General > Tealing House
Tealing house was owned successively by the Maxwells of Tealing from the 15th century, the Scrymseours from 1704 and the Fothringham Scrymseours from 1826. It would appear that when Robert Don (of the Don Buist Brothers family) took possession of Tealing House in 1913, the property, for the first time in hundreds of years, ceased to be part of the associated estate. At that time, the Estate of Tealing remained in the ownership of the Fothringhams. Robert Don and his wife had five sons. The two youngest, who both served in the Black Watch, were killed in World War 1. Their brother, Alan Campbell Don, was ordained in the Anglican Church. He was Provost of the St Paul's Cathedral in Dundee from 1921 to 1931 and later became Dean of Westminster, after a spell as Chaplain to the Archbishop of Canterbury. He was made a Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order and played a considerable part in the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11.
Records indicate that Edmund C Cox occupied the house from about 1923, although the date that he took ownership is unclear. The valuation roll for 1935/36 attributes ownership to the Trustees of the late Edmund C Cox and shows the occupier as Mrs Eliza Dowall Cox. The Cox family history states that Mr Cox died in 1931 in Tealing House. His wife continued to live there until her death early in the war. Mrs Cox' grandson, Mr Ivor Guild, remembers visiting the house regularly as a child. He recalls that, although Mrs Cox lived alone, she had a considerable staff that included a retired gamekeeper/chaffeur, head gardener, under gardener, three garden boys, a cook, kitchen maid, table maid, three house maids and a ladies maid. Mr Guild's sister and other children from Dundee were evacuated to Tealing House when war broke out, but returned after about six months when it appeared that Dundee was not going to be bombed. In 1940 Tealing House was used as billets for the WAFFs until their accommodation was ready for occupation at Sheilhill and, for a period, it was also used as an officer's mess for Tealing Airfield.
In 1944, Mr William Bowie purchased the property. He ran a market garden in the grounds for many years. At its peak, 24 men were employed. The Evening Telegraph reported in 1949 that "cauliflowers take top place. Other crops include lettuces, peas, beans and tomatoes. Produce goes to Dundee, Aberdeen, Glasgow and wherever there is a ready market". Mr Bowie employed four men at that time, but found the scarcity of casual labour a problem. Another obstacle was the lack of youth on the land. "They all seem to want collar and tie jobs nowadays" Mr Bowie told the reporter.
By the time ownership transferred to Mr G. Thomson in 1988, Tealing House had become quite derelict and the market garden had long since ceased trading. The house and other associated buildings were accorded Listed Building status (Category B) in 1989, and since then, Mr Thomson has fully restored the property.
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