Cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. Masterfully designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, Holmwood is a family home with grand imagination behind it. Admire the richly embellished 19th-century architecture and impressively detailed interiors, all inspired by classical designs. Take a stroll around the attractive riverside grounds and the Victorian kitchen garden.
Located in the Southside of the city, Thomson designed the house for paper magnate James Couper and his wife in 1857–58 – it is widely regarded as the architect's finest domestic creation. His stunning design legacy impresses at every turn.
Thomson’s penchant for Grecian styling and symmetry is evidenced throughout Holmwood, where the bold opulent decoration echoes the colours found in ancient Greek temples. The house is part of an ongoing conservation project and there is always something new for visitors to see.
Outside, visitors are greeted by classical patterns etched into the sandstone, as well as elegant cupolas, columns and floor-to-ceiling windows. Inside, friezes depict scenes from The Iliad in detail. Look out for some of Thomson’s clever architectural tricks – in the dining room the door frames are tapered to give the impression of temple-high ceilings; elsewhere he created ‘false doors’ for symmetrical effect.
There are pretty riverside grounds to explore as well as a small kitchen garden, planted with a range of Victorian herbs, fruit and vegetables.