Fasque House

Country House (19th Century)

Site Name Fasque House

Classification Country House (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Fasque House Estate; Fasque House Policies

Canmore ID 36103

Site Number NO67NW 5

NGR NO 64830 75525

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Fettercairn
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Kincardine And Deeside
  • Former County Kincardineshire

Archaeology Notes

NO67NW 5.00 64830 75525

NO67NW 5.01 NO 6483 7516 Walled garden

NO67NW 5.02 NO 64682 75767 Stable Block

NO67NW 5.03 NO 6464 7590 Farmstead (Home Farm)

NO67NW 5.04 NO 6417 7541 Lodge( North Lodge

NO67NW 5.05 NO 6475 7552 Country House (Old House of Fasque)

NO67NW 5.06 NO 64833 75081 Cottage (Garden House)

NO67NW 5.07 NO 64391 75153 Folly

NO67NW 5.08 NO 64739 75891 Bothy; Cottage

NO67NW 5.09 NO 64567 74655 Lake (Ornamental lake)

Other associated sites

NO 65020 75549 Church (St Andrew's Episcopal Church)

NO 6516 7517 Cottage (Avenue Cottage)

NO 6538 7529 Farmstead (Old Mains)

NO 6432 7437 Lodge (West Lodge)

NO 65291 74744 Manse (Fasque Parsonage)

NO 6514 7431 Lodge (South Lodge)

NO 6531 7478 Farmstead (Mains of Fasque)

Air photographs: AAS/94/08/G18/12-15.

NMRS, MS/712/21.

Architecture Notes

NO67NW 5.00 64830 75525

NMRS REFERENCE:

Fasque House.

Owner: Sir A.C. Gladstone of Fasque.

Architect: Walker and Duncan 1936/37 - prop. renovations.

NMRS Plans:

F.A.M. MacDonald collection.

Walker and Duncan 1936/37 - 2 sheets plans of prop. renovations.

EXTERNAL REFERENCE:

Scottish Record Office.

Painting of the house. Thomas Fenwick in a letter says it will make a good picture.

1845 GD88/1/98.

Fasque House is situated in SW Kincardineshire, about 1.75miles NNW of the village of Fettercairn, between Crichie Burn and Craigmoston Burn. The present mansion house replaces a much smaller 18th century house known as 'Faskie'. Fasque was built in 1808-9 at a cost of approximately £30,000 by Sir Thomas Ramsay of Balmain. The large castellated mansion sits in a prominent position within beautiful and extensive grounds. The house is approached by a long drive lined with mature trees, dating from an earlier planting scheme of the 1730s. The Fasque estate was purchased from the Ramsays by the Liverpool merchant, Mr John Gladstone (latterly Sir John Gladstone), in 1828. Soon after its purchase he added the stone portico and additional storey to the central octagonal tower. The central canted bay is flanked by two symmetrical wings with angled turrets. Internally, the most notable feature is the central hall stair which is an elegant, sweeping cantilevered structure lit by a large etched glass stair light and cupola. The house and its contents from the time of its ocupation by the Gladstone family has been immaculately well preserved. At the time of writing many of the rooms such as the study, Gladstone's library and the old kitchen, pantry, still room and laundry were laid out to present a unique insight into the daily life of a large Victorian mansion house (until recently the house was open to the public for this purpose). The extensive policies include the St Andrew's Episcopal Church, built by Sir John in 1871, a commodious home farm, stables, walled gardens and associated lodges and garden cottages. Visited by RCAHMS (DRE & EAL) September 2007.

Site Management (16 March 2010)

An important cast style country house which survives largely intact and retains an exceptionally fine and complete interior decorative scheme. Fasque House is sited within the finely landscaped Fasque Estate with the foothills of the Grampians rising behind and rolling parkland to the front.

Work to replace an earlier house, which was sited just to the west of today's Fasque House, started in 1809. Sir Alexander Ramsay of Balmain, who was a great `improver', had previously called in William Adam to remodel the old Fasque House, and the unexecuted plan and elevation are illustrated in Vitruvius Scoticus. Sir Alexander Burnet, second son of Sir Thomas Burnet of Leys, inherited the estate in 1806 but died in 1810 soon after work on the house which we see today had begun. His son, also Sir Alexander, completed the project which is said to have cost £30,000. A print, which was held at Fasque in 1979, drawn by J S Paterson a drawing master from Montrose and published in 1824 shows the front elevation before the top storey was added to the centre bay.

The Estate was sold in 1829 to John Gladstone, who is known as the founder of the family fortunes. John, who was created baronet in 1846, dropped the final `s' from the family name of `Gladstones'. Estate development continued under Sir John as well as alterations to the house which included adding the 4th storey to the centre bay and adding the porte cochère. These changes are stylistically attributed to John Henderson who designed St Andrew's Episcopal Church, sited just east of the house, in 1847. In 1851 Sir John was succeeded by his eldest son Sir Thomas. William, the younger brother, who was four times Prime Minister, was a regular visitor to Fasque.

The design of Fasque House is attributed to John Paterson on stylistic grounds. Paterson, the son of an experienced architect and builder, had a successful country house practice in Scotland and the north of England. Paterson had been appointed as clerk of works by the Adam Brothers on a number of sites, and after their deaths he 'became a leading exponent of the castle style they had pioneered' and 'assimilated the characteristic principles of the Adam style, becoming the main practitioner in the Adam Castle idiom in the early 19th century, with a flair for designing elegant interiors, particularly oval and circular rooms, reminiscent of his master' (Sanderson). These design characteristics are seen in the elegant staircase at Fasque which is presumably modelled on Robert Adam's imperial staircase at Home House (circa 1775) in London. Externally, the principal facade of Fasque is very similar to Eglinton Castle, Aysrhire where John Paterson was working in 1797. However, an unexecuted design for the south front of Eglinton Castle by John Baxter and dated 1775 also displays the characteristic centre bay detail of Fasque.

Binney also notes the use of a typically Aberdeen characteristic at Fasque. The oval panels on the drawing room shutters may, he suggests, indicate the hand of a northern architect, perhaps John Smith. However, a full list of Smith's works does not mention Fasque House, and the detail may be the work of an Aberdeen joiner.(Historic Scotland)

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