?WWW.NTS.ORG.UKARCHITECTURErelaxing in the large servants' kitchen with awelcome cup of tea.Modest, too, is the group of little houses in theRoyal Burgh of Culross, Fife, which ranks among theTrust's most significant conservation achievements.The whole township, distinguished as the birthplaceof Glasgow's Patron, St Mungo, was saved for thenation. Its little houses have been beautifully andsensitively restored and let out. The grander house,which sits in their midst, was formerly home to thegreat 16th-century landowner, mine owner, inventorand industrial innovator, Sir George Bruce. Bruce, following from the monks of Culross Abbeywho had started the mining industry, revolutionisedthe process of coal extraction and exportation fromthe town. At one point his mine extended a mile outto sea with a shaft, which must have been anextraordinary work of engineering, rising above thewaves, allowing boats to be loaded without evencoming into port. Bruce's own home, built in twophases in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, issuperbly decorated with rich frescoes earning thelocal epithet which it bears to this day, "The Palace".Around it, little white harled houses are topped withred pan-tiles, the ballast from returning vessels. Thewhole magical composition looks like a littleHanseatic port somehow translated to Scotland. While Fyvie, Culzean, Alloway and Culrossrepresent country living and small-town life, theTrust's holdings include two very different urbantenements. Gladstone's Landis typical of the HighStreet tenements whose various levels once housedthe strata of Edinburgh society. Named after themerchant who bought the property in 1617, thissturdily built 17th-century tenement is set above aFrom top: PollokHouse, Culross andGladstone's LandKirk, where Tam o' Shanter watched agog as thewitches danced and the Brig o' Doon, where Tam'smare, Meg, lost her "ain gray tail".A relatively modest country house on the outskirtsof Glasgow shares with Culzean an association withthe great Adam architectural dynasty. Pollokhasoften been attributed to Robert Adam's father,William, who certainly was involved in earlyproposals, but died before the house was built. LikeFyvie, Pollok is much remodelled. Sir Robert RowandAnderson, the founder of the Royal Incorporation ofArchitects in Scotland, played a major part inestablishing its current appearance. Set between an elegant entrance court embracedby high walls and a manicured geometric garden,Pollok House is a simple, classical, geometriccomposition. On entering, visitors are drawn upflanking stairways, while the central stair leadsdownwards into the service quarters. Visitors in times gone by would have beensegregated according to their roles and status.However, Trust members tend first to choose a visitupstairs to the elegantly furbished 18th-centuryrooms, whose paintings include works by greatartists including El Greco and Blake, before?
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