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Cavers Carre

Country House (18th Century)

Site Name Cavers Carre

Classification Country House (18th Century)

Canmore ID 55413

Site Number NT52NE 5

NGR NT 55134 26848

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Bowden
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Ettrick And Lauderdale
  • Former County Roxburghshire

Archaeology Notes

NT52NE 5.00 55134 26848.

NT52NE 5.01 55161 26903 Dovecot

(Centre: NT 55142684) Cavers Carre (NAT)

OS 6" map (1924)

Cavers Carre. About 1775 the old house of Cavers Carre was partly pulled down to make way for a successor, and about 1800 this in its turn was extended and remodelled. As it stands today the mansion comprises a square main block, of sunk cellarage and two upper floors, which faces SE, on the NW it looks out on a kitchen court bounded by lower buildings. The main block is not earlier than the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, but the offices are somewhat older.

Entered from a low porch, the main block has central hall and staircase with the dinning-room and a passage on the SW balanced on the NE by the drawing-room and library. Above these rooms there are the nursery and a bathroom, two bedrooms, and a dressing-room. The wings provide additional accommodation and kitchen quarters. The masonry is of rubble with freestone dressings. The only outstanding feature is the series of carved, rounded pediments above five of the lower windows of the main block; these presumably came from the part of the building that was pulled down, and they probably date from the first quarter of the 18th century. Their details are as follows.

(A) The one on the left of the entrance bears a shield with mantling, and grotesque masks above and below. The shield is parted per pale and charged: Dexter, within a bordure checky, on a chevron three stars; sinister, a chevron between three ears of rye slipped. The initials S T K, for Sir Thomas Ker, and D A R, for Dame Agnes Riddell, flank the shield with the date 1634 below them.

(B) In the one on the right of the entrance the masks are omitted and the shield, which is parted per pale, is charged: Dexter, for Ker as in (A); sinister, a cross raguly between two stars in chief and one in base. The initials R C, for Robert Carre (Ker), and I M, for his first wife Jean Milne, flank the shield with the date 1718 below them.

(C) The pediment at the E end of the NE gable has masks as in A. The shield is parted per pale and charged: Dexter, for Ker as in (A); sinister, two stars in chief and a garb in base. The initials S A C, for Sir Andrew Carre, and D M W, for Dame Margaret Wauchope, flank the shield with the date 1652 below them.

(D) At the centre of the NE gable a single mask appears above the shield, which is parted per pale and charged for Ker and Riddell as in (A). The initials R C, for Robert Carre (supra) and H R for his second wife Helen Riddell, flank the shield with the date 1720 below them.

(E) The pediment at the NW end of the gable has masks above and below the shield which is parted per pale and charged: Dexter, within a bordure checky, a chevron, in dexter chief a crescent: sinsiter, within a bordure checky, a chevron. The initials J C, for John Carre or Ker of West Nisbet, and A C, for Agnes Carre, flank the shield with the date 1679 below them.

Carved stones have likewise been inserted as follows.

(F) Above the lintel of the lower S window in the SW gable. This stone bears a scroll with a shield at its centre, parted per pale and charged: Dexter, on a chevron, three stars, in dexter chief a star; sinister, on a bend three lozenges, in sinister chief a buckle. On either side of the shield are carved the names RALPH KER and MARIAN HALIBURTON and below it the date 1532.

(G) Above the two-light window in the SW wing. This is evidently part of a pediment and displays a thistle with a loop at the base containing a device resembling a plume of feathers. The initials R C are carved on each side of the top of the thistle.

(H) Between (G) and the gable of the main block immediately below the eaves. This is a later 16th-century panel with an enriched margin, but whatever device the panel once bore is now illegible.

DOVECOT. On the NNW of the house there stands a large, oblong dovecot with crow-stepped gables. It probably dates from the early 18th century, and is still in use.

RCAHMS 1956, visited 1946

This residence, as described above, has been restored and has no outstanding architectural features. The dovecot, situated to the NE, not NNW, of the house, has a date-stone, not in situ, inscribed '1532' built into the SE face.

Visited by OS (EGC) 18 February 1961


Sbc Note

Visibility: This is an upstanding building.

Information from Scottish Borders Council.


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