Blair Castle Baron Maule's Room

As a result of the work on the Clock Tower, the Blair Charitable Trust made Jonathan Gotelee the Castle and Estates' Fabric Surveyor; Blair Castle is Scotland's most visited private home and an iconic piece of Scottish Architecture, to be asked to help the continuing life of the Estate is a great honour.

Baron Maule's Room is a part of the 16th Century extension to the original Comyn's tower, the tower remains the same height as originally built but in the intervening 400 years has had three different roofs. The current roof sits behind a high parapet corbelled from the original walls, a result of David Bryce's re-castellation of the Castle in the latter part of the 19th Century. The castle had severe water ingress problems into the room below, a fine panelled 18th century room called Baron Maule's Room and other adjacent spaces.

The problem was complicated; there were many years of alterations to understand and several possible places for water to get in but it was obvious that much of the water was coming through the masonry of the parapet and down through them intothe walls below. Jonathan decided that the cement harl on the parapets had to be removed to allow the parapet to start to dry and then replace the harl with a breathable lime based harl. Carefully detailed flashings were then used to prevent water getting into the wall from stone copes or other stone details and the lead parapet gutter was replaced with new overflow outlets and cast iron rain pipes.

The analysis proved to be correct; as the cement harl was removed from the inside of the parapet so much water flowed out of the wall that it was running over the mason's hand as they cut the harl off. The new detailing should allow any small amount of water that does get in to evaporate back out again without causing as much damage further down the building.

The project was started at Purcell Edinburgh and completed at JGA.

Design Team

Architects: Purcell Edinburgh/JGA
Quantity Surveyor: Thompson Gray
Structural Engineers: Elliott & Co
Mechanical and Electrical Engineers: Irons Foulner

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Baron Maule's Room is at the top level to the right of the Castle front entrance
Parapet after completion
Baron Maule's Room Roof from Comyn's Tower