Basic Site Details

Name: Glen Tanar Estate Bush Cottages and Kennels
Town, district or village: Glentanar/Glen Tanar
City or county: Aberdeenshire
Country: Scotland
Grid ref:
Notes: The Kennels, already constructed by 1874, were considered some of the best in the country and were illustrated and described in some detail in the Illustrated Book of the Dog, published in 1881. However, further alterations seem to have taken place after this date, the illustration not corresponding to the description given in the Listing Notice

A little beyond ( the deer and game larders) we come to the dog kennels, and as picturesque as the other works, with constant flow of water through the yards for drinking and bathing. We then see two houses, in one of which lives Mr Brooks’s great deer stalker, and if he does not appreciate his home, where he has plenty of room, his out of door seats, and his water, he ought to, as we dare say he does. [Aberdeen Journal/Builder 19 September 1874 p791-792]

Where space and means permit, it is of course possible to erect more complete and specially-adapted accommodation. By the permission of the owner, and the kind assistance of Mr. George Truefitt, of Bloomsbury Square, the architect under whose superintendence were erected not only the kennels but all the other buildings at the shooting-lodge, we are enabled to give a view and ground-plan of the kennels erected for Mr. W. Cunliffe Brooks, M.P., in the forest of Glen-Tana, Aberdeenshire. It is built for stag-hounds, setters, and pointers, and is one of the most complete and compact examples we have met with of a gentleman's kennel for a good team of sporting dogs.

The references underneath the plan will explain the principal details of the Glen-Tana kennels, which are very fortunate in regard to position. This is not a small matter when it is a question of selecting a site, and of keeping working dogs in the highest health and condition. To attain this result, " kennels require," to quote from a note received with the view from Mr. Cunliffe Brooks,"plenty of air, yet shelter ; plenty of sun, yet shade." These kennels are built on the crest of a small hill, and have some old trees in the outer yards, as well as surrounding them, the position of these being shown by the dotted circles. They are also supplied with clear running water ; not only are the streams at w-w thus supplied, but the troughs a-a in the inner yards are also filled with water constantly flowing, to which fact the owner very much attributes the good health and condition of his dogs.

It will be seen that in these kennels are comprised four separate sets of apartments, each containing an inner kennel, furnished with beds, an inner open yard with a water-trough, two of which have open benches under verandahs, and larger or outer yards for exercise. The boiler or cooking-house which is furnished with two coppers or boilers, is so situated as to communicate directly with all four kennels ; and here the dogs when brought home at night can be washed and attended to, and then put in their respective kennels without being taken into the open air. A sleeping-room for the attendant is also in the centre of all. The yard-walls are built with masonry to a certain height, above that are iron railings, not spiked at the top, but with curled ends, as shown in the perspective view.

It has just been remarked that the railings of the Glen-Tana kennels are curved at the top, and this may suggest remark on a rather important matter. Many a good dog has been spiked in trying to leap pointed railings, which are very dangerous unless carried to a greater height than is usual or necessary. The railings should, therefore, be either carried up (if spiked) to a good height, or curved at the top in some way. In Figs. 7 and 8 is illustrated an admirable pattern of railing which is in use at the Paris Jardin d'Acclimatation, and in some other places on the Continent, and the only objection to which is its expense. The figures given will explain the construction, and show how the whole railing is curved in at the top towards the yards, while stronger railings at proper intervals support short lengths of a revolving cylinder. If a dog reaches the cylinder it yields to his weight at once, and he falls back into the yard. We have never seen this kind of railing used in England, but the idea seems to us worth importation. If properly made, as the bulk of the railing might be made light, the expense need not be greater than that of the ordinary spike railing, if so much. [Vero Kemball Shaw. The Illustrated Book of the Dog 1881 pp11-13]

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 2Cottage  
Item 2 of 2Kennels  


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 1Before 1874c. 1885Build/construction 


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 2George TruefittArchitect Before 1874 Kennels
Item 2 of 2George TruefittArchitect c. 1885(?) Nos 3-5


The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
Item 1 of 1Cunliffe-Brooks, Sir William 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 3Geddes, Jane2001Deeside and the Mearns: An Illustrated Architectural Guide Edinburgh: RIAS/Rutland Pressp129
Item 2 of 3Mawson, Thomas H1927The Life and Works of an English Landscape Architect  p46 onwards
Item 3 of 3Shaw, Vero Kemball1881The Illustrated Book of the Dog  pp11-13 with plan, perspective and details of railings

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this building:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder19 September 1874  pp791-792 reprinted from Aberdeen Journal

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this building:
 SourceArchive nameSource catalogue no.Notes
Item 1 of 2Historic Environment ScotlandListed Buildings Register47084 
Item 2 of 2National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSGeorge Truefitt at Glen Tanar 1875-85: photo album p19, 44