Key facts

Architect: Murdoch Architects

Land: Set in 2.2 acres

Oak frame: £1400 per sqm

Total build cost: £197,834

Timber framed house in Scotland

Timber framed house Scotland

Methven Castle, Architect David Murdoch realised his dream of building an timber framed house Scotland – celebrating the link with the restored castle


Architect David Murdoch has been involved in the restoration of Methven Castle near Perth since his parents purchased it in 1984. However, whilst working on the castle David relished the notion of embarking on an entirely different kind of project, that of a self build Tudor cottage.

David had his heart on an timber frame as he felt it complimented the castle well. He chose Carpenter Oak & Woodland as they’re an industry recognised company and were involved in the restoration at Stirling Castle.

Interestingly David had no set budget but was on-site most days which really helped him to keep control over the project which in turn helped him to keep control over the finances.

“The other contractors such as the electrician and plumber were all domestic contractors to the main contractor which helped to keep costs down but I sourced the kitchen, bathrooms, tiles, the window supplier, landscaping contractor, ground works contractor and also the company who sandblasted the oak frame.”

When it came to the design, it was the same as the budget, everything centred on the oak frame. “I wanted a King post truss because I think they look lovely and I wanted to use materials internally that were authentic as well such as the solid oak flooring. I chose an open plan design to maximise the impact of the oak frame. If I had created small cellular rooms you wouldn’t get the benefit of it. I wanted to create a 3D space so that’s why there’s the stair to the bridge and a void on either side of the bridge and an open plan gallery so that the living space enjoys that 3D effect.

“There are structural elements to the oak frame as well,” David explains. “The frame holds up oak purlins and the purlins hold up the rafters so it’s not just a cosmetic thing it’s very much an active feature as well. The main beam is 450mm deep and 350mm wide and spans over six metres. That’s the biggest clear span of a joist that Carpenter Oak & Woodland had worked on with an oak beam.”

Heating the house was a big consideration so David also ensured the house was heavily insulated to ensure that the property was as affordable to live in as it was to build.

“The reason I bought the walled garden is because I wanted to bring it back to the ownership of the castle…I wanted (it) to be absolutely authentic about how it was designed and how it was detailed. I’ve recently received a Highly Commended Civic Trust award for the design which is tremendously gratifying. However, ultimately I would move in to what I’ve created. It’s manageable, it’s cosy, it has character and it has double glazing unlike Methven Castle!” said Mr Murdoch who is certainly happy with him stunning timber framed house Scotland.