Stephen A Bunyan
- Appendix 1: More Details of Houses
- Appendix 2: other Grade A Listed Buildings in East Lothian
- Appendix 3: Gardens & Designed Landscapes
Throughout the text, any property marked * was an Historic Scotland, grade A, listed property in 2000; listing began in the 1930s, and its scope extended in the 1970s.
Appendix 1: more details of houses mentioned in the original text
Houses that survived as homes
- Balgone Originally an L-shaped 17th century house, this was added to c.1700 and again extensively in the 19th Century. The Grant-Suttie link with Balgone ended in 1989 when Balgone was bought by Alan Dean.His son, Marcus Dean, removed the large Victorian extension between 1989 and 1993, and the appearance of the 17th century house was restored.
- Biel* This house has been reduced in size. It was greatly extended by William Atkinson for William Hamilton Nisbet in the early 19th century and to it, Robert Rowand Anderson added a large Episcopal chapel in 1883. In 1952 Admiral Brooke demolished the chapel and most of Atkinson’s additions. He sold Biel to Charles G Spence in 1958. The much-reduced house with its fine terraced garden is a much-loved family home, which still contains many artefacts associated with the history of the house.
- Broxmouth The Broxmouth estate was sold in 1960 as part of the Duke of Roxburghe’s deal with Associated Portland Cement (Blue Circle Cement, later LaFarge, owners in 2000). The present house was built c1774, probably by James Nisbet; it was one of the Duke’s several homes. It was not sold at the same time as the land, but in 1966 it was purchased and renovated by Major General Sir John Kennedy. Since then it has had several owners, but was latterly owned by Blue Circle Property Division. It has recently been sold  hopefully to be a private home.
- An earlier house at Broxmouth was described, in 1724, as ‘another delicious seat of the Duke of Roxburghe’ (Macky, JA) and was a substantial mansion in mature grounds. The Duke commissioned William Adam to build Floors, and about the same time Adam carried out some work at Broxmouth, mostly on the grounds, but possibly on the house, the South Lodge and the gate piers as well. Adam was responsible for creating the ‘Romantic’ landscape, including the cascades, which lies beneath the present day overgrowth. The South Lodge was probably built as a banqueting house, overlooking Doon Hill and the site of the Battle of Dunbar (1650). The importance of this designed landscape has recently been recognised in the new Historic Scotland/SNH Inventory (2001).
- Colstoun The ancient home of the Brouns is a house of many periods; one pediment dates back to 1574, though some of the building will be older. There were several later additions. During the war Colstoun became the home of a girls’ school evacuated from Edinburgh. For a short time after that it was a convalescent home. During the war period it remained a home for the Broun Lindsay family as it did thereafter. Captain CG Broun-Lindsay died in 1989 and it was decided in 1990 to reduce the size of the house by removing later additions. The task was carried out by N Groves-Raines and was completed in 1992. Colstoun remains essentially a family home and is full of interest. This is the house that probably most nearly meets the ideal as stated in the main document (family home of original family, with estate and historic artefacts), although it has been reduced in size to meet modern conditions (B Listed). Elvingston This has been the site of a home since the Middle Ages. The Heriot family owned it from 1543 to 1625 and part of the house built in that period is incorporated in the present large house built by the Ainslies when they acquired the property in 1836. It remained in their possession until David Lowe and Sons Ltd bought it in 1944. They retained it until 1980 after the death of Sir David Lowe. Dr and Mrs David Simpson bought Elvingston in 1987 and have restored the house and engaged Stephen Adamson to restore the garden. Dr Simpson has established a Science Park (1998) in the grounds.
- Gilmerton* The home of the Kinloch family, built for Sir David Kinloch c1750 by John Aitken and extended by William Burn in 1828, remains a family home though it is available for functions.
- Hopes* The Hopes at Longyester was built c1823 by James Burn of Haddington for the Hays of Yester (see Yester). The house was restored c1962 when two important chimneypieces c1840 were introduced.
- Lennoxlove* The home of the Duke of Hamilton is still a great house at the heart of an estate but it was bought by the 14th Duke in 1947 and established as his home. He brought to it family portraits and furnishings from Hamilton Palace. The house is open to the public and it tells the story of the part played in East Lothian by its previous owners and in particular by the Maitlands. The present Duke lives at Archerfield and Lennoxlove is open to the public and is available for functions etc.
