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This building is in the Dumfries And Galloway Council and the Dumfries Burgh. It is a category B building and was listed on 11/07/1961.

Group Items: N/A, Group Cat: N/A, Map Ref: NX 9709 7641.


Walter Newall, 1823. 2-storey, basement and attic, 5-bay Greek Revival villa with prominent central pedimented porch. Polished red sandstone ashlar tooled to basement. Raised banded base and band courses; deep cornice with stepped blocking course over. Moulded surrounds at ground and first floor windows, integrated with band courses with blind apron; those at ground floor with consoled cornice over. Central pedimented porch with fluted Doric columns, moulded entablature and dentilled cornice. Entrance platt oversailing basement recess to central doorway flanked by Doric pilasters with rectangular fanlight over.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: 2 storey with narrow attic storey, 3 bay with lower later brick addition to right (W). Coursed squared sandstone. Regular fenestration with canted bay to left (E) at ground floor.

Predominantly 12-pane in timber sash and case glazing with two light casement windows at attic windows to rear. Corniced sandstone gable head stacks with some clay cans. Grey slates to roof. Cast iron rainwater goods. Cast iron spearheaded railings edging basement recess to street.

INTERIOR: well-detailed Greek Revival interior with prominent double height domed central hall. Rectangular plan; central hall with principal accommodation at ground floor opening off. Rotunda at first floor providing access to principal rooms and attic stair. Some fine cornicing and plasterwork retained to principal rooms. Some alteration to principal rooms with later stud partitions. Continuous arcade of round timber arches to central drum at 1st floor. Dentilled cornice to domed cupola. 6-panel timber doors and shutters retained throughout.


Moat Brae is a fine example of the work of renowned local architect Walter Newall, in Greek Revival style. The building, which was originally designed to terminate a terrace, is well detailed with a particularly prominent Greek Doric portico. Internally the building has an innovative plan based around a double height circular central space with first floor arcade which is top lit by a domed cupola. The property is also associated with JM Barrie, author of Peter Pan who visited the house and garden during his boyhood. For its date and location Moat Brae is a well-detailed and refined villa. It is a characteristic example of a Classically detailed villas in a provincial location for its date, with other listed examples in Haddington, Montrose, Cupar and Campbeltown. Moat Brae is a good example of the genre in the Dumfriesshire context. The use of Greek detailing is relatively early in the Greek Revival period, but is confined to front elevation as the building was originally designed as part of a terrace. The building is set in what was once a key location and formed part of the fashionable early 19th century expansion of Dumfries. The broader context of the development of a grand suburb is partially retained, but the original garden which belonged to the house has been eroded over time. Moat Brae is one of a handful of villas by Newall applying the formula of a cupola'd hall, among the crème de la crème for the region at the time and exhibiting strong regional interest. Newall favoured such cupolas and his design for Hannayfield (now Ladyfield West, see separate listing) featured in Loudon's Encyclopedia of Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture, shows a similar, if later example. The historical association with Peter Pan lies with J M Barrie's frequent visits to the garden and his Dumfries Academy friend, Stuart Gordon between 1873 and 1878. Barrie was a pupil at the nearby Dumfries Academy between 1873 and 1878 where he befriended fellow pupils Stuart and Hal Gordon whose family home was Moat Brae. Barrie spent much of his time out of school playing games with the Gordon's in the garden of Moat Brae and it was the nature of the tree-climbing and swash-buckling tales which they enjoyed there, which, as reported by Barrie in 1924 when receiving the Freedom of the Burgh, inspired his later work. Barrie's time at Moat Brae were said to inspire a key element in the wider story of Peter Pan. Barrie lived in the adjoining Irving Street, then Victoria Terrace. However, this is only a component of the conception of Peter Pan, later friendships in London giving further inspiration. Walter Newall was the leading and predominant architect in Dumfriesshire between about 1820 and 1860. Newall was confident in a number of styles from Greek revival to picturesque Gothic. His early work is characterised by the use of the Greek revival style and his designs often incorporate Greek Doric columned arcades and porches. His use of Greek sources also continued in his approach to the interior design with Greek sources applied to decorative plasterwork. Despite working in a number of styles his approach to entrance spaces was often characterised by deep rectangular spaces top lit by cupolas. This can be seen at Moat Brae, Ladyfield West and Netherwood House (see separate listing) amongst others. His design for Hannayfield (now Ladyfield West) featured in Loudon's Encyclopedia of Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture, shows a similar, if later example. Newall is known to have made tours of both Italy and Germany, and the influence of Palladian villa architecture can be seen in his villa designs especially in the symmetrical forms of the elevations for Ladywood West. List description updated 2011. Statutory address updated from 61 George Street, Moat Brae, Including Gatepiers (2014).


Drawings by Walter Newall at Dumfries Archive. Shown on 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map town plan (1850). William Blackwood, Cases decided in the House of Lords on Appeal from the Courts of Scotland, Volume IV, Edinburgh (1830); J C Loudon, Encyclopedia of Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture, (1846). James Urquhart, In the Peter Pan Garden, (1974). Howard Colvin, A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, (1978), p 588. Aonghus Mackechnie, Walter Newall, Architect in Dumfries, Welcome News for Friends of Scottish Monuments, (1987). John Gifford, Buildings of Scotland: Dumfries and Galloway (1996), p274. Stephen Jackson and Marion Stewart, Walter Newall of Dumfries, Journal of the Regional Furniture Society, Vol XIV (2002). Francis Ryan, The Man Who Created Moat Brae House in Dumfries, Dumfries Standard (December 2009). Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk (accessed 2.8.11) Further information courtesy of Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust (2011).

© 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).