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Eyemouth, Gunsgreen House

Country House (Period Unassigned), Coin(S)

Site Name Eyemouth, Gunsgreen House

Classification Country House (Period Unassigned), Coin(S)

Alternative Name(s) Eyemouth Golf And Borders Sailing Club; Gunsgreen House

Canmore ID 60250

Site Number NT96SW 59

NGR NT 94745 64368

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/60250

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Scottish Borders, The
  • Parish Ayton
  • Former Region Borders
  • Former District Berwickshire
  • Former County Berwickshire

Archaeology Notes

NT96SW 59.00 94745 64368

NT96SW 59.01 NT 94751 64294 Dovecot

NT96SW 59.02 NT 94704 64307 Gate Piers and Gates

NT 9474 6436 A comprehensive analytical and drawn record of the interiors of the three principal floors of this Category A-Listed classical mansion house by the Adam brothers, built c 1753-4, was undertaken during October to December 2006. Our understanding of the original arrangement and subsequent development of the interior space has been greatly refined. The work was undertaken in consultation with Allan Swan and Dr Alistair Rowan. The principal features of interest and discoveries include:

The reconstruction in two rooms of former box-bed arrangements, and the interior arrangements of many of the rooms. It was realised that manuscript plans by James Adam very accurately represented the building as first completed, but that this scheme changed in many respects only shortly thereafter.

A very extensive sequence of some 100 or more early wallpapers, revealed behind later linings. Many of these are of 18th-century date; some relate to a Regency period refurbishment.

The better understanding of a suite of concealed areas associated with smuggling activities of the early owners, the Nisbet family. These include voids within blocked window ingos accessed by removal sections of panelling and containing a hoist mechanism; a concealed hatch leading to a large sub-floor/intra-mural cavity; and a timber-formed and zinc-lined chute running through three floors, constructed for the concealment of illicit tea. Early paper backing to the zinc lining preserves a sequence of hand-painted Chinese characters; the lining of the shaft evidently reused linings from Chinese tea chests.

Stratigraphically it seems that these features were installed very shortly after the completion of the main construction works to the house - perhaps by trusted locals rather than the larger general team.

Further augmentation of the present record will be undertaken as conservation work progresses. It is hoped that the numerous historic wallpapers will be systematically sampled.

Archive lodged with NMRS.

Sponsor: Gunsgreen House Trust.

T Addyman 2006.

Architecture Notes

(NT 9474 6436) Gunsgreen House - mid-18th century; said to have been built by a wealthy smuggler, probably in 1764 when the estate of Gunsgreen was purchased by Patrick Home of Billie. Imposing classical facade towards harbour in roughly carved stone patched with cement, ground floor in heavily rusticated ashlar. Three storeys and a basement.

Scottish Development Department (SDD) undated; New Statistical Account (NSA) 1845; A Thomson 1908.

NMRS REFERENCE:

Owner: Eyemouth Golf Club and Border Sailing Club

Architect: James Adam c. 1735 (?Robert Adam)

Activities

Photographic Survey (1956)

Photographic survey of buildings in Eyemouth, Berwickshire, by the Scottish National Buildings Record in 1956.

Standing Building Recording (October 2006 - December 2006)

NT 9474 6436 A comprehensive analytical and drawn record of the interiors of the three principal floors of this Category A-Listed classical mansion house by the Adam brothers, built c 1753-4, was undertaken during October to December 2006. Our understanding of the original arrangement and subsequent development of the interior space has been greatly refined. The work was undertaken in consultation with Allan Swan and Dr Alistair Rowan. The principal features of interest and discoveries include:

The reconstruction in two rooms of former box-bed arrangements, and the interior arrangements of many of the rooms. It was realised that manuscript plans by James Adam very accurately represented the building as first completed, but that this scheme changed in many respects only shortly thereafter.

A very extensive sequence of some 100 or more early wallpapers, revealed behind later linings. Many of these are of 18th-century date; some relate to a Regency period refurbishment.

The better understanding of a suite of concealed areas associated with smuggling activities of the early owners, the Nisbet family. These include voids within blocked window ingos accessed by removal sections of panelling and containing a hoist mechanism; a concealed hatch leading to a large sub-floor/intra-mural cavity; and a timber-formed and zinc-lined chute running through three floors, constructed for the concealment of illicit tea. Early paper backing to the zinc lining preserves a sequence of hand-painted Chinese characters; the lining of the shaft evidently reused linings from Chinese tea chests.

Stratigraphically it seems that these features were installed very shortly after the completion of the main construction works to the house - perhaps by trusted locals rather than the larger general team.

Further augmentation of the present record will be undertaken as conservation work progresses. It is hoped that the numerous historic wallpapers will be systematically sampled.

Archive lodged with NMRS.

Sponsor: Gunsgreen House Trust.

T Addyman 2006

Standing Building Recording (September 2007 - December 2007)

NT 9474 6436 Monitoring of on-going building works, with upgrading of previous analytical and drawn record of the interiors of this classical mansion house of c1753–4 (see DES 2006) was undertaken between September and December 2007.

Allyson McDermott undertook comprehensive sampling of historic wallpapers and Colin Mitchell-Rose carried out paint analysis, revealing extensive evidence of interior decorative schemes. The entrance hall walls were revealed to have been surfaced with plaster ruled out to suggest ashlarwork, painted stone colour with the joints picked out in a slightly darker tone; this contrasted notably with the intense turquoise/blue of the

surrounding woodwork.

Further concealed areas were identified on the stairwell and at the wall heads in the loft space. The latter consisted of a small compartment lined with sections of Chinese tea chest that retained hand-painted Chinese characters on decoratively printed paper coverings. Miscellaneous items found beneath floorboards included a pair of 18th-century breeks and two coins of George II.

A small brick-vaulted, masonry-walled chamber was exposed during groundworks; this had been cut into the steep slope just to the NE of the house, possibly a wellhead.

Archive deposited with RCAHMS.

Funder: Gunsgreen House Trust.

Sbc Note

Visibility: This is an upstanding building.

Information from Scottish Borders Council.

References

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