Birgham Haugh


Building owner/client:

Hirsel Estate, Douglas & Angus Estates

Architect or lead designer:

Developers: Hudson Hirsel, Architects: Simpson & Brown

Local Authority Area:

Scottish Borders

Nominating Body:

Berwickshire Civic Society

Project Description

Birgham Haugh is a development of 5 residential properties in Brigham, a Tweed-side village midway between Coldstream and Kelso. It includes a historic farm steading that had fallen into dilapidation, but has features which possibly date back to the 18th century, and fronts onto the main road, forming an important part of the village streetscape. 3 of the houses are two storey, 3 bedroom, detached new-builds. Their first floor exteriors are timber clad and have been finished in pale blue paint, whilst the ground floors have traditional stone clad walls, utilizing stones from the original farm buildings. The houses successfully include an element of local vernacular but with 21st century style. The other 2 dwellings, which are single storey and have 2 bedrooms, have been formed from the farm buildings that fronted onto the main road and a side road. The original 19th century frontage had been finished to a reasonable standard, with some good quality stonework, interesting ironwork and a large entrance archway opening into the farmyard. The original stonework and many other features have been sensitively conserved within the new design. For example, the structure of the arched gateway has become a feature in one of the houses, and a dovecote and some of the ironware have been repaired and retained. The dwellings look southwards into their own courtyards, preserving a memory of the original stock yard, and when inside one is hardly aware that they are adjacent to quite a busy main road. Inside they are light and spacious and have been finished to a high standard, without compromising the quality of the interior spaces. All 5 dwellings have been built with energy efficiency and sustainable materials in mind and form a pleasing cluster of houses where there was once dilapidation and farm buildings which were no longer suitable for modern farming methods and so had an uncertain future. Birgham Haugh was the winner of the Berwickshire Civic Society’s 2015 Architectural Award.

Supporting Statement

The scheme revitalizes farm buildings that are also a significant and historic feature of the village streetscape. The new development is well integrated with the historic steading and forms a neat and particularly pleasing housing cluster. The houses are built to a high standard whilst blending in well with the village environment. They are also energy efficient, making careful use of low impact materials.