building is predominantly rectangular. The internal plan form has had most of its interior partitions removed to the ground floor. There is no interest in listing terms under this heading.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

A growing appreciation of the picturesque in the earlier 19th century was made manifest in the building of a rustic cottage. This was especially fashionable in the Regency period and was made popular by architects such as John Nash in England and James Gillespie Graham in Scotland.

Although later extended, Croft Downie is an unusually large example of house in the cottage ornée design and retains features which are typical of its style. The two-storey building's composition is asymmetrical and while it is two storeys is still low in appearance, designed to fit into the picturesque wooded landscape as its backdrop. Each elevation is varied with advanced and recessed sections and a variety of roof pitches and canted windows. The piended roof is shallow pitched and undulating, and this emphasises the low outline of the building, decorative bargeboarding, deep eaves and diamond paned windows are typical of the cottage ornée design. The central advanced and columned porch section that projects above the eaves is a distinctive and prominent feature of the house. All the windows were replaced around 2005 however the glazing pattern is still in keeping with the style of the house.

The 20th century flat roof addition to the rear (northwest) is of a standard type and has been excluded from the statutory address.


The building is in a secluded setting along a wooded slope in prominent position above the shore overlooking the Moray Firth and Inverness. The wooded setting is informal and the house would likely have been designed with this picturesque backdrop in mind.

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations.

Close Historical Associations

There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2017).

Statutory address, category of listing changed from B to C and listed building record revised in 2017. Previously listed as 'North Kessock, Croft Downie'.



Canmore: CANMORE ID 13397

Ordnance Survey. Ross and Cromarty Ross-shire Sheet C.12 (Combined) (Surveyed 1872, published1880). 1st Edition. 25 inch to the mile. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.

Ordnance Survey Name Books, (1848-52), Ross and Cromarty Mainland, Vol 17, p70. [Accessed through Scotland's Places at on 23/06/2017].

J. C. Louden, (1846). An Encyclopaedia of Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture, London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, [available at] [accessed on 23/06/2017]

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. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. 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.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


Croft Downie, North Kessock, southwest elevation, looking northeast, during daytime, on clear day with blue sky.
Croft Downie, North Kessock, principal elevation, looking northwest, during daytime, on clear day with blue sky.



Printed: 07/12/2023 19:14