‘I knew the build­ing needed some­thing ma­jor for it to have an­other 100-150 years of life’

Scottish Field - - INTERIORS - KINROSS HOUSE -

The house was built be­tween 1685 and 1692, although the gar­dens were planted in 1675, 10 years be­fore a stone was laid for the house, in or­der that they would be ma­ture by the time the build was fin­ished. The owner and de­signer was Sir Wil­liam Bruce, who was ini­tially a mer­chant. ‘He’s known as the fa­ther of Scot­tish clas­si­cism and the Kit of the North, Kit be­ing the nick­name of Sir Christo­pher Wren in Eng­land.

‘He wasn’t a very suc­cess­ful mer­chant, but he was the right man in the right place at the right time. He be­came the go-be­tween for Gen­eral Monk and Charles II, and as such was in­stru­men­tal in putting Charles back on the throne. One of sev­eral roles be­stowed on him as thanks, was the King’s Sur­veyor of Build­ings in Scot­land and this in­cluded The Palace of Holy­rood House which he re­mod­elled and re­built for Charles. He was also the orig­i­nal ar­chi­tect for Hopetoun House. At the time of build­ing Kin­ross House, Wil­liam Adam was Bruce’s clerk of works, and Bruce was a huge in­flu­ence on Adam and his sons. How­ever, pol­i­tics be­ing as they were at the time when Charles died, Bruce was in and out of favour with the next two Monar­chs, and even­tu­ally ended up im­pris­oned in Ed­in­burgh Cas­tle on trumped up charges of trea­son, for which he was never tried. Af­ter that, there’s no record of him and no known grave. He de­serves a pub­lic mon­u­ment, in the great Scot­tish tra­di­tion.’

His legacy how­ever has lived on in Kin­ross House and Don­ald was deter­mined to en­sure that it would do so for the fore­see­able fu­ture. ‘Whilst I didn’t know ex­actly what was re­quired, I knew the build­ing needed some­thing ma­jor for it to have an­other 100-150 years of life. With a build­ing like that, you can’t go from room to room patch­ing a bit here and there. I re­alised it would have to be a root and branch af­fair. I also

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