20 Nov 2012
avatar Author: Nicky Haslam

Before tinned Salmond swims further up-stream dragging the lowlands in his tubby wake and you need ID cards to cross Hadrian’s Wall, use as your passport to that maybe-new country up North this stunning  book, THE SCOTTISH COUNTRY HOUSE, written by the king of Scottish scholars James Knox and superbly photographed by another monarch of the lens, James Fennell.

You’ll find ten private, and for the most-part heretofore unseen, homes….palaces is nearer the mark… their astonishing grandeur of gilding and porcelain and portraits mingled with below-stairs vignettes and snapshots from family albums, (though sadly not one of Lord Stair’s house, where congealing food used to be left on a wheezy hot-plate all day, covered with an old eiderdown), to say nothing of facades and gardens and landscapes. Among the most fascinating is The House of the Binns, the seat of the Dalzells ( a.k.a Dalziels), to which family Diana Vreeland was related….looking at these pics, you’ll suss where she got much of her pizzazz.

Beds and boots in The Binns

Bannisters in Bowhill

Arcades at Arniston

Forebeans at Foulis

Dishes at Dumfries

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