Additions and alterations to Craigie Hall

M069 Additions and alterations to Craigie Hall

Address: 6, Rowan Road, Glasgow G41 5BS
Date: 1892–3; 1897–9
Client: Thomas Mason
Authorship: Authorship category 2 (Mackintosh and Office) (Mackintosh and Office)

This elegant Italian Renaissance-style suburban mansion was designed by John Honeyman in 1872 for Joseph McLean, a gentleman of means from a manufacturing family. In 1892 a new owner, Thomas Mason, employed John Honeyman & Keppie to enlarge the house, refurbish several interiors and make alterations to outbuildings. In 1897, the practice returned to design a new music room, which included a substantial and ornate organ case.

Colour photograph of N. elevationColour photograph of Craigie Hall from N.W.

1892 additions and alterations

Two large reception rooms were added to the secluded S. side of the house: a large, square winter-garden under a glazed lantern roof, and a billiard room with part-glazed and barrel-vaulted roof and a large chimneypiece. The adjacent ground-floor drawing room was extended and a dressing room added above. The interior walls of the winter garden are of red sandstone carved with shallow pilasters. In the billiard room, the repousse bronze panel in the chimneypiece recalls the contemporary clock in one of the two gallery chimneypieces at the Glasgow Art Club, and Mackintosh's drawing for the tower clock at the Canal Boatmen's Institute; and all relate to Michelangelo's Medici tomb, Florence, which Mackintosh had visited the previous year. Dominating the S. wall of the extended drawing room, a splendid pedimented white-painted timber chimneypiece also recalls those in the Art Club.

Colour photograph of winter gardenColour photograph of extension to drawing room

On the E. side of the house, the single-storey service wing was raised by a further floor plus attic. The N. elevation of this wing was embellished with a shallow bay window with ogee roof, and carved shield motif above. Drawings submitted to the Glasgow Dean of Guild Court in 1892 show that this two-storey bay was originally to have been an oriel, and that an identical oriel was intended for the E. elevation.

Colour photograph of N. elevation, canted bay

Three of the doorcases in the main hall, and the shelves, leaded glass, fireplace and built-in corner seat in the library show a blend of classical forms with Glasgow Style details. Though there is no documentary evidence that Mackintosh designed these, on stylistic grounds they are accepted as his work; links with his symbolist paintings of a similar date have been suggested. 1

Colour photograph of hall doorcasesColour photograph of the library

1897 music room

Mackintosh prepared four drawings for simple Gothic-inspired wall panelling with ogee detailing for the music room. 2 The panelling does not survive, but the massive organ case, designed by Mackintosh, has similar panelling on its side cupboards, and the sketched chimneypiece in one drawing closely resembles the chimneypiece installed in the music room. At its centre, the organ keyboard cabinet has attenuated leaf-like metal hinges and a central wooden column with carved tendrils and birds below a square cyma recta cap. The uprights of the organ stool are pierced with heart shapes. As with the fittings in the hall and library, though there is no documentary evidence that Mackintosh designed the organ and stool, on stylistic grounds they are accepted as his work 3

Colour photograph of organ and music room

Listing

The superior quality of the work carried out by the practice in the 1890s was recognised in 1978 when, threatened with demolition, the house was given the statutory protection as Category A. 4 In early 1980, it was bought and refurbished to provide office accommodation while carefully preserving the significant interiors. 5

A report on the condition of Craigie Hall was produced as part of the Mackintosh Buildings Survey, led by the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society and carried out between 2015 and 2016. 6

Notes:

1: For more detail see Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs, Moffat, Dumfriesshire: Cameron & Hollis, 4th edn, 2009, pp. 27–8.

2: The Hunterian, University of Glasgow: GLAHA 41292; GLAHA 41293; GLAHA 41294; GLAHA 52328.

3: For more detail see Roger Billcliffe, Charles Rennie Mackintosh: The Complete Furniture, Furniture Drawings and Interior Designs, Moffat, Dumfriesshire: Cameron & Hollis, 4th edn, 2009, pp. 45–6.

4: The house was given the highest level of protection, listed as category A on 27 April 1978. Historic Scotland, listed building report no. 33583.

5: 'Craigie Hall', Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society Newsletter, 30, Autumn 1981, p. 2.

6: A copy of the report (MBS05) 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.