The Scottish Chateau
Plans of Panmure, taken from Vitruvius Scoticus. William Adam was planning the publication of a volume of drawings like Vitruvius Scoticus from 1726 and material was prepared from the following year onwards. It was not published until 1812, however.
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The way in which Scottish architecture was evolving was more apparent in new-build, or where sufficient of an extension occurred as to make virtually a new house. In April 1666 the Earl of Panmure determined upon a new house, probably incorporating the mansion of Bowshen in which he was then living, and contracted with John Milne, Master Mason to the Crown, to have it built. Although Milne appears to have been both designer and main contractor for the structure, Sir William Bruce certainly designed the chief entry into the court from the west in 1672. Moreover, the design of Panmure displays so great a resemblance to Bruce's contemporary transformation of his own house at Balcaskie as to indicate Bruce's design hand in the former as well. To an existing thick-walled L-plan house on the east, the earl added a balancing structure to the west, regularised it and framed the conception by square five-storeyed, ogee-roofed closet towers projecting beyond the corners. The spreading eleven-bay horizontally proportioned house was firmly symmetrical, organised around the three-bay centre, flanked and framed like a coronet by taller chimneystacks. Although Panmure's entrance was up a flight of steps above the kitchen/basement level, the principal floor still lay on the floor above. The saloon, which occupied the entire centre front to back, separated the two wings of the house which, to judge by the staircases, were the family wing to the right, and guests' to the left. The entrance façade, enormous chimneys, corner towers and half gables were a new formalisation of the inherited Scottish architectural tradition. At the third storey, the roof was pulled back to each side in order to provide a viewing platform on either side of the centre. This array of chimneys and gables echoed the martial skyline of the older châteaux, even though everything of which it was composed had an overtly peaceable purpose.
More information about the Panmure Estate and its history, together with information about some notable buildings on the Estate, photographs, etc. can be seen above and elsewhere on this site, Panmure 1, Panmure 2, Panmure 3, Panmure 4, Panmure 5 Panmure 6, Panmure 7, Panmure 8 and Panmure 9.
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