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Arbuthnott House

The Drawingroom and White Wing

Returning to the first floor and turning to the left into the drawingroom, the visitor passes through what was at one time an outer wall of the 17th century building into the main livingroom of that period. This room is capable of being divided into two and was presumably used as a drawingroom and ante-drawingroom. The notable feature here is the very elaborate plaster ceilings following the Italian style and erected in this room about 1660 or 1670. These ceilings have been recognised as of particular artistic and historic merit and an Historic Buildings Council grant was given for their restoration twelve years ago. The three large French windows overloking the garden in the south wall would have been 19th century additions to replace the smaller contemporary windows.

This room is left by the eastern door where the visitor crosses the threshold from the 17th to the 15th century part of the house. At this point the connecting wall is 5ft. 9ins. thick and is thought to be the only remaining part of the 1420 tower-house. The passageway leading from the drawingroom is the floor level of the baronial hall that was added to the tower in 1470. Altered considerably in the 16th century, and again later when the present stone staircase was put in, there is not much that now remains to show evidence that this was the original main hall of the castle. The clue lies in two large 15th century oriel windows presently concealed behind later plaster and panelling at the far eastern end of the passage. One of these windows is behind the eastermost present day window in the passage, and the other is behind the panelling around the window in the bathroom opposite. At the point where the passage takes a turn the gable wall of the baronial hall is abutted by an early 16th century building which was added to the hall. This comprised the castle kitchen below and over it, the bedroom that can be entered from this passage. This room would have been the private apartments of the laird and his wife in those days and, as was the custom, would have been entered off the main hall. The huge chimneystack for the kitchen is contained in the thickness of the double gable. The bedroom was panelled in the 16th century, previously the plain stone walls would have had a plaster facing. Traces of this plasterwork can be seen in the attics above the present floor level which indicates that both this bedroom and the hall would have been adorned with decorated plaster when they were in use.

Arbuthnott House Index
Clan Arbuthnott


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