Addition and alterations to Aytoun House

M196 Addition and alterations to Aytoun House

Address: 3, Sydenham Road, Glasgow G12 9NT
Date: 1901–3
Client: James T. Tullis
Authorship: Authorship category 1 (Mackintosh) (Mackintosh)

This large extension to a mid 19th-century villa in the affluent Dowanhill area of Glasgow was commissioned in 1901 by leather manufacturer James Tullis. The additional rooms would have provided accommodation for his large household: Tullis remarried in 1895, and the 1901 census records twelve family members and six staff at his then home, The Anchorage in Rutherglen to the S.E. of Glasgow. 1

The original two-storey villa was built in the 1860s to an Italianate design by Boucher & Cousland. 2 The four-storey extension was constructed between the main house and the single-storey stable blocks to the E. Viewed from the garden to the S., its tall elevations and expanses of blank wall evoke a 17th-century Scottish tower house or Edinburgh tenement. The vertical proportions contrast with those of the 1860s house and the compact form of the stable block. The plain sandstone elevations are ashlar to the N. and stugged to the S. and E., and are relieved by string-courses and pediments over some windows. The most striking feature are the pairs of high square windows on the N. and S. elevations corresponding to the first-floor billiard room inside. The elevation drawings show that three pairs of these windows were intended for the S. elevation; however the middle pair was replaced by a tall bipartite window with central stone mullion.

Colour photograph of Aytoun House, W. elevationColour photograph of Aytoun House, N.elevation of Honeyman & Keppie additionColour photograph of S. elevation

The basement houses a washhouse, larder and store accessed externally. The upper floors were reached from the stairs in the original house. The ground floor provided day and night nurseries and a bathroom for the younger Tullis children. The first floor was given over to a large billiard room and a W.C. The second floor, reached by a further short flight of stairs in the new building, had two bedrooms and a bathroom following the same plan as the ground floor. Another small addition, in the style of the original house, provided a ground-floor cloakroom adjacent to the main front door and extended the basement coal cellar below.

Colour photograph of Aytoun House, cloakroom addition on N. elevation

Photographs taken in 1991, when the house was first given statutory protection as a listed building, show interior woodwork presumably dating from 1901–2 which suggests the influence of Mackintosh. In particular fitted cupboards in the ground-floor pantry and service room of the original house recall similar furniture at The Moss. 3 Fireplaces, shelves, doors and wall panelling also seem to be of 1901–2, but are less sophisticated.

Colour photograph of ground-floor pantry, 1991Colour photograph of ground-floor interior door, looking through to addition, 1991Colour photograph of first-floor interior door, looking from addition to stairs, 1991Colour photograph of panelling on second-floor stairs, 1991Colour photograph of fireplace and shelves in second-floor E. bedroom, 1991

The proficient draughtsmanship and lettering of the drawings submitted to Glasgow Dean of Guild Court strongly suggest that they were drawn by Mackintosh. Annotations on the M196-004 are certainly in his hand. The scale on the drawing however appears to have been drawn and labelled by another draughtsman. The drawings are contemporary with and have the same style of lettering as those for Mackintosh's roughcast addition at 29 Hamilton Drive.

Between 1999 and 2002 the house was divided into six flats, and in 2001–2 a penthouse was added to the 1860s section of the house. John Honeyman & Keppie's addition was remodelled to form two two-floor properties with an internal staircase inserted into each. The original layout of each floor has been partially preserved.

A report on the condition of Aytoun House was produced as part of the Mackintosh Buildings Survey, led by the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society and carried out between 2015 and 2016. 4



1: Glasgow Herald, 13 June 1895, p. 1; census viewed at, accessed 25 April 2012.

2: Elizabeth Williamson, Anne Riches and Malcolm Higgs, Buildings of Scotland: Glasgow, London: Penguin, 1990, p. 360.

3: Information on the location of the fitted cupboards supplied by flat-owner on visit, 24 April 2012.

4: A copy of the report (MBS26) is held by the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society, Mackintosh Queen's Cross, 870 Garscube Road, Glasgow G20 7EL. The Mackintosh Buildings Survey was funded by The Monument Trust.