Estate houses in Scotland
Estate houses in Scotland, also known as Scottish country houses, are large houses usually built on landed estates in Scotland, from the sixteenth century, after defensive Scottish castles began to be replaced by more comfortable residences built for royalty, nobility and local lairds. The origins of Scottish estate houses are in the extensive building and rebuilding of royal residences, beginning with Linlithgow, under the influence of Renaissance architecture. In the 1560s the unique Scottish style of the Scots baronial emerged, which combined features from Medieval castles, tower houses, peel towers with Renaissance plans in houses designed primarily for residence.
After the Restoration the work of architect Sir William Bruce introduced neo-classical architecture to Scotland in the shape of royal palaces and estate houses incorporating elements of the Palladian style. In the eighteenth century Scotland produced some of the most important British architects, including William Adam and his son Robert Adam, who rejected the Palladian style and built a series of estate houses that were based on classical and continental models. The incorporation of elements of Medieval architecture into estate houses by William Adam helped launch a revival of the Scots baronial in the nineteenth century, given popularity by its use at Walter Scott's Abbotsford House and Queen Victoria's retreat at Balmoral Castle. In the twentieth century the building of estate houses declined with the influence of the aristocracy and many were taken over by the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland.
The origins of private estate houses in Scotland are in the extensive building and rebuilding of royal palaces that probably began under James III, accelerated under James IV, reaching its peak under James V. These works have been seen as directly reflecting the influence of Renaissance styles. Linlithgow was first constructed under James I, under the direction of master of work John de Waltoun and was referred to as a palace, apparently the first use of this term in the country, from 1429. This was extended under James III and began to correspond to a fashionable quadrangular, corner-towered Italian signorial palace of a palatium ad moden castri (a castle-style palace), combining classical symmetry with neo-chivalric imagery. There is evidence of Italian masons working for James IV, in whose reign Linlithgow was completed and other palaces were rebuilt with Italianate proportions. James V encountered the French version of Renaissance building while visiting for his marriage to Madeleine of Valois in 1536 and his second marriage to Mary of Guise may have resulted in longer term connections and influences. Work from his reign largely disregarded the insular style adopted in England under Henry VIII and adopted forms that were recognisably European. This was followed by re-buildings at Holyrood, Falkland, Stirling and Edinburgh, described as "some of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Britain".
Much of this work was planned and financed by James Hamilton of Finnart (c. 1495–1540), in addition to his work at Blackness Castle, Rothesay Castle, the house at Crawfordjohn, the "New Inn" in the St Andrews Cathedral Priory and the lodging at Balmerino Abbey for the ailing Queen Madeleine. Rather than slavishly copying continental forms, most Scottish architecture incorporated elements of these styles into traditional local patterns, adapting them to Scottish idioms and materials (particularly stone and harl). Work undertaken for James VI demonstrated continued Renaissance influences, with the Chapel Royal at Stirling having a classical entrance built in 1594 and the North Wing of Linlithgow, built in 1618, using classical pediments. Similar themes can be seen in the private houses of aristocrats, as in Mar's Wark, Stirling (c. 1570) and Crichton Castle, built for the Earl of Bothwell in 1580s.
Scots baronial 
The unique style of great private houses in Scotland, later known as Scots baronial, has been located in origin to the period of the 1560s. It kept many of the features of the high walled Medieval castles that had been largely made obsolete by gunpowder weapons and may have been influenced by the French masons brought to Scotland to work on royal palaces. It drew on the tower houses and peel towers, which had been built in hundreds by local lords since the fourteenth century, particularly in the borders. These abandoned defensible curtain walls for a fortified refuge, designed to outlast a raid, rather than a sustained siege. They were usually of three stories, typically crowned with a parapet, projecting on corbels, continuing into circular bartizans at each corner. The new houses built from the late sixteenth century by nobles and lairds were primarily built for comfort, not for defence. They retained many of these external features which had become associated with nobility, but with a larger ground plan. This was classically a "Z-plan" of a rectangular block with towers, as at Colliston Castle (1583) and Claypotts Castle (1569–88).