- Luffness* The home of the Hope family since 1739, is on the site of a medieval castle. The present building was a tower house built by Sir Patrick Hepburn in the 16C. It was greatly extended at various times. The baronial wing added in 1841 by Thomas Brown was demolished in 1959. David Bryce made further additions. The house is now available for functions.
- Phantassie* Phantassie at East Linton was the birthplace of John Rennie, the engineer, in 1761. George Rennie, his elder brother, added the imposing wing to the 18th century farmhouse.
- Seton House* This was built for Alexander Mackenzie by Robert Adam in 1789.It is the most perfectly executed of the castle type houses that he executed in Scotland. It is owned by Wemyss and March estates and has been let to Captain Stevenson for many years. It is a well-loved family home.
- Spott This is a 17th century house on a site occupied since the 13th century. It was recast by William Burn in 1830. It was bought by Sir James Hope in 1947 and by John Lawrie in 1958. It was handed over to J G Lawrie in 1982 and sold by him and his family in 2001. It remains a family home.
- Winton* The home of Sir Francis Ogilvy Bt., Winton has remained very much a family home. It contains many of the pictures and much of the furniture belonging to Mrs C Nisbet Hamilton Ogilvy of Archerfield, Biel and Winton. Gilbert Ogilvy inherited Winton on her death in 1920. Two flats were created in the house in his lifetime and two more by Sir David Ogilvy after he inherited it in 1953. When he moved to Winton cottage in 1981 a fifth was created. Sir Francis Ogilvy succeeded his father in 1992. Since his marriage in 1996 he has lived at Winton. The tradition of musical evenings and concerts continues and the house, now owned by the Winton Trust is open to the public on a limited basis and is available for both private and corporate hospitality.
- Yester* Life at Yester continued much in the old style until the death of the 11th Marquis of Tweeddale in 1967. Yester was sold to Dr I Lumsden and by him to Derek Parker and Peter Morris. They leased it to the Dowager Marchioness until 1969. Most of the pictures and furniture were dispersed in 1969. The new owners then moved from the Hopes to Yester. They sold it to Gian Carlo Menotti in 1973 whose home it now is. He had a plan to turn the stable block into an opera house. There has only been limited access to the house and the estate since then.
There are large number of other country houses like Eaglescairnie, built c1760, whose interior was destroyed by fire earlier in the 20th century and restored; Fountainhall*, a 17th century gem; Keith Marischal, partly dating from 1589; Bourhouse* (Bower House) built by David Bryce for Major General Carfrae in 1835; Ruchlaw early 17th century with the heraldry of Archibald Sydserff 1663; Huntington* a 17th century house with a large addition c1830 and the grandest doocot in the area c1750; Kilduff mid 18th century. Built by John Home author of the Douglas and Pilmuir* dating from 1624 with its doocot with 906 nesting boxes.
These and many others remain well-loved family homes: some of them are covered in the parish accounts.
Houses that were demolished
Some owners felt that they simply had no option but demolition. Some properties had already been demolished or destroyed by fire before the war.
Houses destroyed before 1939
- Adniston The two mansion houses on Adniston estate were demolished in the 19th century. Vandals destroyed the remaining, but ruinous, farmhouse on 2nd January 1990. A new house was built in 1992.
- Amisfield was demolished in 1928. The Park is now Haddington golf club. Various important ancillary buildings survive, including a classical temple, probably by Isaac Ware, and John Henderson’s stable block of 1785. These remaining buildings are at risk but a trust was set up in September 1999 to try to ensure their preservation. Some work as been done and an agreement has been reached with the council for a tenancy of the walled garden (which itself is A listed).
- Congalton was demolished in 1927.
- Lochend House at Dunbar was an early casualty. It was burned down in 1859; the ruins are A listed by Historic Scotland, though the important arch which probably was the reason for the listing is now, since c1988, in a house in Peebles-shire where it is also listed.
- Newhall was demolished in 1909.
- Seacliff rebuilt by David Bryce was destroyed by fire in 1907. Seacliff is an imposing ruin and steps should be taken to secure it as such if restoration is out of the question.
