Penicuik House is one of the finest and most influential examples of the Palladian architectural style in Scotland. Built by Sir James Clerk, the 3rd Baronet of Penicuik, by John Baxter Senior between 1761 and 1769, it was extended and altered by architect David Bryce in 1857. The new wings were designed with considerable sensitivity and skill and are a rare example of Bryce’s work in the Neo-classical style. In 1899 the house was destroyed by a fire which gutted the interior and caused the roof to collapse. Since then the house has stood as a ruin but remains the centre piece of one of Scotland’s most important 18th century designed landscapes.
Our client, The Penicuik House Preservation Trust, was established to preserve and consolidate the dangerous ruin, enabling public access to the ground floor. The seven year project of consolidation started in February 2008, and the stone masons have gradually progressed through the building from east to west as they make the building safe. To date, the project has included the consolidation of the former entrance hall, with its spectacular structural arch, sailing across the space. The twin stairwells have also been consolidated, with many of the original stair-treads retained, hanging high above the ground.
One of the interesting conservation techniques adopted on the project is turf capping of the wallheads. This technique, where sods of turf are laid on the top of exposed walls, protects the masonry from water penetration.
Training is a key element of the Penicuik House Project and courses in traditional building techniques are delivered in a purpose-built training facility, designed by Simpson & Brown, in the former service yard of the house.
The project was shortlisted for a RIAS award in 2015.
|Project name:||Penicuik House|
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