Royal Commission on the Ancient Monuments of Scotland
The late Georgian mansion of Neuck stands on level ground close to the junction of the Pow Burn with the River Forth, and about a mile SE. of the village of Airth. The house is substantially built and incorporates a number of pleasing features, among them a handsome perron now unfortunately masked by an overgrowth of creeper.
The building is a simple rectangular block comprising a basement, two
principal storeys and an attic; the masonry is of droved ashlar, the material
being a grey sandstone. A plain band runs round the house at first- floor
level and the walls finish in a moulded eaves-cornice above which there
is a plain blocking-course. The roof is hipped and slated, and the chimney-vents
are of dressed stone. The principal facade (Pl. 195 B) faces NW., and contains
the main entrance which is centrally placed on the first floor. The central
portion of the facade projects, and is surmounted by a triangular pediment
in the centre of which there is a circular window. Three plain stone blocks
are set a little behind the pediment, one at the foot of each rake and
the third at the apex; this last bears the incised inscription J A H /
STATUIT / 1812. The front door, over which there is a fanlight, is framed
by a Tuscan entrance-portico. It is approached by a semi-elliptical perron
with dual ascent which incorporates an ornamental cast-iron balustrade.
On either side of the entrance there is a single large window, the three
smaller windows that light the second floor being placed symmetrically
above. The windows of the two principal floors have moulded architraves,
and those of the first floor have in addition a plain frieze and moulded
cornice. The SE. facade is generally similar to the NW. one, but incorporates
a large circular-headed window with a sunk surround to light the stair.
The dormer windows and the porch giving access to the base ment are not
parts of the original composition.
|The plan (Fig. 136) is conventional. The front door leads into a lobby
which in turn opens into an elliptical saloon; this occupies a central
position within the house and gives access both to the geometric stair
on the SE. and to all the first-floor apartments. These comprise a dining-room
and morning-room in the W. and S. corners respectively, and a drawing-room
and a large ante-room in the N. and E. corners respectively. The morning-
room is now subdivided and used as a kitchen, but it retains a grey marble
fireplace with a wooden surround. The other apartments on the ground floor
also contain marble fireplaces, some of them now painted over, but apart
from their woodwork, which is of a high quality, these rooms are of no
special interest. The saloon rises to the second floor and is lit from
above. At this level it has a gallery from which access is obtained to
the bed rooms, one of which has an ornamental cast-iron Carron fireplace.
A domed iron safety-cage designed to fit inside the gallery balustrade
is preserved in the stables.
It may be deduced from the inscription already noted that the house
was built by John Alexander Higgins in 1812. The Higgins family seems to
have been present in this part of the county for a long time, a Patrick
Haging, no doubt a forerunner, being on record in the early i6th century.1
After the death of John Higgins in 1822 the estate passed by descent
to the families of Burn-
910867 N5 98 NW 29 August 1955
1. Accts. L.H.T., iv (1507-13), xlvii.