Houses past saving, post-war
Some houses were in such a state at the end of the war that restoration was not an option. Compensation, though paid by the W.D. Land Agency, was not generous, building restrictions were strict. Materials were limited and other needs were given priority. Rates were a heavy burden. Income tax was imposed on the rich at 19/6 in the pound though relief was given for maintenance work after 1950. Coal was rationed, and without heat the buildings deteriorated further with damp, burst pipes and the like. In such circumstances, demolition seemed the only answer. In some cases houses were demolished and new and more convenient ones were built in their place.
- On 22nd October 1944 a Mosquito plane on a training flight from East Fortune exploded and crashed into Beechhill, Morham an 18th century mansion near Haddington and largely destroyed it. Six people died. The de Pree family built a new house in 1953.
- Belton, near Dunbar was demolished in 1967.
- Clerkington was requisitioned during World War II. The house was in a bad state when it was returned to Ludovic Ford at the end of the war. He tried to renovate it and lived there for a time. A developer who also hoped to restore it bought it, but its condition was such that permission for demolition was given in November 1966 and the demolition was carried out shortly thereafter. Captain Stevenson bought the site.
- Dunglass was built for Sir James Hall by Richard Crichton in 1807 and was gutted by fire in 1947. It was demolished in 1952 and a new house was built, which is still the centre of a well-run estate.
- Elphinstone Tower was demolished in 1964 having been affected by subsidence.
- Hedderwick Haddington estates owned this as well as both Mellerstain in Berwickshire and Tyninghame. When faced with the need for expenditure on Hedderwick, which could not be justified, demolition was the only answer: it was demolished in 1961. A proposal to build a single house in the walled garden to ensure its survival was not allowed by the planning department.
- Herdmanstoun in Saltoun parish was an important house dating back to the Middle Ages. The lands were presented to Henry de St Clair by Henry de Morville in the reign of William the Lion. It was used during the war by the searchlight Battery. 104 City of Edinburgh Field Engineers demolished it on 31st May 1969; it required 250 lbs. of explosive, and ‘The Flowers of the Forest’ was played. The Sinclairs were one of the oldest families in the county. There was considerable concern over the loss of this house.
- Newton Hall was sold in 1921. It was used as army billets during the war after which it was in very poor condition. Having already lost its roof, it was demolished in May 1965 by the Royal Engineers as a training exercise. It was described as a ruin in 1970. The ruins were cleared away and a new house, a bungalow, was built by A K McIntosh Reid, who continued to use the name. The bungalow has in turn, been recently replaced by The Hon N Galbraith. Ormiston Hall was built for John Cockburn of Ormiston between 1745-1748 and was extended for the Earl of Hopetoun in 1772 and again in the 19th century. It was requisitioned in the second war and was occupied by the Polish Army, until it was destroyed in a serious fire in 1943. It was believed that because there was frost after the fire it could not be re-built. It was purchased from Hopetoun Estate by a group of five families and they built homes, between 1970-1975, in or near the ruins some of which were retained and incorporated. Four of the families are still there.
- Smeaton Hepburn was built for Sir George Buchan-Hepburn in 1790, and was bought by John Gray in 1934; the Buchan-Hepburns had already sold the contents and the house remained empty until the war when it was used for refugee children from Edinburgh. It was demolished in 1949. The new house adjacent to the walled garden was built by Erik Stevenson for George Gray.
- Thurston James Hunter died in 1945 and his mother Evelyn (Mrs Mitchell-Innes), who was a daughter of Sir William Miller of Manderston, died in 1946. Thurston was demolished in 1952.
Houses which suffered during the war but which survived
Three houses at least, suffered extensive damage in the war. Their subsequent fates were to be very different. They were Archerfield, Gosford and Stevenson.
Archerfield* A 17th century house that belonged to the Nisbets of Dirleton; it was mainly the work of Robert Adam who rebuilt it c.1790. At the end of the Great War, Archerfield was sold after the death of Mrs Nisbet Hamilton Ogilvy. Her heir, Lt Col JP Nisbet Hamilton Grant, sold it in December 1921 to The Argyll Investment Co., which was shown as owners until 1945. Jackson Russell was tenant occupier until his son Lt Commander A Boyd Russell succeeded at his death in 1936. The War Office requisitioned Archerfield in 1939.
