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fife-kinross-clackmannan-1933/03-311

Transcription

KILCONQUHAR.] HISTORICAL MONUMENTS (SCOTLAND) COMMISSION. [KILCONQUHAR.

The western one is surmounted by a graceful
belfry with an embattled top and a finial. In
this gable lies the entrance, a semi-circular
doorway, flanked by shafts with composite
capitals surmounted by globular finials. On
each side of it is a window similar to those in
the side walls. Above is a much weather-worn
cartouche on which the date of erection, 1635,
can just be deciphered. Over this, again, is a
heavy panel-mould, enriched on the upper
part with an egg-and-dart ornament, and having
carved stops at the extremities of the sides.
The enclosed panel is a later insertion. It
contains in the top corners the initials L./D.B.
L./S.B., apparently for David, Lord Balcarres,
and Sophia, Lady Balcarres - an unusual
arrangement of initial letters. A label sur-
mounting a helmet bears the motto, ASTRA
CASTRA. The shield is supported on the dexter
side by a lion, on the sinister side by a horse,
and is parted per pale : dexter, Quarterly, 1st
and 4th, a fess checky, three stars in chief ;
2nd and 3rd, a lion rampant debruised of a
ribbon ; sinister : Quarterly, 1st and 4th,
within a double tressure flory-counter-flory
three crescents ; 2nd and 3rd, on a fess three
cinquefoils. The dexter coat is for Lindsay of
Balcarres, the sinister for Seton, Earl of Dun-
fermline. David, first Lord Lindsay of Bal-
carres, married in 1612 Lady Sophia Seton,
daughter of the Earl of Dunfermline. Below
the shield is a cartouche with a cherub's head,
but any inscription it may have borne is now
illegible. Above this second panel is another
bearing a floriated design. At the top is the
motto, ASTRA CASTRA, and at the bottom the
motto, IVSTVS SEMPER VIVIT. In the centre is a
monogram of the letters D.L.B.S., for David,
Lord Balcarres, and Sophia, Lady Balcarres.
The east gable has also a finial and a two-light
Gothic window. Above the latter is a small
circular light filled with a triple vesica piscis.

Inside the building the only features of
interest are two late-Gothic aumbries set at the
eastern ends of the side walls. They are similar in
character, but the southern one (Fig. 41) has a
garland issuing from a cartouche carved on either
jamb. For a considerable time these aumbries
sheltered two contemporary carvings, which have
been removed to Balcarres House. One repre-
sents a Madonna and Child, the upper edge of the
stone being scrolled and the shroudlike drapery
arranged to produce a niche-like effect ; the
feet of the principal figure rest on a volute,
while to the left is a sheep's skull set on another
volute, and to the right what appears to be an
animal, probably intended for a lion. The
second sculpture represents an angel kneeling
on a cushion and holding a book.

At the sides of the entrance to the chapel are
two oval stones, with tenon-like projections
at the bottom, which have been removed from
one of the gates. Each bears in bold relief a
Tudor rose. Their purpose and period are
uncertain.

xxi S.E. 17 August 1927.

SECULAR BUILDINGS.

312. Balcarres House. - The mansion is
mainly modern, but incorporates the remains
of a late 16th-century house, which was ap-
parently Z-shaped on plan, having a small
newel-staircase projecting as a turret from
the north-west re-entrant angle. The ground-
floor is vaulted. The hall, which occupies the
first floor of the main block, lies north-east and
south-west and has a fine panelled plaster
ceiling of the 17th century, with the Royal
Arms in the central compartment. Some years
ago, in the course of minor alterations, a painted
ceiling, presumably of the 16th century, was
found behind the plaster ceiling.

DOWER HOUSE. - Adjoining the mansion and
to the east of it is the dower house, a plain
L-shaped building of the later 17th or early
18th century. It is now two-storeyed, but
originally rose at least one storey higher. The
wing is occupied by a handsome scale-and-
platt staircase with a solid newel, shafted at the
outer ends. The entrance door, which lies at
the stair foot, is fitted with an old 'tirling
pin.' The interior has been modernised.

SUNDIAL. - The fine 17th-century dial illus-
trated in Fig. 49, now on the south-west lawn
at Balcarres, was brought from the Leuchars
Castle (No. 401). The base and steps are
modern.

HISTORICAL NOTE. - The original house was
built in 1595 by John Lindsay, Lord Menmuir. ¹

1 Lives of the Lindsays, by Lord Lindsay, vol. i, p. 376.

xxi S.E. 17 August 1927.

[Page] 164

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CorrieBuidhe- Moderator, Murray

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