Duff House Fishing Temple, Duff House Policies

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Duff House Fishing Temple
Other Name(s)
Duff House Policies
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NJ 69065 62848
Location Type
HS Reference No


2-stage, round fishing temple, on island in River Deveron to E of Duff House, currently roofless and overgrown (1990). Polished ashlar with raised and moulded architraves, lugged door surrounds, base course, band course, moulded cornice. Horseshoe stair with moulded treads and simple wrought-iron balustrade, to doorway of principal upper stage, in advanced pedimented bay; doorway below at ground under steps. Further advanced pedimented bay opposite blank. 4 tall windows to principal stage, smaller windows below. 2 basket-arched fireplaces inside, that to upper stage with finely roll-moulded arrises. Moulded, corniced ashlar stack, with clasping vase-shaped flues.

The Fishing Temple, domed and surmounted by a gilded figure of Fame, is illustrated in the above portrait of Lady Braco by Mosman. William Adam's Accounts to Lord Braco (in evidence for the Braco case) refer to plans for this Temple, built on an island in the River Deveron, as well as the Temple on Doun Hill (listed separately in Macduff Burgh), and designs for a Mausoleum (which was not built, but may be the structure illustrated in a portrait of William Duff, Lord Braco by William Mosman in 1741; see Holloway). Tait has sited this temple incorrectly on the Hill of Bauchlaw to the SW of Duff House, and suggests that it was designed by William Bowie; the above evidence suggests otherwise. The plans quoted, thought to be by Bowie, SRO RHP31, 394, are therefore probably not for the Duff House Estate, as catalogued. (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
Circa 1741
William Adam

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
8/10/2010, 23/10/2013
Development History
October 2010: External inspection finds the building a roofless ruin in an isolated site, much overgrown with vegetation, but still remarkably intact.
January 2011: Press and Journal reports the Banff Preservation and Heritage Society is progressing a scheme to restore the former fishing temple/ summer house. The article notes the island the building lies on is privately owned and that the owners wish to retain ownership. The Society is however in discussions to secure a long-term lease to the building. In 2003 North East Scotland Preservation Trust conducted a feasibility study on the building, the article also notes that The Landmark Trust tried to restore the structure during the 1970s.
14 December 2012: Local planners report the Banff Preservation Society is to lodge a planning application to stabilise the structure and convert it into a bird hide.
23 October 2013: Close inspection not possible, although obscured by trees, from what could be viewed, the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously.

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