Scottish Renaissance painted ceilings and walls developed in this period, with large numbers of private houses of burgesses, lairds and lords gaining often highly detailed and coloured patterns and scenes, of which over a hundred examples survive. These include the ceiling at Prestongrange, undertaken in 1581 for Mark Kerr, Commendator of Newbattle and the long gallery at Pinkie House, painted for Alexander Seaton, Earl of Dunfermline in 1621. These were undertaken by unnamed Scottish artists using continental pattern books that often led to the incorporation of humanist moral and philosophical symbolism, with elements that call on heraldry, piety, classical myths and allegory.
Particularly influential was the work of William Wallace, the king's master mason from 1617 until his death in 1631. He worked on the rebuilding of the collapsed North Range of Linlithgow from 1618, Winton House for George Seton, 3rd Earl of Winton and began work on Heriot's Hospital, Edinburgh. He adopted a distinctive style that applied elements of Scottish fortification and Flemish influences to a Renaissance plan like that used at Château d'Ancy-le-Franc. This style can be seen in lords houses built at Caerlaverlock (1620), Moray House, Edinburgh (1628) and Drumlanrig Castle (1675–89), and was highly influential until the baronial style gave way to the grander English forms associated with Inigo Jones in the later seventeenth century.
During the turbulent era of Civil Wars and the English occupation of Scotland, significant building in Scotland was largely confined to military architecture. After the Restoration in 1660, large scale building began again, often incorporating more comprehensive ideas of reviving classicism. Sir William Bruce (1630–1710), considered "the effective founder of classical architecture in Scotland", was the key figure in introducing the Palladian style into Scotland, following the principles of the Venetian architect Andrea Palladio (1508–80). Palladio's ideas were strongly based on the symmetry, perspective and values of the formal classical temple architecture of the Ancient Greeks and Romans, and associated in England with the designs of Inigo Jones. Bruce popularised a style of country house amongst the nobility that encouraging the move towards a more continental, leisure-oriented architecture. He built and remodelled country houses, including Thirlestane Castle and Prestonfield House. Among his most significant work was his own Palladian mansion at Kinross, built on the Loch Leven estate which he had purchased in 1675. As the Surveyor and Overseer of the Royal Works he undertook the rebuilding of the Royal Palace of Holyroodhouse in the 1670s, which gave the palace its present appearance. After the death of Charles II, Bruce lost political favour, and later, following the Glorious Revolution, he was imprisoned more than once as a suspected Jacobite. These houses were predominantly built using well-cut ashlar masonry on the façades, while rubble stonework was used only for internal walls.
James Smith worked as a mason on the Bruce's rebuilding of Holyrood Palace. In 1683 he was appointed to be Surveyor and Overseer of the Royal Works, and was responsible for maintenance of Holyrood Palace. With his father-in-law, the master mason Robert Mylne, Smith worked on Caroline Park in Edinburgh (1685), and Drumlanrig Castle (1680s). Smith's country houses followed the pattern established by William Bruce, with hipped roofs and pedimented fronts, in a plain but handsome Palladian style. Hamilton Palace (1695) was fronted by giant Corinthian columns, and a pedimented entrance, although was otherwise restrained. Dalkeith Palace (1702–10) was modelled after William of Orange's palace at Het Loo in the Netherlands).
Eighteenth century 
After the Act of Union of 1707, growing prosperity in Scotland led to a spate of new building. Scotland produced some of the most significant architects of this era, including: Colen Campbell (1676–1729), James Gibbs (1682–1754) and William Adam (1689–1748), who all created work that to some degree looked to classical models. Campbell was influenced by the Palladian style and has been credited with founding Georgian architecture. Architectural historian Howard Colvin has speculated that he was associated with James Smith and that Campbell may even have been his pupil. He spent most of his career in Italy and England and developed a rivalry with fellow Scot James Gibbs. Gibbs trained in Rome and also practiced mainly in England. His architectural style did incorporate Palladian elements, as well as forms from Italian baroque and Inigo Jones, but was most strongly influenced by the interpretation of the Baroque by Sir Christopher Wren.
