Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset


Country House (18th Century)

Site Name Wardhouse

Classification Country House (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Gordonhall; Wardhouse Policies

Canmore ID 107675

Site Number NJ53SE 15

NGR NJ 56332 30714

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Kennethmont
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Gordon
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Wardhouse, (?) from 1757. Grand Palladian mansion, spectacularly sited and perhaps created to rival Haddo, which it

readily surpasses. Small datestone high on centre front states: (A)RTHUR'S SEAT BUILT IN THE YEAR 1757-17..., a reference to the instigator, Arthur Gordon, and to John Hardyng's verse on his map of c.1465 which describes King Arthur having held his court at 'Donydoure' (Dunnideer). This date has led to suggestions that John Douglas may have been the architect, although the building's form and energy suggest earlier, (?)John Adam, times. Locally pronounced Wardis, this is symmetrical about a stylish two-storey and full basement centre block with a pedimented centre raised above the wallhead, in a curious slatey ashlar. Grand central first-floor window with Gibbsian surround; staircase in

half-hexagon bow to rear; single-storey quadrants link to square, two-storey wings, the east one much extended. Restoration scheme, Acanthus Douglas Forrest, began 2005.

Taken from "Aberdeenshire: Donside and Strathbogie - An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Ian Shepherd, 2006. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NJ53SE 15.00 56332 30714

NJ53SE 15.01 56663 30779 Home Farm

For lodge (NJ 5665 2974) and railway bridge carrying drive (NJ 5667 2997), see NJ52NE 48 and NJ52NE 49 respectively.

For plantation banks at NJ 5626 3090 to NJ 5618 3115 and NJ 5650 3093 to NJ 5640 3121, see NJ53SE 80 and NJ53SE 81 respectively.

'(A)RTHUR'S SEAT BUILT IN THE YEAR 1757 AND 17(?)' - inscription. Symmetrical Palladian mansion with considerable additions to the E wing. The name Arthur's Seat refers to John Hardyng's verse on his map which describes King Arthur as having held his court at 'Donydoure' (Dunnideer).

Air photographs: AAS/86/04/S6/12 and AAS/94/02/G4/14-17.

[J M Bulloch Gordon MSS. noted].

NMRS, MS/712/21 and MS/712/54.

Architecture Notes


Dated 1757

Owner: Gordon - lives in Spain. House falling into ruins. (Source - Aberdeenshire 3rd Statistical Account pub.1960)

Gutted c. 1953

Site Management (22 March 1991)

Roofless Palladian mansion, symmetrically disposed and rising to 2 storeys with basement. The local pronunciation is 'Wardhus', with the house variously attributed to John Douglas or John Adam, though these attributions are disputed. The interior is now mostly lost. The centre block features a Venetian window to the piano nobile, surmounted by 2 windows and an oval panel. A raised pediment sits above. A small datestone reads "(A)RTHUR'S SEAT BUILT IN THE YEAR 1757 AND 17(?)" and refers to John Hardyng's verse on his map of c.1465 which describes King Arthur as having held court at 'Donydoure' (Dunnideer). A plain canted bay sits to the rear. The centre block is joined to 2 storey 2 bay wings by quadrant links. The east wing features later extensions. (Historic Scotland)


Photographic Survey (June 1963)

Photographic survey by the Scottish National Buildings Record in June 1963.

Standing Building Recording (26 June 2015)

A Level 1 standing building survey was carried out on 26 June 2015; the weather was clear and bright. All interior and exterior walls were recorded photographically and drawings compiled of all architectural features. At least two phases of construction were recorded. It is recommended that no further archaeological work is required during this current development.

Information from Alison Cameron, Cameron Archaeology, 2015


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions