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Rossie Priory

Country House (19th Century)

Site Name Rossie Priory

Classification Country House (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Rossie Priory Estate; Rossie Priory Policies

Canmore ID 30646

Site Number NO23SE 38

NGR NO 28521 30807

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Inchture
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Sir Basil Spence

Building Notes

In 1948 Basil Spence & Partners were commissioned to restore and alter Rossie Priory, an early 19th century Gothic Revival house in Perthshire. The architect William Atkinson had built the house as a replacement for the 8th Lord of Kinnaird's existing seat, Drimmie House. Originally Rossie was built on a vast scale appropriate to its monastic title, but like many country houses after the Second World War, the vast building was deemed too impractical to manage and maintain. Charles Brand of Dundee, a firm who were responsible for the demolition of at least 56 Scottish country houses at this time, pulled down the greater part of the existing mansion in 1949. The remaining two-storey west wing and chapel were restored and modernised by Spence's practice. As well as making good the existing building and stonework, they instigated changes to the internal layout of the property and to its exterior elevations. In 1953, David Rock, working in Spence's London office, designed a porch for the house.

Archive Details

Plans of the house and its surrounding grounds in the Sir Basil Spence Archive show the outline of the demolished building depicted in red. These not only show the drastic reductions that took place but also show that the foundations were to be covered with a terraced garden. Elevations show that the majority of the work carried out was to the south façade where a large bay window was added in order to 'banish gothic gloom'. The existing irregular roofline and dormer window were abandoned in favour of a level parapet and regular fenestration.

The practice's work at the property included the further demolition of an existing servants accommodation block, which was located on the far east of the remaining house and was replaced by a new servants' court.

Archive Summary

The Sir Basil Spence Archive holds no manuscript material for this project and no photographs. There are 65 drawings, which include plans, sections and elevations along with numerous structural details and designed features. These include layout of the chapel floor paving and the practice's designs for radiator niches.

The Spence, Glover and Ferguson Collection, also held by RCAHMS, holds a further 36 drawings of the Rossie Priory project. These are mainly mechanical copies of the originals held in the Sir Basil Spence Archive.

This text was written as one of the outputs of the Sir Basil Spence Archive Project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, 2005-08.

Archaeology Notes

NO23SE 38.00 28521 30807

NO23SE 38.01 28488 30796 Chapel

NO23SE 38.02 28107 30593 Walled Garden

NO23SE 38.03 28199 30679 Garden

NO23SE 38.04 28447 30800 Stables

NO23SE 38.05 28521 30867 Kennels

NO23SE 38.06 28837 31354 Knapp Lodge

NO23SE 38.07 27278 31880 North Lodge

NO23SE 38.08 29308 31035 Old Rossie Lodge

NO23SE 38.09 28453 30716 Inchture, Lodge & Gates

See also:

NO23SE 5 2921 3072 Rossie Village (site) and Market Cross (Priory Stone)

NO23SE 65.00 2778 3172 The Knapp, Sawmill

NO23SE 65.01 2779 3169 The Knapp, Sawmill, Timber Seasoning Shed

NO23SE 65.02 2776 3170 The Knapp, Sawmill, Stable

NO23SE 66 2715 3204 East Newton Sawmill

Rossie Priory is a mansion begun in 1807; there is no monastic association.

I B Cowan and D E Easson 1976.

Architecture Notes

NO23SE 38.00 28521 30807


Main part of house demolished to ground floor and converted to terrace c. 1949


Scottish Record Office

House built for Thomas Oliphant (younger) of Rossie by the masons William and David Ballingall of Newburgh. Submission to the Laird of Orchil and Kilgraston concerning a dispute over the work, 1696.


Early Forcing House and Orchard House.

Printed plans are accompanied by a hand written estimate of #77 signed by James Kidd, 1862-1863.



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