Addition to The Moss, Dumgoyne

M276 Addition to The Moss, Dumgoyne

Address: Dumgoyne G63 9LJ
Date: 1906–8
Client: Sir Archibald Campbell Lawrie
Authorship: Authorship category 1 (Mackintosh) (Mackintosh)

Photograph of the Moss showing Mackintosh extension

Sir Archibald Campbell Lawrie (1837–1914) settled at The Moss after his retirement in 1901, following a legal career spent mostly in Ceylon. 1 The site of the house was a venerable one – it had been the birthplace of George Buchanan (1506–1582), international Renaissance scholar, tutor to James VI, and an ancestor of Sir Archibald – but the house itself had been rebuilt in 1812. 2 Three bays wide and two storeys high, it was a roughcast Georgian box with a classically-detailed stone porch in the middle of the entrance front and a later single-storey wing at the N.E. end.

Photograph of the Moss before extension

Soon after his arrival, Sir Archibald obtained permission from Stirlingshire County Council to build two cottages, one on Stockiemuir Road in 1902, another closer to The Moss in 1905. 3 These modest buildings probably did not require an architect, but in 1906 he decided to extend The Moss itself, and for this more substantial work he called on Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh. Four sheets of plans were submitted to the County Council and approved on 19 December 1906. 4 The plans are untraced, and the extension itself has been demolished, but photographs record its appearance.

There is good evidence that Mackintosh was responsible for the design: the job-book entry is written largely in his hand; the surviving kitchen furniture closely resembles his kitchen furniture at Windyhill and The Hill House; and, most significantly, Dumgoyne is listed among the locations of Mackintosh's domestic work in his entry in Who's Who in Glasgow 1909. 5 Sir Archibald may have turned to him because Mackintosh had very recently begun building Auchinibert for F. J. Shand, just 2.5 km away at Killearn. Mackintosh's relationship with Shand was to sour in the course of that project, but when Sir Archibald was looking for an architect it was probably still in its honeymoon period.

A photograph of the house taken on the eve of Mackintosh's changes, now (2011) in the possession of the present owners, bears the following inscription: 'To. A. A. S. / the opponent of all change. / The Moss / 1 January 1907 / as it stands now before the threatened / alterations w[hich] it is feared will spoil it. / Arch.' The identity of 'A. A. S.' is not known, but his or her misgivings were well-founded: the alterations did not harmonise with the old work, nor did they achieve coherence in themselves.

Photograph of inscription on back of photograph of The Moss

Mackintosh appears to have raised the existing N.E. wing to two storeys and given it a mansard roof, then added a single-storey extension under a steeply pitched roof. The single-storey part had echoes of C. F. A. Voysey, with windows on the entrance side separated by square, unmoulded mullions. At the rear, the broad sweep of the roof was interrupted by segmental-headed dormers. The disharmony between new and old is the more surprising because, as an antiquary, Sir Archibald was keenly aware of the historic significance of his house, and as recently as 1906 he had hosted a pilgrimage of scholars to The Moss to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Buchanan's birth. 6

Photograph of the Moss showing Mackintosh extensionPhotograph of the Moss showing Mackintosh extensionPhotograph of the Moss showing Mackintosh extension

Mackintosh's addition is said to have been demolished in 1968. 7 In fact, demolition appears to have taken place in two distinct phases. An undated aerial photograph shows the single-storey section reduced to its external walls, enclosing a yard with a lean-to structure against the surviving mansard-roofed section.

Aerial photograph of The Moss after partial demolition

Subsequently, the whole addition, including the mansard-roofed part, was replaced with a flat-roofed extension. 8 In 1998, listed building consent was sought to replace the flat roof with a pitched roof containing dormers, and this work was afterwards carried out. 9 It is possible that parts of Mackintosh's external walls survive in the extension. His salvaged kitchen fittings are now (2011) split between the extension and a modern house in the grounds.



1: Gordon F. Millar, ‘Sir Archibald Campbell Lawrie (1837–1914)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

2: P. Hume Brown, George Buchanan, Humanist and Reformer: A Biography, Edinburgh: David Douglas, 1890, p. 5.

3: Stirling Council Archives Service: Register of New Buildings, Western District [of Stirlingshire], uncatalogued.

4: Stirling Council Archives Service: Register of New Buildings, Western District [of Stirlingshire], uncatalogued.

5: George Eyre-Todd, Who's Who in Glasgow in 1909, Glasgow: Gowans & Gray, 1909, p. 124.

6: George Buchanan: Glasgow Quartercentenary Studies 1906, Glasgow: James Maclehose & Sons, 1907, pp. xi–xv.

7: Historic Scotland listing description 10421: [accessed 26 February 2013].

8: Information from present owners (2011).

9: Edinburgh Gazette, 7 April 1998, p. 958.