Touch House

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Site Type COUNTRY HOUSE
Canmore ID 46238
Site Number NS79SE 53
NGR NS 75328 92755
Council STIRLING
Parish ST NINIANS
Former Region CENTRAL
Former District STIRLING
Former County STIRLINGSHIRE
Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Canmore Mapping
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Architectural Notes

NS79SE 53.00 75328 92755

NS79SE 53.01 75382 92777 Steading
NS79SE 53.02 75791 92850 Gate-Lodge
NS79SE 53.03 75313 92764 Wash House
NS79SE 53.04 75559 93171 Bridge
NS79SE 53.05 75224 92982 Dovecot
NS79SE 53.06 75370 93105 Seton Lodge
NS79SE 53.07 75214 92727 Walled Garden

(NS 7533 9275) Touch House (NAT)
OS 6" map (1958)

Touch House. This house is pleasantly situated at the foot of the Touch Hills, just under three miles W of Stirling and about half a mile S of the main Stirling-Dumbarton road (A 811). The building (fig. 159, pls. 177 and 178) is a composite structure incorporating work of more than one period, but its most outstanding feature is the S front which is perhaps the most distinguished example of Georgian architecture in the county. The name of the architect is not recorded, but there seems to be no reason to doubt the tradition that ascribes the 18th-century work to William Adam. The architectural development of the house is not entirely clear, but it seems likely that the original building, which is probably of 16th-century date, consisted of a main block alined from E to W, from which there projected a rectangular tower at the NW and SE angles. Of this there remains today only the SE tower, which is virtually complete, together with the lower portion of the NW tower which is now incorporated in later work. During the 17th century, the NW tower was largely rebuilt and at the same time extended eastwards in a range of buildings which now forms the N side of the house. In the middle of the 18th century the main block of the original building was removed and replaced by the much larger Georgian block that has already been mentioned. The range of offices at the NE angle is of 19th-century
date.
The SE tower of the original building rises to the height of four storeys and an attic, and is built in whinstone rubble with dressed quoins and margins. Above third-floor level a double course of individual stone corbels bears a crenellated parapet within which rise the crow-stepped gables of the attic roof.
Of the NW tower, which is thought to have formed part of the original building, only the two lower floors remain, and these have been so much altered that almost no original features survive. The only external evidence for the existence of the tower is the change in the aline- ment of the N wall of the present N range. Within, however, the thickness of the outer walls on the ground floor is seen to average 4ft 6in at the W end of the range as compared with about 2ft 3in at the E end. At the W end of the corridor that runs along the S side of the range on the ground floor, a semicircular corbel-course projects from the S wall; this may originally have supported some feature on the floor above, perhaps a small stair, all other traces of which has now disappeared. The E portion of the N range and the remodelled NW tower, which adjoins it to the W, are not otherwise of much interest. The block that they form (Pl. 178 B) rises to the height of three storeys and is built in harled rubble with dressed margins; the gables are crow-stepped.
A lead rain-water head from Touch House, apparently of 18th-century date, is preserved in the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland. The lands of Touch were acquired by the Setons at about the end of the 15th century, and continued in the direct line of that family until the middle of the 18th century. The property then descended through the female line and passed to the Seton-Steuarts of Allanton and Touch, who held it until about 1930.
RCAHMS 1963

As described by the RCAHMS.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 19 September 1968

The S facade built by Gideon Gray from 1757. Oval staircase with cast iron balustrading which, if original, is possibly the earliest of use of domestic cast-iron balustrading in Scotland.
C McKean 1985

NMRS REFERENCE;

ARCHITECTS:
Sir Robert Lorimer 1928-30 - additions
James Gillespie Graham 1809 - designs for an addition - not executed
Sir William Burroughs c. 1815 - design for an addition - not executed
James Steinson (?) 1747

Notes and Activities

Archaeological Notes



 
Books and References

Anon Touch, Unpublished Pamphlet
Held at RCAHMS D.2.23.TOU.P

Cornforth, J (1965c) 'Touch, Stirlingshire: the home of Mrs E P Buchanan and Mr and Mrs P B Buchanan: III', Country Life, vol.138, 3754 (2 September 1965)
Page(s): 556-9 Held at RCAHMS D.2.23.TOU.P

Cornforth, J (1965b) 'Touch: Stirlingshire: the home of Mrs E P Buchanan and Mr and Mrs P B Buchanan: II', Country Life, vol.138, 3753 (26 August 1965)
Page(s): 504-7 Held at RCAHMS D.2.23.TOU.P

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