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LETTERFOURIE HOUSE AND FOUNTAINS (Ref:15541)

This building is in the Moray Council and the Rathven Parish. It is a category A building and was listed on 22/02/1972.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NJ 446 623.

Description

Robert Adam, dated 1773. Tall centre 3-storey cube joined to mirrored 2-storey outer wings by 3-bay linking blocks, the mansion set on raised basement fully displayed as lower ground floor at S garden front. Pink tooled pinned granite centre block, harl pointed rubble elsewhere, tooled and polished contrasting sandstone dressings. N FRONT: N entrance front with outer mirrored wings set at right angles to form shallow U-plan court. Centre entrance with shallow portico supported by 2 Corinthian columns approached by shallow flight of steps oversailing raised basement. 3 console corniced windows with balustraded aprons in 1st floor, smaller upper windows. Outer wings each with single ground floor tripartite; each set-back 3-bay linking block with advanced and pedimented centre bay, at right with doorway. Raised basement screened by continuous spearhead railings with urn finials to stiffeners. S GARDEN FRONT: 5-window centre block with centre entrance to basement and small flanking lights; blind window in centre of upper storey with dated keystone. Outer wings fronted E and W by centre 2-storey, single bay projecting wing with piended roof, at W with entrance to former chapel in lower ground floor. Chapel has round-headed windows with intersecting astragals. Decorative glazing to fanlights; 9- and 12-pane glazing; coped end, wallhead and ridge stacks (single leaded dummy ridge stack at E for symmetry). Centre cube with blocking course and piended slate roof with centre ridge weathervane; gabled slate roofs elsewhere. INTERIOR: entrance hall from which rises full-height cantilevered flight of stairs. Ground floor parlour and dining room. DINING ROOM: white marble chimneypiece; steel basket grate by James Fraser, Banff; plaster ceiling and cornice; dado rail; mahogany raised and fielded panelled doors and window shutters; double doors to parlour. 1ST FLOOR DRAWING ROOM: room leads from spacious landing; yellow and white marble chimneypiece; steel basket grate with incised decoration, also by James Fraser, Banff (signed); mahogany dado rail, raised and fielded panelled doors and window shutters; decorative painted (green and white) plaster ceiling; richly coloured hand painted wallpaper with birds and flowers. LIBRARY: modern shelving; re-used marble chimneypiece. CHAPEL: groined plaster vaulted chancel flanked by engaged pilasters. No fittings survive. FOUNTAINS: shaped watergarden in front of S elevation; with 2 fountains of earlier-mid 19th century date. Both stand on square plinths, their wide bowls with scalloped lips supported by shaped baluster stems; the fountain furthest from house has shaped central stem with diminishing basins.

Notes

Mansion built by 2 bachelor brothers (Gordon) who made their money in Madeira in the wine trade. They sent home Spanish mahogany which is in use in the principal public rooms. Fine steel basket grates by James Fraser, Banff with unusual features, the principal being the dummy decorated fronts which pull away from the fire in order not to overheat and soil. The Gordons were a staunchy Roman Catholic family and built their mansion at a time when public worship was proscribed for Catholics. Above the chapel (no longer in use as such) there was accommodation for a resident priest who also acted as tutor to the children of later heirs. Garden fountains appear on 1st ed. OS, circa 1870 S garden front basement may have been originally masked by raised bank, lowered after re-design of garden and installation of fountains.

References

THE STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1792-3, Witherington and Grant ed. 1982), p.363. NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT (1842), p.255. Howard Colvin, BIOGRAPHICAL DICTIONARY OF BRITISH ARCHITECTS 1600-1840 (1978), p.54. National Monuments Record of Scotland, Edinburgh and Soane Museum, London. Further information by courtesy the present owners.

© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: hs.listing@scotland.gsi.gov.uk. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.

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Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance. All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

ACategory A

Buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. (Approximately 8% of the total).

BCategory B

Buildings of regional or more than local importance, or major examples of some particular period, style or building type which may have been altered. (Approximately 51% of the total).

C(S)Category C(S)

Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style, or building type, as originally constructed or moderately altered; and simple traditional buildings which group well with others in categories A and B. (Approximately 41% of the total).