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WWW.NTS.ORG.UK21?In the Year of Creative Scotland, when our little countrycelebrates the art, design and performance for which it isrecognised across the globe, it is worth remembering theunique creative heritage of architecture that the NationalTrust for Scotland and its members care for on behalf ofthe nation. The Trust's extraordinary collection ofproperties in care represents Scotland's history andcreativity in microcosm. Everything from lordly defensivestructures of belligerent medieval times through refinedcountry houses to a wee Glasgow tenement is available toTrust members and to visitors from throughout the world.The variety of architectural styles and the range oflocations of these buildings also tell much of ourdistinctive culture, patterns of settlement and the dailylives of generations of Scots. Fyvieis the exemplar of the great Scottish castle. Set on arise within the defensive embrace of a bend of the RiverYthan, between Aberdeen and Banff, this great home isawash with Frenchified detailing, pepper pot turrets, towersand angular gables, developed and adapted over centuries. Although the history of development on Fyvie's site canArchitecture is creativity at its most visible. Neil Baxtersurveys properties in the Trust's care to construct his own list of personal favouritesAbove, from left: Fyvie, Culloden, theTenement House,Gladstone's Land, The Hill House.Opposite: details fromthe Robert BurnsBirthplace Museum,Holmwood andCulloden. Left: stonestaircase at Fyvie

22?SUMMER 2012WWW.NTS.ORG.UKARCHITECTUREbe traced back to a royal charterfrom 1222, much of the presentbuilding dates from between the16th and 19th centuries, duringwhich time it was extensively restoredand extended by owners including the Gordons,the Earls of Aberdeen. The Gordon family builtup a superb collection of paintings at Fyvie,including important works by Raeburn,Gainsborough and Reynolds. So what was once adefensive house on a defensive site is now abuilding that exemplifies and celebrates a greatlegacy of Scottish architectural and artistic creativity.Culzeanis much more the child's vision of acastle, complete with crenellations, perchedromantically on its Ayrshire cliff-top. While Fyviedeveloped and changed over several centuries,Culzean is a more singular architectural statement.Robert Adam, one of the two contenders for the title"Scotland's greatest architect" produced a workwhich combines charming, domestic-scale roomswith grand chambers, befitting 18th-centuryaristocratic entertaining. Set in Scotland's first country park, Culzean and itsItalianate home farm attract visitors whose interestsrange beyond the castle itself to its elaboratelyconstructed gardens with their impressive lily pondsand the dramatic coastal setting. Adam sited what isinarguably his greatest country house to maximise thedrama of both long views and close-to. Culzean also glories in its later association with thegreat General Dwight D Eisenhower, who was given agrace and favour apartment here as a thank you for hisSecond World War service as Supreme Commander ofthe Allied Forces. This is a further important layer ofhistory among the attractions of what is one ofScotland's jewels. The contrast between Culzean and the littlethatched house, not so far away in Alloway, whichwas the first home of Scotland's favourite creativeson, Robert Burns, could not be more extreme.While those who grandly dwelt in the former werewaited upon by the proverbial army of servants, theinhabitants of the little cottage would, in the wintermonths, share their home and heat with their cattle. Making history understandable has always been akey part of the Trust's mission. In Alloway the newRobert Burns Birthplace Museum, designed withthe latest sustainability principles at its core,welcomes visitors to a village full of the places whichformed Burns and informed his poetry. Designed bySimpson & Brown Architects, the new buildingincorporates museum displays and helps to orientatevisitors around the buildings and monuments of thevillage, including Burns Cottage itself, Alloway AuldBurns Cottage, above,and Culzean Castle,right, with its oval staircase, inset"What was once a defensivehouse now exemplifies andcelebrates a great legacy ofScottish creativity"?