It was returned after the war in a sad state, floor boards had been ripped up for fuel and some lead had vanished from the roof: rot had begun. The Argyll Investment Co. sold it in 1946 to George Mitchell of Chesterhall who, with his son Ian, farmed it intensively for market garden crops. To make this possible the old golf course was ploughed up in 1945, some woodland (part of Archer field’s designed landscape) was cleared and windbreaks were created. It was reported in 1955 that the porch had been removed to facilitate the entry of farm vehicles. In 1962 the front entrance was removed and utilitarian doors were created to permit the installation of a grain dryer. Hamilton and Kinneil Estates bought Archerfield in 1964.
The 14th Duke of Hamilton died in 1973 and, in the same year, the present Duke completed his new house at Archerfield. He moved to Lennoxlove in 1982. Between 1987 and 1991 he used both houses and moved back to Archerfield in 1991/1992.
In 1977, the condition of the mansion house was said to be too dangerous for machinery. The great house has continued to deteriorate, while various proposals to restore it and to develop the estate, have come and gone. In 1988 the Duke sold the house and half the land to Parkdale and thought he had secured its future. In 1989 a planning application was lodged but Pavilion Leisure Group bought them out. The Nature Conservancy Council expressed concerns over the S.S.S.I. and various other objections were made. A proposal for development by Rocco Forte was frustrated by the refusal of K Doyle of Caledonian Heritable to sell the mansion house. There are current proposals for development by Caledonian Heritable and Hamilton and Kinneil Estates (the former for two golf courses, housing, an hotel and a new access). It provides for the restoration of the mansion house at a cost of £12million but does not define its intended use. The second is for a golf course, housing, and the restoration of the designed landscape.
Gosford* This is a great house; built by Robert Adam for the 7th Earl of Wemyss, it was not completed until 1800, after Adam’s death. The Adam wings were removed and new wings were added by William Young c1890. The house was requisitioned in 1939. There was a serious fire at Gosford in 1940 and an outbreak of dry rot in the North wing, which was then de-roofed. A restoration project is now in hand. The south wing makes an elegant home and contains William Young’s great marble staircase similar to that in the City Chambers in Glasgow. Gosford has remained the home of the Earl and Countess of Wemyss. An ambitious plan to develop the estate was put forward in 1992 and considerable progress has been made.
Stevenson* near Haddington is a very important house. It dates from the 16th century. The medieval grange was destroyed by the Hertford invasion. The present house is built round a central courtyard in a pre-reformation grange plan. Members of the Sinclair family in whose hands it was for 400 years remodelled it in the 18th century. The Dunlop family bought it in 1930. It suffered badly from the wartime occupation and was restored by Mary Tindall for Dr Jack Dunlop who set up the Brown Dunlop Trust to ensure its future. It has recently (2000) been sold.
New roles for old houses
Faced with rising costs, some owners were anxious to find ways of generating income from their homes to at least provide for their maintenance. Some houses had already been found new uses before the war.
Prestongrange* is an important 17th century house. It remained in the possession of the Grant-Suttie family until 1958, but had been leased in 1922 to the Royal Musselburgh Golf Club and had become their clubhouse. During the war a large part of the golf course was ploughed up and the remainder was grazed, while most of Prestongrange House itself was requisitioned for the RAF. Dry rot was found after the war and the Grant-Suttie family wanted to sell the property before the expiry of the lease in 1965. In 1958 Prestongrange estate was bought by CISWO – the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation – for £8,000 and leased to the club.
Winterfield House (Belhaven Hill) Edward Marrow was killed in the Great War and Winterfield became Belhaven Hill School in 1923. It was a dangerous location during the 1939-1945 War as Dunbar was of strategic importance. The school was evacuated to Dinnet, near Banchory and Belhaven Hill was requisitioned in June 1943. It became a Special Training School (STS) No 54b for young women operators, ostensibly a F.A.N.Y. (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry) unit but was in fact used by the S.O.E. The school moved back after the war and continues as a successful preparatory school, now co-educational and with c100 pupils.
Many uses over the period
After the war various owners looked for other uses for their homes, which would make them viable in a post-war world. In some cases their historic owners retained ownership and in some cases not. In one or two cases there have been several uses.
