Saw this review on
Amazon.com so thought I'd include it here...
these intrepid architects travelled the length and breadth of Scotland
at the tail end of the 19th c making detailed architectural drawings of
as many of Scotland's castles as they could.
This is the ultimate reference work for all those interested or writing
about Scottish castles, or their architecture.
In five hard back
volumes, you will be astounded by the detail and amount of information
provided, complete with historical data.
The introductory chapters
of Volume 1 detail the development of castle architecture throughout
Europe, before concentrating on the Scottish style. The remainder of the
work details specific castles, before providing appendices in Volume 5
on secondary subjects, such as town houses, churches, sundials, and
A required reference for
castle enthusiasts anywhere.
A NUMBER of the sketches
and plans which form the illustrations in the following pages were
exhibited a few years ago in connection with papers on "Scottish Castles
and Houses," read before the Edinburgh Architectural Association, when
the attention they received suggested the idea of the present work.
No book has hitherto been
published which deals systematically with the history of Scottish
Castellated and Domestic Architecture. The late Mr. Billings' valuable
work on the Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland is an
important contribution, and his beautiful drawings are a charming record
of the edifices he illustrates. Mr. Billings has also the merit of being
amongst the very first to recognise and draw attention to the importance
of our Scottish Domestic Architecture. But the absence of plans is a
serious drawback, and the descriptions of the buildings, although full
of interesting matter, do not deal in a systematic manner with the
history of our Architecture, especially with the domestic portion of it.
Mr. Fergusson has also
touched slightly, in his History of Architecture, on the subject of
Scottish Domestic Architecture, but so slightly that it is evident he
has not regarded it as an important element in the general history of
The following pages,
however, show that Scotland contains a most complete and almost
unexplored series of domestic structures, exhibiting as well the gradual
progress of Architecture from an early and rude epoch to more modern and
refined times, as the growth of our national life and manners.
In dealing with this
important series of buildings our chief object has been to trace the
development of the Architecture, and to determine the stages of progress
or periods into which it naturally divides itself. In order to render
the historic sequence clear and distinct, and also to follow the steps
by which the designs of one period passed into those of the period that
followed, it is essential that the plans of the buildings be fully taken
into account. We have therefore devoted much care to the accurate
representation of these important elements in the design.
Our sketches are not
intended to imitate or rival the beautiful and artistic etchings of some
of our Scottish edifices which have from time to time been published,
but simply to represent the ARCHITECTURE in what appeared to us the most
intelligible and effective manner.
It is of great moment, in
an inquiry like the present, that the history and development of the
Architecture, as disclosed by the buildings, should be corroborated as
far as possible by written evidence. We have accordingly endeavoured to
trace and collect such of the written records of the erection or
alteration of the structures as were available. But we do not pretend to
have discovered any new information connected with the history of
Scottish Architecture, save such as can be gathered from the internal
evidence of the edifices themselves.
One important result of
the present inquiry is to bring into prominence the fact that Scotland,
like every other country in Europe during the period from the thirteenth
to the sixteenth century, possessed a Castellated or Domestic
Architecture of its own, and that even in the seventeenth century, when
almost everywhere else the Renaissance style reigned supreme, the native
style still flourished.
It may be thought that
the number of buildings illustrated is unnecessarily large. But it is,
after all, only a small portion of the still surviving examples of
Scottish Domestic Architecture, and there is really almost no
repetition. In most of the keeps and towers there is doubtless a great
similarity in general design, but it will be found that each furnishes
some points of variety which give to it a special interest.
It is greatly to be
regretted that most of our ancient edifices are rapidly passing away,
either from natural decay or other destructive causes. Even since our
sketches were made, many have disappeared either in whole or in part.
The neglect with which they are generally treated probably arises, to
some extent, from their bearing on the architectural and national
history of Scotland not being sufficiently understood and appreciated.
