Temple of Thesious Pitfour Estate


Described as a “FOLLY (19TH CENTURY)” by RCAMS (The Royal Commission for Ancient Monuments Scotland) and attributed to James Ferguson a local landowner, this wonderful building has seen better days. The roof and interior have fallen into some disrepair as has the alligator pond within. In fact we could find little or no trace of the ferocious creatures on our visit this afternoon although a granite stairway leads down to a pit in the centre of the building giving the impression that something big did indeed inhabit the place in the 1790’s.

The Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland describes the Temple of Thesious as a “Small Greek Docic Hexastyle temple with 34 granite- column peristyle; wood entabuature; very finely detailed. Interior contains cold bath.” However I would not advise using the bath, just in case the local rumours of Ferguson breeding alligators there are even remotely true.

Thesious of course was a Greek hero who found his way through a difficult labyrinth, and killed the Minotaur, thereby saving damsels in distress.

On a completely separate and unrelated note, the landowner’s brother (Major Patrick Ferguson 1744 –1780, a Scottish officer in the British Army) is credited with the invention of the Ferguson breech loading rifle. I wonder if he used that to slay the Minotaur.


About Duncan Harley

Author, photographer and feature writer.
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