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Balbirnie House

  • Earlier Houses: An earlier 17th century house, with an 18th century addition, was incorporated into the current house.

    Built / Designed For: Remodeled for General Robert Balfour

    House & Family History: Balbirnie was in the ownership of Balfour family by 1642. In 1777-82 the existing 17th century house was given a new front block, probably to the designs of John Baxter, Jr. In 1815 General Robert Balfour engaged Robert Crichton to design a grand new house. The result, which incorporated the 18th century house and its 17th century core, was the largest and earliest Greek style house in Scotland. Balbirnie remained in the Balfour family until 1968, when the Estate was sold to Glenrothes Development Corporation and converted into a luxury hotel.

    Comments: Balbirnie is most one of the largest and earliest Greek style houses to be built in Scotland.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Balbirnie House sits in a 416-acre estate and country park landscaped in the style of Capability Brown. The grounds include specimen trees, a collection of rhododendrons unrivalled in the east of Scotland, and a fine golf course. The Balbirnie Craft Centre, housed in the 19th century Stableblock, features local craftspeople selling jewelry, pottery, glassworks, pictures, and leather goods.

  • Architect: James Barclay

    Date: 1815-21
    Designed: Enlarged House to Crichton's designs and designed Estate cottages

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    Architect: Richard Dickson

    Date: 1824
    Designed: West Lodge for General Robert Balfour

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    Architect: John Baxter, Jr.

    Date: 1777-82
    Designed: Added new front block on 17th century House
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: David Bryce

    Date: Circa 1860
    Designed: Office Court
    (Attribution of this work is uncertain)
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    Architect: Robert Robinson

    Date: 1779-86
    Designed: Designs for Park (1779). Walled Garden built to his plans (1784-86).

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    Architect: David Bryce

    Date: 1861
    Designed: South Lodge

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    Architect: Thomas White Jr.

    Date: 1817
    Designed: Parkland

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    Architect: Robert Crichton

    Date: 1815-19
    Designed: Enlarged and remodeled House for General Robert Balfour

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  • John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. VI, 1823. Scotland, 1830.

    Country Life: CLI, 1670 plan, 1972. CLII, 14, 1972.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Reference: pgs. 99, 280, 304
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

    Title: Buildings of Scotland: Fife, The
    Author: Gifford, John
    Year Published: 2000
    Reference: pgs. 235-236
    Publisher: London: Penguin Books
    ISBN: 0140710779
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
    Author: Sayer, Michael
    Year Published: 1993
    Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
    ISBN: 0859551970
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Category A

    Park Listed: Listed

  • Past Seat / Home of: General Robert Balfour, 19th century; Balfour family here 1370 until 1968.

    Current Ownership Type: Corporation

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Hotel

    Ownership Details: Today Balbirnie House hotel

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 01592-610-066

    Fax: 01592-610-529

    Email: info@balbirnie.co.uk

    Website: http://www.balbirnie.co.uk

    Awards: Macallan/Tasteof Scotland Hotel of the Year. Glenmorangie Barof the Year. Golf International Magazine's Hotel of the Year. RAC Gold Ribbon Award, November 2003.

    Historic Houses Member: No