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Hopetoun House, Abercorn near South Queensferry, West Lothian

Hopetoun House is often referred to as Scotland's finest stately home. It was built by Sir William Bruce from 1699 until 1704, but remodelled and extended by William Adam from 1721until 1748. Its “A” listing text refers to it consisting of corps de logis linked by quadrant colonnades to advanced pavilions. All of ashlar.

Corps de logis refers to a principal block of a large classical building such as a mansion or palace. That contains the principal rooms and grand entrance, while to each side or elsewhere are laid out the subsidiary buildings, often linked by pavilions and colonnades. And this is what we find here. The premise are approached from the grand main gateway with distant views, the symmetrical layout with its colonnades on each side emphasising the grandeur and scale. From the entrance looking back towards the Firth of Forth, the well-kept lawns extend way into the distance, a ha-ha concealing a sunken barrier to livestock.

The State Dining Room

The central part is the work of William Bruce with various elements by Adam. Inside we find magnificent interiors much as they were for over three centuries. Room after room of grandeur. They reflect the elegance of the Georgian era and are decorated with the best period furniture, paintings, tapestries and clocks, with beautifully crafted finishes of carving, gilding and plaster work.

But I also enjoy this staircase. This comprises the panelled Tribune Stairs. Richly carved and intersperse with classical paintings. Over it is an octagonal dome with trompe l'oeil pretending to be a higher gallery and in turn top lit with a glazed domed rooflight.

Hopetoun House website : http://hopetoun.co.uk

British Listed Buildings : https://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/200330989-hopetoun-house-abercorn#.WOURbWhrjIU


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