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Stobs Castle, Borders: designs for a castle-style building for Sir William Eliott 6th Baronet of Stobs, 1792, as executed (7)


Sir William Eliott, of Stobs, 6th Baronet (1767-1812) was the eldest son of Sir Francis Eliott of Stobs, 5th Baronet, and shared a common early ancestry with the baronets (and later earls) of Minto. Little is known of Eliott. He married Mary Russel, daughter of John Russel of Roseburn, in 1790 and together they had eight sons and two daughters. He succeeded his father in June 1791 and by January 1792 had formed a plan with Robert Adam to build a new castle-style house on the Stobs estate.

This was the last castle to be designed by Robert Adam. The designs comprised a house with flanking links terminating in service ranges, with a courtyard range opposite for stables. The main house followed Adam’s traditional villa plan comprising three principal rooms arranged around a central staircase, with bedchambers and rooms in the storeys above and staff rooms in the basement.

Robert Adam died in March, 1792 and elements of the design were altered during construction. The house was built with an additional third floor and the flanking links were built with hipped roofs. Elements of Adam's designs were omitted including the proposed basement, conical pepper-pot roofs to the turrets on the west elevation, and some of the crenelations. The courtyard range appears to have been constructed to Adam’s designs, although it has been subject to greater modifications, in particular with the infilling of the screen wall. The later modifications and interior of the house have been attributed to the architect William Elliot (1761-c.1835). A porte-cochere and porch were added to the east and west fronts of the house respectively in the early-nineteenth century and a canted bay window was added to the north front in the mid-nineteenth century.

Literature: A.T. Bolton, The Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index, pp. 29, 70; A. Rowan, ‘Robert Adam’s Last Castles’, Country Life, Vol. 156, 22 August 1974, pp. 494-497; D. King, The Complete Works of Robert & James Adam and Unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume 1, pp. 156, 175-6, 355; C. Mosley (ed.), Burke’s Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 2003, p. 1304; K. Cruft, J. Dunbar and R. Fawcett, The Buildings of Scotland: Borders, 2006, pp. 705-6

Louisa Catt, 2023



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Contents of Stobs Castle, Borders: designs for a castle-style building for Sir William Eliott 6th Baronet of Stobs, 1792, as executed (7)