On a very foggy day, December 1995
Around 1850, David Anderson, banker, Dundee, commissioned the building of a magnate’s mansion in Broughty Ferry from Dundee wunderkind architect, James Maclaren, early in the latter’s career.
The house, Mount Rosa, in Seafield Road, was “substantial and commodious containing 3 Sitting-Rooms, 7 Bedrooms, Bath-Room, Laundry, &c., with commodious Offices, and a handsome Conservatory” (from a sale advertisement). Further “There is a Propagating House and Fernery in the Garden, as also Two Cottages. The Grounds and Garden are tastefully laid out and planted with valuable Shrubs and Fruit Trees”.
Mount Rosa was where David hosted guests to most of his daughters’ weddings and to which his youngest son, John, paid homage when he named his antipodean home at the diametrically opposite ends of the Earth, Mount Rosa Cottage.
After David’s death, Mount Rosa was sold in quick succession to William Stewart, nursery and seedsman, for £4,000 then to Henry Gibson, a Dundee solicitor. Unhappily, it looks as though Henry Gibson’s fortunes took a dive because, in February 1879, Mount Rosa was being advertised for sale at the knock-down price of £2,800 although it still didn’t find a market and its availability was readvertised in July 1879. The following month, Mr Buchan, auctioneer, had received instructions to sell Mount Rosa’s furniture, effects and plenishing (household furniture; stock) on behalf of Henry Gibson. I don’t know whether these had belonged to the Andersons but they included chandeliers, a walnut pianoforte, over 100 books, Brussels carpets and a great deal of walnut and mahogany furniture. It was a judicial sale, by warrant of the sheriff. Mount Rosa joined Historic Scotland’s register of listed buildings in 1991 where its structural details are described.
Dundee Courier, Tuesday, 22 July 1879
British Newspaper Archive