MHG25218 - Balnagown Castle


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Type and Period (2)

  • CASTLE (Undated)
  • (Alternate Type) TOWER HOUSE (Undated)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Delete - relink to NH77NE0001
Created automatically by NMRS Register Utility
User: Admin, Date: Fri 10 Mar 2000

A late medieval L-plan tower, reconstructed in the 17th century, may conceivably by incorporated in the western portion of Balnagown Castle; the tower house is illustrated in the background of a 17th-century child portrait (National Galleries of Scotland 8814), but the existing mansion appears to be very largely of 19th century character. However, the detailed architectural history of Balnagown has yet to be fully investigated.
W MacGill 1909; G Stell 1986.
ARCHITECT: James Gillespie Graham? Large additions to older house c1856
1763-porch added to front of house

Payments in part "of the new building".
Payments made to wright, glazier and slater and to servants "attending the work" and for oxen and horses to transport materials and ropes "to draw the timber to the roof". They amount to ?1224.12.0 (Scots).
Factor's accounts and vouchers (Factor=Charles Ross of Eye).
1720-1721 GD129/Box30/112/1

Building work at Balnagown House.
Receipt for payment for joists.
1720 GD129/Box26/93

Proposed South Front for Balnagown House.
Letter from John Adam, Architect (1721-1792) to Captain Ross.
It accompanied the Elevation of the South Front. He described it as slightly more decorated than the North Front. Two Venetian windows have been introduced in the South end of the Diningroom and in the Lady's Dressing room. These alterations could easily be inserted on the original plan.
1762 GD128/Box7/7

Proposed building of Balnagown House.
Letter from John Adam, Architect (1721-1792) to Captain Ross.
The letter accompanied his Plans. The house is to have 4 storeys, the lowest of which is to be sunk and lit by areas. The ground floor will consist of Parlour, Dressingroom and offices. The Principal floor contains the rooms of entertainment and an apartment for the Mistress of the family. The house to be situated on the South Bowling Green and so have a fine view of the County.
1762 GD129/Box7/7

Approval of Plans for Balnagown House.
Letter from John Adam, Architect to Captain Ross.
He expresses pleasure that the plans have met with approval.
Capt. Ross would prefer to have kitchen and offices separate from the house and John Adam suggests putting these in Pavilions. He also proposes making good sleeping places out of the roof.
The House according to the Plans would cost about ?5000.
1762 GD129/Box7/7

John Adam
"The Plans of the House meet with your approval".
"You incline to have the kitchen & offices separate from the House"-"they can easily be put in pavilion".
"You may have good sleeping places out of the roof which will serve excellently for people you are not in great ceremony with".
Cost will be about ?5000.
1762 GD129

Letter from John Adam which accompanied plans with comment. Discusses situation, entry.
Jan 1762

Letter accompanying a plan and basements.
Jan 1762
Plans: 1) Underground storey.
2) Attic.
3) Ground.
4) Elevation towards North.
5) Elevation towards South.
6) Principal Floor.

Proposed front for the House of Balnagown.
Letter from John Adam, Architect to Captain Ross.
The letter accompanied a Front elevation. He writes that he has purposely endeavoured to avoid much ornament. The South Front "may be more gay" and he will send this soon.
1762 GD129/Box7/7

Proposed alterations to Balnagown House.
"The alterations made to the house is by this time sent you. Let everything be of the very besy materials as Lady Ross has the chief directions in it..."
Letter to Mr MacCulloch from Sir John Ross.
September 29th 1780 GD129/Box24/81/31

Proposed alterations to Balnagown House.
"I am glad to understand things go on so well in respect of the house. My mother will be a better judge when she sees your plan and alterations".
Letter to Mr MacCulloch from Charles Ross.
November 6th 1780 GD129/Box24/81/36

Expense of building a garden wall, lodge and gates. It amounts to ?328.11.8. Robert Meikle of Kilmuir complains that the estimate for mason work is ruinously low and Sir Charles Ross agrees to pay and extra ?15.
1805 GD129/Box30/115

Future plans for Balnagown House.
"If ever I was to build according to the plan sent Lady Ross the Old Castle should be the quarry and the house proposed should not be built in the place".
Letter to Mr MacCulloch from Sir John Ross.
December 2nd

Proposed alterations to Balnagown House.
Sir John Ross writes that he has arrived at York where he has received a parcel of plans which he did not order and for which he will not pay. In a previous letter he had said that Lady Ross would send a plan of an addition proposed to the house of Balnagown. This plan was to be laid before the best mason, and Mr John Baillie, carpenter, for them to consider "if it could not be done without being hurtful to the old building; to be done of the best materials, to let me have an estimate such answer has as yet come to hand".
Letter to Mr MacCulloch from Sir John Ross.
December 2nd 1780 GD129/Box24/81/32

Sketch Plan of Balnagown Garden.
1810 GD129/8/14

Sources/Archives (7)



Grid reference Centred NH 7624 7520 (300m by 300m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH77NE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

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