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Birth-stool of Scottish Romanticism? Holyrood and Sir William Bruce, ‘Surveyor-General and Overseer of the King's Buildings in Scotland’

Birth-stool of Scottish Romanticism? Holyrood and Sir William Bruce, ‘Surveyor-General and... Aonghus MacKechnie This paper considers 1670s Holyrood and Sir William Bruce, and it aims to set out some fresh contexts within which both architect and project can be placed.1 It sees Holyrood's reconstruction as fulfilling practical and rhetorical requirements for a modern royal palace, plus a political need to project a distinctively Scottish monarchy, meaning the architecture had therefore to encompass a careful selection of distinctively Scottish references. It also highlights Bruce's early role in castle preservation and conservation, in castle revival and revived Gothic, as well as his interest in what was to become known as the Picturesque. Overlying all this is the argument that Holyrood is the archetypal building in the history of Scotland's proto-Romanticism and mythmaking, and that it was made intentionally so partly to promote a myth of royal presence where the truth was otherwise; and that partly underlying the creation of a mythic Scotland was the decision to launch at Holyrood a reinvigorated Stuart rhetoric which included exploiting a politically unifying and unthreatening cult of Mary Queen of Scots. There are expenditures which are necessary, and others which are for splendour and dignity . . . One may count, among necessary expenditures, all http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Architectural Heritage Edinburgh University Press

Birth-stool of Scottish Romanticism? Holyrood and Sir William Bruce, ‘Surveyor-General and Overseer of the King's Buildings in Scotland’

Architectural Heritage , Volume 23 (1): 133 – Nov 1, 2012

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, 2012
Subject
Works by Bruce and some suggested contexts; Historical Studies
ISSN
1350-7524
eISSN
1755-1641
DOI
10.3366/arch.2012.0037
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Aonghus MacKechnie This paper considers 1670s Holyrood and Sir William Bruce, and it aims to set out some fresh contexts within which both architect and project can be placed.1 It sees Holyrood's reconstruction as fulfilling practical and rhetorical requirements for a modern royal palace, plus a political need to project a distinctively Scottish monarchy, meaning the architecture had therefore to encompass a careful selection of distinctively Scottish references. It also highlights Bruce's early role in castle preservation and conservation, in castle revival and revived Gothic, as well as his interest in what was to become known as the Picturesque. Overlying all this is the argument that Holyrood is the archetypal building in the history of Scotland's proto-Romanticism and mythmaking, and that it was made intentionally so partly to promote a myth of royal presence where the truth was otherwise; and that partly underlying the creation of a mythic Scotland was the decision to launch at Holyrood a reinvigorated Stuart rhetoric which included exploiting a politically unifying and unthreatening cult of Mary Queen of Scots. There are expenditures which are necessary, and others which are for splendour and dignity . . . One may count, among necessary expenditures, all

Journal

Architectural HeritageEdinburgh University Press

Published: Nov 1, 2012

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