Balcaskie House, Fife, and the early architecture of Sir William Bruce
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Chapter 1 attempts to place Bruce’s career in a political context and argues that Bruce may not have contributed as much to the Restoration of Charles II as has been suggested. Chapter 2 examines Bruce’s education and the early influence on his architecture; and his first practical experience in Edinburgh and at Leslie House, Fife. Chapter 3 assesses how much of Balcaskie House existed before Bruce bought the property in 1665. Chapter 4 attempts to identify what Bruce added to Balcaskie by analysing the surviving building-accounts, concentrating on his remodelling of the interior, the gardens, and the rationalisation of the entrance front. Chapter 5 examines what influence Bruce’s architecture had on his contemporaries, with special reference to Kinneil House. I have written this dissertation first because I believe Balcaskie to have been neglected and underestimated by all architectural historians, and secondly in order to find out more about Bruce’s early life – and at the same time to question some of the assumptions which have been made about him. I conclude that Balcaskie may claim to be the first Scottish classical house.
Thesis, MLitt Master of Letters
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