Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Publication Account

Date 1985

Event ID 1016177

Category Descriptive Accounts

Type Publication Account


The present imposing and well-grouped buildings appear at the same time both solidly four-square and flamboyantly embattled! W H Playfair (1789-1857) began his remodelling in 1838 for the sixth Duke of Roxburghe; he was also engaged in restoring Heriot's Hospital at the time, and building the new Donaldson's Hospital-both of them in Edinburgh and both of them an influence on Floors. He started with the east Pavilion or stables, continued with the west Pavilion in 1841, and completed the main block about 1849. Hood-moulds were added above all the windows; corbelling, castellated parapets and ornate water-spouts to the wall-heads; and pepper-pot turrets to the corners of the towers. He built further turrets in the re-entrant angles (the inward-looking angles made by two adjoining walls); and, at the north-west front entrance, the porch admitted a carriage below it-a porte-cochere. Bay windows within the angles either side helped break up the solid mass of masonry.

This wealth of architectural detail quite transformed the plain Georgian mansion designed for the first duke in 1718-a design that may have been added to by the time of its completion in 1721 by William Adam. This earlier house consisted of a rectangular main block with a tower at each corner, two pavilions and a forecourt.

Playfair's house is much more in tune with the site, however-a superb location on a terrace overlooking the Tweed and the remains ofRoxburgh Castle. Far beyond lie the Cheviots.

Information from 'Exploring Scotland's Heritage: Lothian and Borders', (1985).

People and Organisations