- Alderston is an imposing pedimented house, the main block dating from c1790. After the war it was a Nurses’ Home. In 1984 the sub-regional office of the Lothian Regional Council Supply Services moved from Court Street in Haddington to Alderston House. In 1994 this became the East of Scotland Water Authority, and in 1998 they moved to Edinburgh. It then became a centre for continuing education as part of Jewel & Esk Valley College.
- Alderston Coachhouse* (with kennels) was restored by Bob Heath 1992-1997; it was A listed then because it was recognised as having been built to Palladio’s Golden Mean. Carberry Tower was originally a 16th century tower house that was extensively altered until it became a very large house of different periods. Important work was done c1860 by David Bryce and in 1909 by Thomas Ross for the Elphinstone family who owned it from 1801 until 1961. It became a conference centre for the Church of Scotland. In February 1996 the Church of Scotland gave it up and a new trust, The Friends of Carberry now administer the house on similar lines.
- Carlekemp* was built by John Kinross in Tudor style in 1898 for James Craig. It was a preparatory school after the war, run by Benedictine monks essentially, but not exclusively, for Fort Augustus (which has now also closed as a school). The House was converted into flats c1980.
- Drummore was the home of Sir Hew Dalrymple of Drummore, the second son of the first baronet of North Berwick. It is an important house with fine external and internal features. The Passionist Fathers, an Irish Catholic order who provided a priest for Prestonpans and a mass centre at Wallyford, occupied it after the second war. It was sold c.1980 and became an old people’s home (not to be confused with Drumohr nursing home). It has been taken over by the caravan park and is not currently in use.
- Greywalls* a house and garden of the highest importance was designed for the Hon Alfred Lyttelton in 1901 by Sir Edwin Lutyens, and the garden by Gertrude Jekyll. Robert Lorimer added a kitchen and dining room in 1910. Sir James Horlick who bought Greywalls in 1924 made further extensions. His grandson, Giles Weaver, is the present owner. It was requisitioned during the war and was the Officers’ Mess for Drem Aerodrome. Later in the war it was de- requisitioned and was let to the Polish forces as a hospital and later as a maternity hospital. The Weaver family were fortunate to be able to repossess it at the end of the war, because generally houses in use as hospitals were taken over by the new Health Service. Greywalls opened as an hotel on 1st April 1948. Further alterations have been made to make it a first class hotel, but the utmost care has been taken to preserve the character of the Lutyen’s design; carefully chosen materials were used including Rattlebag stone and imported tiles.
- Johnstonburn was built in 1625 and was extended in the 18th and again in the 19th century. It was bought by Andrew Usher in 1894 and remained in the possession of his descendants until the mansion house (but not the land) was sold after the death of Elizabeth Elworthy in 1975. Mr Robert Windsor and Robert Knipe bought it in 1975. Work to convert it to a country house hotel began in 1976. They retained its character and brought carefully chosen furniture from the U.S.A. (it had been a hotel between 1948-1960). Since then it has been a Country House Hotel. Permission has now (2001) been granted for change of use to private house.
- Leuchie* the home of the Dalrymple family, was built for Sir Hew Dalrymple between 1779 and 1785. It remained a family home until the death of Sir Hew Dalrymple, 9th Baronet in 1959. In 1960, a new house was built adjacent to the walled garden for Sir Hugh F Hamilton Dalrymple, 10th Baronet, by Law and Dunbar Naysmith. Until 1972 Leuchie was let to the order of La Sagesse nuns, a teaching order for the training of new nuns. By 1970 it was clear that the supply of nuns had diminished. In 1972 Leuchie was leased to the Servite sisters who ran it as a holiday home for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. In 1999 the nuns were unable to carry on this work and an arrangement has been made with the M.S. Society who now have their own matron and staff.
- Nunraw* the 16th century tower of the Hepburns was extended in the 19th century by Robert Hay of Limplum in 1860-1864, when the painted ceiling was discovered, and after 1880 by W Wingate Gray. In 1946, Nunraw was bought by Cistercian monks; Peter Whiston designed the near-by Sancta Maria Abbey that was commenced in 1952 and built mainly with stone from the re-opened Rattlebags quarry. The monastery uses both buildings today.
