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.