With the addition earlier in the year of the Magnificent Adam Mansion to the Scotts Castle Holidays portfolio of self-catering holiday houses in Scotland, we have been asked a number of times – what is an Adam Mansion?
In essence it is a building designed by one of the Adam family of architects who built numerous country houses and public buildings in a classical revival style predominantly in Scotland and England between 1730 – 1800.
The dynasty began with William Adam (1689 – 1748) who was born in Fife in Scotland, and who worked his way up from a humble mason to being “Principal Mason to the Board of Ordnance in North Britain”. One of his first projects he worked on was at Hopetoun House at South Queensferry, which is open to the public and can be visited today. The grand “English” style landscaping of the grounds were also designed by William Adam, whilst the interior of the house was eventually completed years later by John and Robert.
He had become successful quickly, but history is littered with architects and building businesses going by the wayside, and one of the factors for his great success was that he was on the right side of the political landscape for success. He was not sympathetic to the Jacobite cause and his commissions came from the government or the landed gentry and his stock rose even higher. One of his finest houses can be found in Aberdeenshire in Banff, where he built Duff House for the Earl of Fife and it is now regarded as one of the world’s finest Georgian houses. This is also open to the public.
By now it had become a family firm, with William working alongside his sons, firstly John and then James and Robert, who were to develop the “Adam style” further along more classical antiquity lines. By now, the amount of buildings in England and Scotland that they were involved with is staggering and Robert Adam became the principal architect of the day. Harewood House in Leeds, Syon House in London, Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, St Andrews Church in Norfolk and Marlborough in Brighton – are all part of the prolific work-load, to name but a few. Whilst so much of Edinburgh’s “New Town” area is “Adam”, a great example of his work in Scotland is Culzean Castle, which now belongs to the National Trust of Scotland and is open to the public.
Architecture comes in and out of fashion, but this “Adam Mansion” style can still be seen throughout the UK. Not just from the exterior, but it can be found in the landscaping of grounds and the interior work inside the mansion or country house. Looking at an Adam fireplace, with their wreaths and swags, you can see the classical Roman influence in the design in close-up. This is one of the joys of being able to book the “Magnificent Adam Mansion”.
Today it is possible to choose an actual “Adam Mansion” as your holiday house in Scotland and get to enjoy the fine detail of this classical architecture at your leisure. Whatever period of architecture you enjoy or if you just wish to stay in a large holiday house in a beautiful setting in Scotland, then follow in Robert Adam’s footsteps with Scotts Castle Holidays.