Listed Building

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

ARNISTON POLICIES, GROTTOLB811

Status: Designated

Documents

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Summary

Category
A
Date Added
22/01/1971
Local Authority
Midlothian
Planning Authority
Midlothian
Parish
Borthwick
NGR
NT 32399 59186
Coordinates
332399, 659186

Description

Mid 18th century. Asymmetrical, rustic grotto set into hillside. Randomly arranged unhewn stones. Round arches with rusticated dressings.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: asymmetrical, 4 bay; arched recess to penultimate bay to left surmounted by carved stone panel; niche to centre with carved panel above dated "1644" reading "QUID SIS QUID FUER IS SEMPER MEDITERUS OMNEM CREDE DIE TIBI DILUXISSE SUPREMUM"; niche seats to left and right walls. Small niches to outer left and right with decorative nailhead keystones and imposts. Barrel vaulted tunnel to penultimate bay to right leading to N. Wall rises above hillside to form parapet.

N ELEVATION: droved coursed sandstone archway with open pediment enclosing carved panel, reading "HELITEBINE DULCES ETIAM SI CREDIS AMOENAE".

Statement of Special Interest

The exact date of the Grotto is unclear. T Buxbaum suggests it was designed by William Adam at the same time as the house, but there appears to be no documentary evidence to support this. It seems more likely that it was built later in the century when Arniston grounds were informalised. It is thought that the carved stones and panels on the Grotto originated on Old Arniston House, some of which is incorporated into the present building (see separate listing). It has also been suggested that some of the stones could have belonged on Parliament House, Edinburgh, which was re faced by Robert Reid in 1803. Lord Chief Baron Robert Dundas (1758-1819) brought cartloads of the architectural fragments from Parliament house, were they "were treated as mere rubbish" (Arniston Memoirs p297), to Arniston where they were incorporated into picturesque structures in the walled and sunken gardens (see separate listings). Other fragments were acquired by famous writer and antiquarian Walter Scott for his house at Abbotsford.

References

Bibliography

1st (1852) and 2nd (1892) Edition OS Maps; AN INVENTORY OF GARDENS AND DESIGNED LANDSCAPES IN SCOTLAND, VOL 5: LOTHIAN AND BORDERS, (1986), p13; T Buxbaum, SCOTTISH GARDEN BUILDINGS, (1989), p145; J Thomas, MIDLOTHIAN: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE, (RIAS), (1995), p98; ARNISTON HOUSE GUIDE BOOKS; S Cooper, AN INVENTORY OF ORNAMENTAL GARDEN BUILDINGS IN SCOTLAND, (1996), Vol. 2..

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 www.historicenvironment.scot. 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.

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Printed: 17/11/2018 13:28