Redlands, Bridge of Weir

M150 Redlands, Bridge of Weir

Address: Hazelwood Road, Bridge of Weir PA11 3DW
Date: 1898–9
Client: James Raeburn Mann
Authorship: Authorship category 3 (Office with Mackintosh) (Office with Mackintosh)

Colour photograph of Beauly, fireplace in fourth bedroom

Exterior

This two-storey red ashlar sandstone house is the largest of several similar contemporary John Honeyman & Keppie commissions, such as for Dunottar, Kilmacolm and for Ferndean, Barrhead. The design has a number of historicist details such as the octagonal gate piers in the E. boundary wall, which are capped with pyramids set on spheres with strapwork decoration. 1 The most distinctive feature of the house is the elegant cylindrical tower which may show the involvement of Mackintosh. A one-storey wing to the E. and service range to the N. complete the configuration.

Colour photograph of Beauly, S. elevation

The stonework is largely snecked rubble except on the bays at S. and E. and is stugged except for smooth dressings. Decoration is minimal: a moulded string-course extends across the S. elevation while the arched doorway and adjacent window are enclosed by Gibbs-type surrounds with voussoirs. Gables rise from skewputts and terminate in parapets. The doorway keystone incorporates a large, flat plaque, apparently intended to be carved. 2 The windows are largely multi-paned sashes, with those adjacent to the doorway mullioned and transomed.

Interior

The front door leads via an internal porch to a large, panelled hall with exposed beams. It has a deep square alcove tucked in beside the porch, echoing the plan of Dunottar. Stairs in the cylindrical tower open directly off the hall, as do a parlour in the S.-facing canted bay and a dining room in the single-storey wing to the E. and a cloakroom. A ground-floor bedroom, a servant's bedroom and the kitchen and service wing are reached via internal lobbies.

Up the open-well stair, the unusually large first-floor landing leads via double doors to a spacious room – possibly a reception room – in the canted bay. Three modest bedrooms, a bathroom and a W.C. are reached through internal lobbies.

Photograph of ground-floor plan, redrawn for publicationColour photograph of Beauly, alcove in entrance hall

Here, as at Ferndean, Barrhead, the interior joinery work demonstrates a diversity of styles, suggesting the involvement of several designers, including Mackintosh. The open-timber roof in the dining room is almost identical to that at the Doulton house and altogether different from Mackintosh's highly distinctive contemporary roof trusses at Martyrs School, Queen's Cross Church and the Glasgow School of Art.

Colour photograph of Beauly, roof trusses in dining room

Chimneypieces in the ground-floor bedroom and three first-floor bedrooms are of interest and may suggest the work of Mackintosh. In the ground-floor and N.W. first-floor bedroom, the chimneypieces have a two-level, projecting mantelpiece with pierced tear-drop shapes at its centre below symmetrical, shallow S-curves joining in a cupid's bow. Above the upper mantel shelf, a large tear-drop shape is recessed centrally. Two further bedrooms have pared down versions of the chimneypiece design. These two appear to have retained their original tiles.

Colour photograph of Beauly, fireplace in second bedroomColour photograph of Beauly, fireplace in fourth bedroom

The newel post at the ground floor has an inlaid symmetrical pattern in black. Diagonal projections below its cap recall the boiler chimney at Martyrs School. The balusters are pierced with a variety of curvilinear shapes and are identical to those at Ferndean.

Colour photograph of Beauly, newel postColour photograph of Beauly, balusterColour photograph of Beauly, baluster

There are several stone fireplaces very similar to those at Ferndean, and two wooden chimneypieces in the parlour and large first-floor room. The stonework of the dining-room fireplace recalls the Gibbs-type surround at the front door. Above it, within a stained-wood frame, is a beaten brass triptych overmantel of curvilinear shapes, which are echoed in the finger plates of various designs in the ground-floor bedroom and parlour, and at Dunottar in the copper insert and fender of the hall fireplace. The leaded windows in the stair tower and large first-floor landing incorporate colourful stained glass with heart and curvilinear shapes similar to those of the beaten metalwork.

Colour photograph of Beauly, fireplace and frieze in dining room

Other

Redlands remains largely unaltered: the only remodelling of note is the extension of the kitchen into the service wing carried out since 1982. The ground-floor plan published in Academy Architecture in January 1900 shows a conservatory at the W.; however it appears never to have been built.. Besides minor changes in the location of cupboard doors, the ground floor is laid out as it appears in the published drawing. 3

Photograph of perspective

Mackintosh does not seem to have claimed Redlands as his own work. A comment made in a letter to Muthesius in May 1903 appears to attribute the work to John Honeyman. A Countess Schwerin in Prussian Silesia had, Mackintosh reported, 'written to Honeyman saying how much she admired a house of his she saw in Academy Architecture 1900 and asking him to send the plans'. In contrast, in 1898, Mackintosh had regretfully commented to Muthesius that he could not yet publicly claim the work at the Glasgow Herald building as his own as he was still merely an assistant. 4

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Notes:

1: This type of gate pier was described by Mackintosh in his 1892 lecture on architecture, reproduced in Pamela Robertson, ed., Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Architectural Papers, Wendlebury, Oxon: White Cockade in association with the Hunterian Art Gallery, 1990, p. 196, and can be seen at the entrance to Anderson's College Medical School.

2: A perspective drawing by Alexander McGibbon, published in Academy Architecture in January 1900, shows a decorative projection at the keystone: Academy Architecture, January 1900, pp. 92–3.

3: Academy Architecture, 17, no. 1, January 1900, pp. 92–3.

4: Berlin, Werkbundarchiv, Museum der Dinge: Hermann Muthesius Estate, letter from Mackintosh to Hermann Muthesius, 11 May 1898, 12 May 1903.