The Balhaldie House



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From the Collection


View of a small mansion house situated in Dunblane viwed from across the road. The house is painted pink, and has a slate roof with four pairs of chimney pots. Behind the stone wall is a garden full of shrubbery and trees to the right of the image and behind the house. A small doorway with two small stone steps provide access from the street. Behind the house further down the street to the left of the image is St Blane's Church (built 1854 as East United Free Church), which the artist has also depicted with a pink wash. This house was owned by the Macgregor family who entertained Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite Rising.
Jane Anne Wright was an artist of some talent with an interest in history and antiquities. She was born into a moderately wealthy Stirling family with many historical links to the area. One of three sisters, she became disabled after a childhood accident which rendered her housebound and immobile. She never married and like her sister Isabella, found fulfillment through sketching and keeping a journal, documenting her visits to some of of the great houses and mansions of Stirlingshire. Born and brought up in St.Vincent Street, Glasgow, most of her family ties were in the Stirling area, and on the death of her father in 1860, the family moved to 7 Park Terrace, Stirling. In 1887, they moved to 26 Victoria Place. Jane Anne's disability prevented her travels until her mature years, when she was given a pony and trap. It was then that she began to travel to visit estates and beauty spots around Stirling. Her watercolour sketches have both painterly and historical interest. She was largely self-taught, although it is possible she may have received some tuition. Her obituary in 1922 describes her as 'a modern edition of Scott's "Jonathan Oldbuck" who surrounded herself with relics of the past, many of them of great antiquarian interest. (Jonathan Oldbuck was the principal character in The Antiquary).

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image © Smith Art Gallery and Museum Watercolour collection

From the Watercolour World


124 High Street, Dunblane, Scotland