We are not without hope that this work may serve to direct the attention
of proprietors and others to the value of our ancient domestic remains,
and may thus help to preserve some of them from the decay and demolition
which at present threaten speedily to overtake the greater number. Such
a result would be most gratifying, not only to us, but to every one
interested in our national history,
We would take this
opportunity of gratefully thanking all those who have interested
themselves in the present work, some of whom have kindly contributed
drawings for our assistance.
To Mr. John Bryce,
Architect, Edinburgh, our thanks are due for the free and ready access
he has given us to the plans of ancient buildings made by his uncle, the
late David Bryce, R.S.A., when, in the course of his professional
practice, he was called on to consider how to alter or add to them. Of
these drawings we have availed ourselves of some of those of Drum Castle
and Earl Patrick's Palace, Kirkwall, to which we have referred more
fully in the text. To Dr. Skene, Historiographer for Scotland, we are
specially obliged for placing at our disposal the voluminous MS. work by
his father, the late Mr. Skene of Rubislaw, on the Domestic Architecture
of Scotland. This work is peculiarly valuable from its containing
numerous plans and views of castles which no longer exist. From it we
have obtained the plans of Castle Fraser, which were not otherwise
available, and views of the extremely picturesque Castle of Cluny, now
no more, together with some remarkable information regarding "lugs" and
places of concealment.
We are also indebted to
the Earl of Cawdor for the use of plans of Cawdor Castle; to the Hon. H.
C. Maxwell Stuart for the use of plans of Traquair House, and for
information regarding its history; to the Hon. Mrs. Henderson of Fordell
for particulars connected with Fordell Castle; to James Lorimer, Esq.,
LL.D., Professor of Public Law in the University of Edinburgh, for
information in connection with Kellie Castle; to J. Russell Mackenzie,
Esq., Architect, Aberdeen, and Messrs. C. & P. H. Chalmers, Solicitors,
Aberdeen, for the use of plans and elevations of Fyvie Castle; to David
Douglas, Esq., for permission to reproduce a drawing of Burgie Castle,
from the unpublished series of views in Scotland of John Claude Nattes;
to Messrs. Wardrop & Anderson, Architects, for the plans and elevations
of Udny Castle (now much altered); to Mr. H. J. Blanc, Architect, for
drawings of St. Margaret's Chapel in Edinburgh Castle; to Mr. Robert
Murray for the plans of Neidpath Castle, and others not yet published;
to Lord Napier and Ettrick for useful suggestions on Stirling Castle; to
Mr. R. Bruce Armstrong for notes on Hermitage Castle; to Dr. Dickson, of
the Register House; James T. Clark, Esq., Librarian of the Advocates'
Library; and many architectural friends for their aid and encouragement
in our labours.
We would also take this
opportunity of acknowledging the cordial and generous reception we have
almost invariably received from the proprietors and occupants of the
houses we have visited in pursuit of our subject, and the free
permission which has (with very few exceptions) been accorded to us to
make such measurements and drawings as we required.
92 GEORGE STREET,
here to download the index of the complete works (1.2Mb)
Click here to
download Volume 1 (45Mb)
Click here to
download Volume 2 (65Mb)
Click here to
download Volume 3 (52Mb)
Click here to
download Volume 4 (31Mb)
Click here to
download Volume 5 (67Mb)
Electric Scotland would like to acknowledge
the kind permission given by Birlinn
Limited, the publishers of the reprint of these volumes, to publish
their volume 4 of this set for inclusion in our web site. Note that the
quality of the adobe file is not representative of the quality of print
of the actual volume as we've compressed it to make it easier to
Volume 1 - First
Period 1200 - 1300
Castle Roy, Inverness-shire
Kinclaven Castle, Perthshire
Lochindorb Castle, Morayshire
Loch-an-Eilan Castle, Inverness-shire
Volume 1 - Second Period 1300 - 1400
The Ruined Castles of
Their Position; their Families, their Ruins; and their History by John
Dickson, FSA Scot (1894)