Royal and Ancient Burgh of Lauder  
home > history > towntrail > symington place

Symington Place (12)

Symington Place

Symington Place features some interesting architectural features such as the 'cat-hole' at the rear of the houses separating them from the properties in the High Street.

All the houses in Symington Place face east and there is no common gable with the houses in West High Street. At one time this was a common building pattern in the Burgh and there are still other examples to be found. This building arrangement facilitated a passage in front of the house to access the barn or byre at the rear of the building plot. Building a house in this manner meant that a space of approximately 12 inches had to be left between the back of the property to allow for a drop from the eaves of the thatch (for water run off) to the back, but kept within the owners limits. This space was often called a "cat-hole".

"Cat Hole"

A "cat-hole" is a small aperture of some 9-12 inches wide, insufficient to allow a person to pass through, but convenient for the accumulation of rubbish! A very small or 'mean' gable might occupy the site of the "cat-hole", but the houses separated by the "cat-holes" in Lauder have a separate and independent gable.

Cross back over the main road and continue travelling towards the Market Place until you reach Manse Road. Before turning right up this road, note the buildings on the corner facing you.

Back: West High Street Next: 22-26 West High Street

Town Trail: Symington Place, Lauder Scotland