William Adam, was the foremost architect of his time in Scotland, designing and building numerous country houses and public buildings. Among his best known works are Hopetoun House near Edinburgh, and Duff House in Banff. His individual, exuberant, style was built on the Palladian style, but with Baroque details inspired by Vanbrugh and Continental architecture. After his death, his sons Robert and John took on the family business, which included lucrative work for the Board of Ordnance. Robert emerged as leader of the first phase of the neo-classical revival in England and Scotland from around 1760 until his death. He rejected the Palladian style as "ponderous" and "disgustful". However, he continued their tradition of drawing inspiration directly from classical antiquity, influenced by his four-year stay in Europe. An interior designer as well as an architect, with his brothers developing the Adam style, he influenced the development of architecture, not just in Britain, but in Western Europe, North America and in Russia, where his patterns were taken by Scottish architect Charles Cameron. Adam's main rival was William Chambers, another Scot, but born in Sweden. He did most of his work in London, with a small number of houses in Scotland. He was appointed architectural tutor to the Prince of Wales, later George III, and in 1766, with Robert Adam, as Architect to the King. More international in outlook than Adam, he combined Neoclassicism and Palladian conventions and his influence was mediated through his large number of pupils.
Baronial revival 
Some of the earliest evidence of a revival in Gothic architecture is from Scotland. Inveraray Castle, constructed from 1746 with design input from William Adam, displays the incorporation of turrets. These were largely conventional Palladian style houses that incorporated some external features of the Scots baronial style. Robert Adam's houses in this style include Mellerstain and Wedderburn in Berwickshire and Seton House in East Lothian, but it is most clearly seen at Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, remodelled by Adam from 1777.
Important for the adoption of the style in the early nineteenth century was Abbotsford House, the residence the novelist and poet, Sir Walter Scott. Re-built for him from 1816, it became a model for the modern revival of the baronial style. Common features borrowed from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century houses included battlemented gateways, crow-stepped gables, pointed turrets and machicolations. The style was popular across Scotland and was applied to many relatively modest dwellings by architects such as William Burn (1789–1870), David Bryce (1803–76), Edward Blore (1787–1879), Edward Calvert (c. 1847–1914) and Robert Stodart Lorimer (1864–1929). The publication of Robert Billings' Baronial and Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland (1848-52) provided a handbook for the style and the rebuilding of Balmoral Castle as a baronial palace and its adoption as a royal retreat from 1855-8 confirmed its popularity of the style. Estate house building boomed between about 1855 and the agricultural depression and Glasgow Bank crash of 1878. Construction was now dominated by patronage from nouveau riche industrialists. The decline of servant numbers, linked to the introduction of electricity, central heating and labour-saving devices such as the vacuum cleaner, also led to changes in the scale of building. Arts and crafts designs first featured in Philip Webb's gothic design at Arisaig (1863-4). It was pursed by William Lethaby at Melsetter House, Hoy (1898) for a Birmingham industrialist.
Twentieth century 
Estate house design declined in importance in the twentieth century. An exception was the work undertaken by John Kinross (1855-1955). Beginning with the reconstruction of Thurston House, Dunbar, from 1890, he undertook a series of major country house designs. The most important was Manderston House (1901-03), built for James Miller in the Adam style. Skibo Castle was rebuilt for industrialist Andrew Carnegie (1899-1903) by Ross and Macbeth. English architect C. H. B. Quennell designed a neo-Georgian mansion at Altmore (1912-14) for the owner of a Moscow department store. There was a lull in building after the First World War and social change undermined the construction of rural country houses. Isolated examples included the houses that combined modern and traditional elements, designed by Basil Spence and built at Broughton Place (1936) and Gribloch (1937-9). After World War Two a shortage of building materials further reduced the number of large luxury houses. Isolated examples included Logan House, designed by David Style in the 1950s. In the 1960s there was Basil Hughes's design at Snaigow for the earl of Cadogan and the remodelling of Gask House by Claude Phillimore. This period also saw considerable restoration of existing houses. A large number of Scottish estate houses are now owned and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland (founded 1931) and Historic Scotland (created as an agency in 1991) and are open to the public.
See also 
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