- Pinkie House* in Musselburgh was originally a 16th century tower house built by an Abbot of Dunfermline and was acquired by Alexander Seton 1st Earl of Dunfermline in 1597. Seton converted a simple tower house into an important renaissance building. William Burn altered the house in 1825. In 1951 it became part of Loretto School.
- Whittingehame* As the clouds of war gathered a new use was sought for Whittingehame; this was the home of A. J Balfour, Prime Minister, and first Earl Balfour. He died at Whittingehame in 1930. Ten years was agreed for the settlement of death duties but it was decided in 1935 that the big house would have to be vacated. The house was made available for a farm training project, The Whittingehame Farm School, financed by Scottish Jews, for Jewish refugee children. Between January 1939 and September 1941 over 300 children passed through the house. In 1942 Dr Guthrie’s Institution for Boys moved into the building and remained there until 1953. After 1953 the house was empty until 1956 when it became home to refugees from the Hungarian revolution. It was empty again until 1963 when the Balfour family decided to sell it with 45 acres of ground.The Holt School purchased it for £11,500 for boys who were there until the summer of 1980. At the end of 1981 the house and some of the land was purchased for £90,230 by Mohammed al-Abdaly, an Arab sheikh who intended to convert it into a private hospital. This was refused planning permission and though the Secretary of State overturned this decision, the plan fell through. The surrounding land and buildings were sold off. In 1986 Charles Skilton purchased the house. There were still enormous problems over restoration but the new proprietor was able to overcome them. It was restored to residential use in 1988, with six units, the principal one of which retained the principal rooms of the mansion house.Whittingehame goes some way to show that there can be a future for such a house despite decades of vicissitude. One other happy result is that the Earl of Balfour restored the ancient Whittingehame Tower* as a home.
Houses divided for multiple occupation
Gradually what was probably to become the most successful solution to the problem emerged: the division of the properties into several homes. Owners, who lived in wings so that staterooms could be mothballed or shown to the public, foreshadowed it. It had the advantage of providing several incomes to maintain the properties. It meant that several people had a stake in their survival. It meant that arrangements could be made to safeguard their gardens and pleasure grounds. In some cases owners continued to play a part while in others, residents formed committees. One disadvantage is that the properties no longer remain great houses to which the public has access. We have already seen that this was the ultimate solution at Whittingehame.
- Letham is a 17th century house for which a re-build was planned c1735. Two pavilions were built but the old house remained and was partly baronialised in the 19th century. The house and pavilions were separately modernised c1970 as was the 18th century steading now known as West Letham.
- Monktonhall is a late 18th century house with an earlier core; it was part of Wemyss Estates. It passed to David Lowe and Sons and was occupied by various members of the Lowe family. It suffered from subsidence. It was divided for multiple occupation c 1970. David Lowe and Sons sold the rest of Monktonhall in 1976.
- Newbyth* was built in 1817 for Sir David Baird, the hero of Seringapatam, by Archibald Elliot in battlemented gothic style. Newbyth was used during the war by the army and the Red Cross. At the end of the war Sir David Baird put it up for sale. D Chalmers Watson & Sons bought the estate farming enterprises; they did not wish to buy the house but as Sir David Baird’s attempt to sell it to a Catholic order fell through the Chalmers Watsons bought it. They sold the house to the Ministry of Defence with seven acres for use as a store. They installed their own caretaker. During this period the state of the building deteriorated badly. Lead was taken from the roof and the fine Chinese wall paper was spoiled. Robin Jell started a conversion and while this was in progress (circa 1975) the house was almost gutted by fire. The work was resumed and successfully completed. Six flats were created. Some features were included from elsewhere including the dining room panelling from Clerkington.
- St Germain’s, an 18th century house that was originally part of Seton Estate, was divided c1950. It was overshadowed by the Blindwells opencast mining development.
