Holmwood House

Holmwood, now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, is a unique villa designed by Glasgow’s second most famous architect, Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson. It was built in 1857-8 for James Couper, a local businessman. Thomson’s original room decoration, based on themes from the classical world, is being uncovered and we’ve followed the progress of this continuing conservation work over the years.

Here, a piece of original wall paper has been uncovered in the dining room, and the barometer sits atop the fire-place in the hall:

A selection from the classical frieze:

Beautiful floor tiling:

Ceilings and dome:

When we first visited, it was empty, and although still not fully furnished, it now looks more like a home.

There are also attractive riverside grounds to explore and a small kitchen garden, planted with a range of Victorian herbs, fruit and vegetables. Unfortunately, while we were in the house the heavens opened so we didn’t spend long outside.

All the more time to spend taking tea in the small café!


41 thoughts on “Holmwood

  1. hilarymb September 5, 2016 / 13:58

    Hi Annabel – all the more reason for another visit – what a delightful place. Thanks for sharing with us … cheers HIlary


  2. Pit September 5, 2016 / 14:14

    Hi Anabel,
    I always like it when these old buildings are painstakingly restored to their former beauty.
    Have a wonderful week,


  3. Birgit September 5, 2016 / 15:48

    It is such a shame how many beautiful gems were destroyed to make way for a parking lot. I’m glad this is preserved and lovingly restored. It looks so beautiful to visit especially when you can see it in its stages.


    • Anabel Marsh September 5, 2016 / 16:31

      Yes, that’s been really interesting over the years.


  4. Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor September 5, 2016 / 18:23

    Another place in Scotland I never got a chance to visit. I love the tiled floors. That was something I always wanted to do on our property.


    • Anabel Marsh September 6, 2016 / 00:42

      Yes, they are beautiful. A lot of quite humble closes also have similar tiles. Our house is too new!


  5. Blue Sky Scotland September 5, 2016 / 23:52

    Always been a big fan of Thomson and William Leiper who both designed many fantastic Scottish buildings yet it’s usually Mackintosh who gets all the plaudits internationally. When I visited Hill House in Helensburgh a couple of years ago I liked the buildings situated around it more as it didn’t have a warm feel viewed from the outside. Very cold and modernistic looking compared to other properties in the town which felt very welcoming and cosy by comparison, many designed by William Leiper. (Templeton’s Carpet Factory is his as well)
    Lovely interiors and I like Thomson’s pastel designs.


    • Anabel Marsh September 6, 2016 / 00:45

      There is an exhibition on Leiper in town at the moment which I haven’t had a chance to get to yet. The architect of Maryhill Burgh Halls also had the misfortune of designing a house next to Hill House – forever overshadowed!


  6. Ann Coleman September 6, 2016 / 15:10

    Holmwood looks amazing! The more I read of your blog, the more I realize I have to make it to Scotland before I die….


    • Anabel Marsh September 6, 2016 / 16:07

      Everyone should make it to Scotland before they die! But then, I’m a little biased……

      Liked by 1 person

  7. susan@onesmallwalk September 6, 2016 / 21:42

    Such lovely detail. Although I can admire it in photos, I am always asking myself ‘who cleans that?’ when I look at ornate fixtures 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) September 7, 2016 / 13:19

    I absolutely love that wallpaper! It looks reminiscent of the Etruscan Room at Osterley Park, though I suppose Holmwood’s would have been created nearly a century later. And what a handsome rocking horse that is!


    • Anabel Marsh September 7, 2016 / 13:31

      Both wallpaper and rocking horse are gorgeous, I agree.


  9. Sarah Ferguson and Choppy September 8, 2016 / 05:25

    I love the floors and ceilings – so much more elaborate and well thought out than what we get today!


    • Anabel Marsh September 8, 2016 / 14:17

      Thanks for the lovely link! I just popped over to have a look.


  10. restlessjo September 8, 2016 / 07:10

    Lovely old place! I do like old things 🙂 And I wouldn’t mind having that barometer sit on my mantelpiece.


  11. Claire September 8, 2016 / 23:37

    What a gem! I’ve never been, but definitely on the To Visit list soon – thank you for sharing!


    • Anabel Marsh September 9, 2016 / 00:08

      Definitely worth visiting. Just had a look at your Linley blog – intriguing!


  12. rosemaylily2014 September 9, 2016 / 07:50

    Very elegant – love the tiling! How the other half lived in those days!


  13. inesephoto September 10, 2016 / 04:07

    I love old wallpapers. It is wonderful that this villa is so well preserved – there are so many neglected places lost forever.


  14. BeckyB September 10, 2016 / 10:59

    Wonderful . . . . somewhere else to add to my Scottish list when I next make it up. Hoping to pop up in a few weeks but nothing booked and time is beginning to run out for us. Sy maybe next year . . . . .


  15. findingnyc September 11, 2016 / 00:53

    I love the architectural and decorative details in homes like these, Anabel. It’s always interesting to see the tile patterns on the floors, and those ceilings are gorgeous!


  16. jazzfeathers September 18, 2016 / 19:23

    Such a beautiful place. I really like the outside 🙂


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