History

Skirling House was built in 1908 and is described in “The Buildings of Scotland” as “the highly personal and unique result of collaboration between Sir Thomas Gibson-Carmichael (later Lord Carmichael) and his architect Ramsay Traquair” (son of the well known artist Phoebe Anna Traquair). Carmichael had originally sought to build a large Lorimer designed Baronial style house north of the village, but the money to build it ran out after the failure of a quarry he owned. Instead he acquired a farmhouse by the village green in Skirling, which he comprehensively remodeled. The result was, as Lady Carmichael observed, “most comfortable though a most unconventional house”. The style of the house is described as in the English Domestic tradition, with Arts and Crafts details. The differently shaped roofs sweep down over the eaves with prominent square bay windows, and with brick-lined horizontal weatherboarding on the north and west fronts.

The house is particularly noteworthy for its “important, and mostly humorous” collection of decorative wrought ironwork jointly designed by Carmichael and Traquair and executed by Thomas Hadden, in whose forge Carmichael had learned practical ironwork. The iron rail on the side of the house is decorated with a selection of creatures, including dragons and a gentleman in a top hat. Inside the house, the use of ironwork extends to doors and windows, handles, light fittings and even radiator covers.