- Saltoun Hall* the home of Andrew Fletcher, in its final form was the work of William Burn in 1817. Saltoun was used during the war for the Women’s Land Army and as an army convalescent centre. Captain Andrew Talbot Fletcher died in 1950 and his son John Talbot Fletcher inherited Saltoun. A sale of the contents of the Hall was held in 1966, and thereafter the house was sold to Robin Jell who converted it into nine flats (two have since been made into one) and converted the stable block into a house (known as Saltoun House), for his own use. He also retained the basement of the Hall for his own use. He has since sold Saltoun House and the basement of the Hall to Andrew Fletcher, who meantime inherited the estate from his uncle. The flats have a large communal garden. The rest of the estate houses remain in the estate and there have been no other building projects.
- Tyninghame* has been the property of the Earls of Haddington since 1628. William Burn remodelled the house in 1829. It was used during the war by the army and the Polish forces. It became the residence of the Earl of Haddington, and Mellerstain was handed over to Lord Binning. Following the death of the 12th Earl of Haddington in 1986, it became clear that the family’s two great houses could not be maintained: Mellerstain, the Adam mansion in Berwickshire was considered the more important and the decision was taken to sell Tyninghame. Between 1987 and 1989 Kit Martin divided it vertically into nine residences, which were sold. Five further residences were created from existing buildings. Agreement was reached that the owners would keep the garden adjacent to the house and the Earl undertook to maintain the grounds as parkland. Subsequently a certain amount of sympathetic restoration and development has occurred in the estate and the village.
Two important large town houses underwent similar treatment:
- Lauderdale House* Dunbar, was built c 1740 by Captain James Fall MP. Sold by his son Robert in 1788 and developed by R&J Adam (Robert and James) for the Earl of Lauderdale, it was converted for military purposes in 1859. It was redundant after the second war and was acquired by the County Council. It was in a sad state until restored for housing by Castle Rock Housing Association in 1994, when it too was divided into flats.
- The Lodge, North Berwick, was the former home of the Dalrymples. In 1964 W Schomberg Scott converted it into flats for re-sale for the National Trust For Scotland.
There is a growing awareness in Scotland that our old ruins may have been prematurely written off and that restoration is an option. It takes courage and may need a bottomless purse, but increasingly grants are available. At least four important restorations have been done in East Lothian.
- Ballencrieff This 16th and 17th century home of the Murrays of Elibank was destroyed by fire in 1868. One wing of the 18th century development survived and was occupied. A demolition order was placed on the main house in 1989 and was lifted in 1990 just in time to save the building. There was a period of investigation and planning before the restoration of the 1586 house carried out by Peter Gillies between 1994-1997. One of the main features of the restoration is the plaster ceiling in the main hall. It is now his home.
- Bankton House at Tranent was the home of Colonel Gardiner who was killed nearby at the Battle of Prestonpans in 1745. The house was destroyed by fire in 1852. It was restored by Lothian Building Preservation Trust (Nicholas Groves-Raines architect) and was virtually complete at the time of the 250th anniversary of the Battle in 1995. It was a self-financing project and the properties (four in the main house) were offered for sale in 1994.
- Broxmouth South Lodge and gateway* was restored by Lothian Building Preservation Trust which was set up in 1983 as their first project.
- Fawside Tower the 15th century home of the Fawside family was restored between 1978-1980 by Tom and Claire Craig as a dwelling house.
- Monkton House* at old Craighall, then in Midlothian, was in a moribund condition in 1954, but it had been by-passed by Cromwell and so had been spared the bombardments which were the fate of other fortified houses. John Calderwood- Miller bought it for £250. He initially restored the 14th century tower and then saved the later additions. Michael Bennett-Levy carried on with meticulous restoration and offered the house for sale in 1996, (the first public sale for 600 years for £425,000. It was withdrawn, unsold.
- Newhailes* The most important restoration project is that at Newhailes by the National Trust for Scotland, now nearly complete. James Smith built this most important house for himself in 1686 and called it Whitehill. Bought in 1709 by Sir David Dalrymple, it was renamed Newhailes. Its important interior is virtually unchanged from the 18th century. It was the home of Lady Antonia Dalyrymple, but in 1996 its future and that of its contents was in doubt. The National Trust for Scotland acquired it from the Trustees of the late Sir CM Dalrymple Bt., after they launched an appeal, which was successful, and an ambitious restoration project has been undertaken. (House to open summer 2002).
- Stoneyhill The home of the notorious Col Francis Charteris of Amisfield, 1675-1732, was divided but has recently been restored to a single dwelling.