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Pitfour House Estate, Temple Of Theseus

Folly (19th Century)

Site Name Pitfour House Estate, Temple Of Theseus

Classification Folly (19th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Pitfour House Estate; Pitfour House Policies; Bath House

Canmore ID 80774

Site Number NJ94NE 72

NGR NJ 97472 48693

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Aberdeenshire
  • Parish Old Deer
  • Former Region Grampian
  • Former District Banff And Buchan
  • Former County Aberdeenshire

Archaeology Notes

NJ94NE 72 97472 48693

Temple of Theseus [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1991.

(Ornamental) Temple of Theseus, built in ground of Pitfour House (NJ94NE 67.00) beside the lake.

NMRS, MS/712/6.

Temple and designed landscape. Air photograph: AAS/97/13/CT.

NMRS, MS/712/29.

Site Management (8 September 1992)

Small Greek Docic Hexastyle temple with 34 granite- column peristyle; wood entabuature; very finely detailed. Interior contains cold bath. Roof dilapidated and parts of cornice missing.

Wilson Smith credits the building of the temple James Ferguson 'the member' c. 1809-20; but the N.S.A. v. 12 p 141 describes it as 'lately erected'. Although the house was demolished in 1927-30 and the grounds have suffered much from timber felling, the Lake and its surrounding buildings still have great landscape and architectural value.

The buildings are probably all the work of John Smith who is credited with the house (reconstructed c 1809; fire damaged 1820, reinstated with further additions 1821-2) in the A.P.S.D. and his Aberdeen Journal Obituary. (Historic Scotland)

The Blenheim of Buchan. One of the great estates of north-east Scotland, first built by the eccentric Ferguson family in the early 18th century. The house, extended probably by John Smith circa 1809, and subsequently, was demolished in 1927. Much survives of the estate, mainly because the Ferguson's spared little expense...The Temple of Theseus, a six bay Greek Doric Temple, enclosed within 36 columns, with a wooden entablature above, contained a cold bath (and so it is said, Admiral Ferguson's alligators ) within. (C.McKean)


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