BENMORE BOTANIC GARDEN, BAYLEY BALFOUR MEMORIAL HUT, PUCK'S HUT (Ref:6437)
This building is in the Argyll And Bute Council and the
Dunoon And Kilmun Parish.
It is a category C building and was listed on 19/06/1992.
Group Items: See Notes,
Group Cat: B,
Map Ref: NS 14002 85682.
Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority
The Bayley Balfour Memorial hut was built in 1928 to commemorate the achievements of Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour. The hut is a unique building, the work of Robert Lorimer. Although it has lost its stone chimney and has been moved from its original location, the connection to Lorimer is significant.
Octagonal in plan, with a bell-cast shingle roof, multi-pane casement windows to 4 sides and a central glazed 2-leaf entrance door. The hut is built entirely of timber, with horizontal panelling to the sides. The interior is panelled with every type of timber grown on the Benmore estate. The figure of `Puck' on the roof is by Phyllis M Bone.
The hut was initially built on a site in Puck's Glen, on the the W-facing slope of Strath Eachaig, (the octagonal foundation survives). Original photographs show the hut with a substantial stone chimney. It was moved to its present location in the walled garden at Benmore in 1968 to avoid vandalism. It appears that the hut was altered slightly to allow for the more formal setting and the absence of the chimney, as originally there was no window to the right of the door. The chimney remained in Puck's Glen for a number of years before being demolished. A photograph taken in c1930 shows a rubble fireplace with an inscription to Bayley Balfour above.
Benmore Estate is perhaps best known as the setting for Benmore Botanic Garden, run by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The garden and designed landscape is notable for the collection of coniferous trees, planted by successive owners since c1820.
Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour was Regius Keeper of the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh from 1890 to 1922 and helped to establish the Botanic Gardens at Benmore. The sculptor Phyllis M Bone (1894-1972) specialised in animal carvings and at the same time as this commission was working with Lorimer on carvings for the Scottish National War Memorial.
B-group with Benmore House, Fernery, Steading, North Lodge and Gates, the Golden Gates, Walled garden and the cottages to the E of it.
Within Benmore-Younger Botanic Garden Designed Landscape.
Ordnance Survey 1st edition (c1863) and 2nd edition (c1898); Inglis' Guide to Dunoon and Environs (1883); Photograph c1930 in St.Andrew's University Library, Valentine Collection; Benmore Information Leaflet, c1960; Land Use Consultants, An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, Vol.2, 1987; Walker, F A and Sinclair, F, North Clyde Estuary: an Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992), 132; Walker, F A, Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute (2000), 144-6; Walker, F A, Argyll and The Islands: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (2003), 23-4.
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