Crookston House

The previous principle residence of the Borthwick of Crookston was Old Crookston House,
a charming 17th Century Laird's House. In 1816-17 John Borthwick 13th Crookston built Crookston House. A simple house of five bays and two storeys on a basement in grey whinstone, with sandstone dressings, was Jacobeanised in 1860-4 by Brown and Wardop, using the same materials. They added a new roof with curly gabled dormered attics with balustrade between, corner bartizan turrets and a large s. porch. Some Georgian interiors survive. There is a handsome stain glass armorial window added in 1873. A new staircase with Jacobean style woodwork was installed c1938. A big classical Conservatory and ballroom, both of which had fallen into a bad state of repair, were demolished in the 1990's. A garden terrace was laid out on the site.


The excellent iron gates at the south entrance to the house are dated 1871. The tall, rusticated piers are surmounted by pedestal led carved angels, each carrying a heraldic shield inscribed JB (John Borthwick) and EP (Elizabeth Pringle)


Before the First World War, there were considerable formal gardens. Few traces of these remain, except for a derelict walled garden. There is a ruined, but attractive Folly. This was situated some distance from the House, and overlooked a circular bowling green. This area was planted with Scots and Austrian pine, sometime after the Second World War. By the end of the 20th Century, the grounds had become overgrown with saplings and haphazard trees.

The present Lord Borthwick, John and his wife Adelaide, with the help of a knowledgeable tree surgeon, are thinning out the policies. They are creating new woodland paths, bordered with rhododendrons and bulbs. A new pond is going in during the autumn 2008, overlooked by an avenue of young Sequoia Giganteum. A small arboretum with Cherry, Malus, Lilac, Maples and ornamental conifers has been planted below
the house. Formal borders are being created in the vicinity of the house.