Frederick Sharp purchased Hill of Tarvit in 1904, however he considered the 17th century Wemyss Hall on the estate to be totally unsuitable as a family home and for showing off his large collection of Flemish tapestries, Chinese porcelain and bronzes, French and English Furniture and European paintings. So he commissioned Robert Lorimer (who had worked on the restoration of Kellie Castle ten miles away). Lorimer’s design largely demolished the original structure to create a new building, which was given the the name of Hill of Tarvit Mansionhouse.
When the Sharp family eventually moved into Hill of Tarvit, they had electricity, telephones connecting each room and central heating. There was even a warming cupboard outside the dining room. The house is a fascinating example of how comfortably titans of business could live at the start of the 20th century.
The interiors are pure Edwardian theatre, with beautiful furniture and elegant rooms made to show off the Sharp family’s best pieces of art and furniture. There are paintings galore, French and Chippendale style furniture, and fine porcelain throughout. The best pieces of French furniture are in the Drawing Room, where you can see pieces made by Adam Weisweiler for the court of Louis XVI. There is Georgian plasterwork in the Dining Room, with English furniture, and a large Flemish tapestry hangs in the Main Hall. You can also get a glimpse of life ‘below stairs’ in the restored servant’s areas.
Lorimer also designed the landscaped gardens, with formal lawns, yew hedging, flowering borders and a sunken rose garden.
NTSUSA is currently raising funds for collections care at Hill of Tarvit. There are three large paintings from Sharp’s collection that are in poor condition and in urgent need of conservation treatment. The installation of eyemats is also required in order to protect the historic floor surfaces in the home. Learn more about these projects and make a contribution to the care of Hill of Tarvit today!