National Trust for Scotland

Oct 20th, 2010 | | National Trust for Scotland | No Comments

Hill of Tarvit, Cupar, Scotland



In the early 20th century the Scotstarvit estate, south of Cupar in Fife, was bought by Frederick Bower Sharp. The Sharp family had made their fortune in Dundee, where they manufactured jute products (including selling sackcloth for sandbagging to both sides during the American Civil War). Frederick, however, trained as a financier and became chairman of one of the earliest investment trusts and became involved in the Victorian railway boom as a director of the London, Midland and Scottish Railway.

Sharp considered the 17th century Wemyss Hall on the estate to be totally unsuitable as a family home and for showing off his large collection of Flemish tapestries, Chinese porcelain and bronzes, French and English Furniture and European paintings. So he commissioned Sir Robert Lorimer (who had worked on the restoration of Kellie Castle ten miles away). Lorimer’s design largely demolished the original structure to create a new building, which was given the the name of Hill of Tarvit Mansionhouse.

I was employed by the National Trust for Scotland to investigate the paint on two areas of the interior and on the exterior surfaces of a number of buildings on the Hill of Tarvit Estate.

The external face of the windows had been painted white originally and the doors of the Estate buildings in Brunswick green.  The latter was the name given to a range of green colours that were tinted with Prussian blue and chrome yellow and which saw great use on external surfaces from the late 1820s to the ca.1950s.

See a slideshow of images taken while I was working on the house:




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