Upper Largo and Largo House

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright May 2019, Bill Kasman; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Section Two: Largo House

Today, this once-magnificent country house lies in ruins - a sad testimony to the passing of the years and the careless neglect so often visited upon our national heritage. Building commenced on this (probably) John Adam-styled mansion in 1753 for estate landowner General James Durham and served as the house for this prominent local family for many years (and a major local employer). General Durham built the stable block in 1851 and added two wings to the rear of the house plus the conservatory, the Eagle Lodge and Gate and a new driveway (all 1831). During WWII The house and its grounds served as headquarters and training base for the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade and it housed the Polish Military Geographical Institute until 1946. After the war the house was unused and unoccupied and gradually began to deteriorate. In the early 1950s the roof was removed (to avoid paying rates) and the house and its outbuildings have been pretty much allowed to crumble away ever since to the point where there is now virtually no hope of the house being saved and restored to its former glory.

Another Largo House?

Around 1491 Sir Andrew Wood (c1455-1515, admiral in the Scottish Navy and known as 'Scotland's Nelson') built a family home in the form of a fortified tower house to the north of the present Largo House the only remains of which is the Scheduled Monument of Wood's Tower. Sir Andrew allegedly linked his home and the nearby church (now Largo and Newburn Parish Church) with what is believed by some to be Scotland's earliest canal, built so he could be rowed to church in his personal barge each Sunday in a manner befitting a naval hero. Just such a canal is marked on modern maps but there is doubt as to the accuracy of this claim. An archaeological dig in 1992 failed to find any sign of the clay liner which would have been present had this indeed been a canal. A map from 1854 indicates the existence of a quarry and a well close to the same location but gives no indication of the existence of a canal. The 'remains of a canal' marked on modern maps may actually be those of the old quarry workings or be connected with the well LinkExternal link


NO4203 : Largo House by Bill Kasman
From the gate at the end of East Drive the ruins of Largo House can just be made out amongst the trees.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Ruined building by Bill Kasman
This ruin is marked on old maps as a 'Cistern House'.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Ruined building by Bill Kasman
This ruin is marked on old maps as a 'Cistern House'.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4103 : Old Doocot by Bill Kasman
This 17th century doocot (dovecote) lies close to Largo Home Farm.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Former canal? by Bill Kasman
This depression in the ground is reputed to be the remains of a canal built by Sir Andrew Wood (c1455-1515), admiral in the Royal Scots Navy, who has been described as 'Scotland's Nelson' but an archaeological excavation in 1992 found no trace of the clay liner which would have been present had this indeed been a canal. A map from 1854 shows the presence of a quarry and a well close to this position so the 'canal' may be the remains of the quarry workings or may be associated with the well LinkExternal link
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Eagle Gates, Upper Largo by Bill Kasman
In 1831 Eagle Lodge and the Eagle Gates were built along with a new driveway serving Largo House. One of the stone eagles which used to top the gate piers has disappeared. The line of the driveway can still be seen beyond the house.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Driveway to Largo House by Bill Kasman
Running diagonally just below the tree can be seen the line of the former driveway serving Largo House. It stops at the fence which is the boundary of Largo Cricket Club playing fields although it must have continued further on.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4103 : Ruins of farm buildings by Bill Kasman
Behind Largo Home Farm lie these ruins. The top of Sir Andrew Wood's Tower can be seen on the left.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4103 : Ruins of farm buildings by Bill Kasman
These ruins are behind Largo Home Farm. The top of Sir Andrew Wood's Tower can be seen.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4103 : Sir Andrew Wood's Tower by Bill Kasman
A Scheduled Monument the tower is possibly the only remaining part of the house which Sir Andrew Wood built around 1490 but there is doubt as to both the tower's true age and who was responsible for its construction LinkExternal link
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Walled Garden, Largo House by Bill Kasman
Largo House had quite extensive walled gardens. This is part of a boundary wall.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4204 : Largo Law by Bill Kasman
From within the walled gardens of Largo House.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Walled Garden, Largo House by Bill Kasman
Now returned to grassland and livestock grazing.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Walled Garden, Largo House by Bill Kasman
The object in centre frame seems to have been a set of steps leading from this section of walled garden to another section which is now hidden behind a wall within the trees.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Walled Garden, Largo House by Bill Kasman
This seems to have been a set of steps leading from this section of walled garden to another section which is now hidden behind a wall within the trees - heavily overgrown, not accessible and which was the location of Sir Andrew Wood's original Largo House and Wood's Tower.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4103 : Walled Garden, Largo House by Bill Kasman
Behind this wall lies part of the walled gardens of Largo House but that area, which is the location of Sir Andrew Wood's Tower, is heavily overgrown and not accessible.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4103 : Walled Garden, Largo House by Bill Kasman
Sir Andrew Wood's Tower can be seen centre frame. That part of the gardens where the tower is located is heavily overgrown and not accessible.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Largo House by Bill Kasman
The house is heavily overgrown and probably beyond saving.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Largo House by Bill Kasman
The house is heavily overgrown and probably beyond saving.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : Largo House by Bill Kasman
The house is heavily overgrown and probably beyond saving.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4103 : Largo House stables by Bill Kasman
Built in 1851 the stables are heavily overgrown but are still relatively visible.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4103 : Largo House stables by Bill Kasman
Although the stables are heavily overgrown they are still relatively visible. The wall to the left is part of the walled gardens.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4103 : Largo House stables by Bill Kasman
Although the stables are heavily overgrown they are still relatively visible.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4103 : Largo House stables by Bill Kasman
Although the stables are heavily overgrown they are still relatively visible. Largo House Leisure Park is on the left.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman


NO4203 : What was this? by Bill Kasman
Close to the ruins of Largo House this seems to have been the foundations for a building but there are no clues as to what it was. It definitely had nothing to do with Largo House when it was in its heyday. It may be connected with the WWII use of the house and its grounds by the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade.
See Upper Largo article Link
by Bill Kasman




KML

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