Thursday, 31 July 2014

Marble Hill House, Stables

These elegant stables were built for Jonathon Peel between 1825 and 1827. Captain Peel  had bought Marble Hill House overlooking the River Thames at Twickenham in 1825 for £9 298 3s. His army career culminated in the rank of Lieutenant-General and later he went on to serve under his brother the Prime Minister, as Secretary of State for the War Department. General Peel demolished the old stables and had these stables built on the west side of the park. He was a racing enthusiast and a successful breeder of racehorses, one of his horses, Orlando, won the Derby in 1844.

The horses have long since bolted leaving their stables used as a cafe.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Drovers Inn, Inverarnan

Forget Skibo Castle, the Drovers Inn is the epitome of Scottish hospitality. For more than three hundred years the Drovers Inn has welcomed those travelling up and down the banks of Loch Lomond, including the infamous Rob Roy MacGregor. Guests are assured of a warm welcome.

The Drovers Inn first opened its doors in 1705.

Some guests enjoyed themselves so much that they never left.

To avoid unwanted intrudors (the infamous Scottish midgies) all windows should remain shut after dusk.

At weekends live music makes for a great craic in the Highlands. September is a music festival at the Drovers Inn

While some visitors appear unprepared do without tv, wi-fi or the 21st century, most guests know a good thing when they see it...... the staff wear kilts.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Coo Palace, Borgue

Known locally as the Coo Palace, Corseyard Dairy is a magnificent model dairy farm that was built with no expense spared for James Brown of Knockbrex Castle between 1911-1914. James Brown was a successful businessman from Manchester who had made a fortune as chairman of the wholesale and drapery firm of Affleck and Brown. He retired to Knockbrex in Dumfries in 1895 and indulged himself  building on the estate until his death in 1920.

Rearing high above the whole steading is its grandest feature, the water tower with battlemented corner turrets and a smaller round tower on top. However upon completion the tower was found to be useless as a means of supplying water.

Arts and Craft features abound, such as lead lanterns and ball finials atop gabled arches on the corners of the various buildings.

All the roofs are covered with ornamental terracotta tiles, some of them edged with terracotta piping arranged into striking patterns.

In the courtyard is a curiously Egyptian-like stone water trough.

The main block with  an enormous segmental arched roof was the magnificent milking parlour, a palace for only 12 cows. Stone buttresses surround the walls and at either end are two identical heavily hooded entrances.

Inside the walls are lined with white tiles with turquoise tiled dados underneath stripes of brown. Each room is connected by an arched entrance with a fanlight.

The stalls for the cows have handsome iron-ball posts and brilliant green hexagonal tiles. Such was the expense with which Mr. Brown indulged his cows that they were rumoured to be confined to their stalls with silver chains.

Drainpipe heads which are flanked by fleur-de- lys give its date of 1911.

The surrounding walls are inlaid with panels of pebbles and slate and capped with pebbles on top.

Sadly the Coo Palace standing in almost splendid isolation on the coastline of the Irish Sea is now deteriorating rapidly, and seems to be almost beyond salvation.