Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
NT 51507 72041
351507, 672041


Remarkable and complicated mansion. Originally 15th century, 4-storey, tower house in L-plan with barmkin, enlarged to mansion house in 17th century, main later alterations in early 19th century and in 1912-14 (Robert Lorimer, architect).

TOWER HOUSE: L-plan, long sides facing S and W. Generally random rubble, squared quoins, margins very variable, some undressed, some moulded, probably originally harled. Parapet, with continuous rope and fillet corbelling, encloses L-shaped penthouse and joining cap-house at SW. Gargoyles drain parapet walk, open bartisans at corners. Openings numerous, irregular and varied, including several tiny windows, 1 very tall window to S, and gableheaded dormer breaking penthouse eaves. Roof in graded stone slabs with skews, crowstepped to penthouse. Stacks irregular and varied.

E WING: complicated and altered, originally of 2-storeys plus dormers (earlier 17th century, alterations early 19th). Essentially 3-storey, with 4-storey tower at SE corner, and 2-storey bay at NE end. Random sandstone rubble, varied dressings. String course at 1st floor and 3rd (tower only), topped by plain parapet with false machicolations. S elevation with recessed and symmetrical 3-bay block, central doorway (Lorimer 1912) with moulded architrave topped by heraldic crest; windows regular, tall to 1st floor and central opening bipartite. SW tower with regular windows on all 4 storeys to E, but on S has bipartite to 1st, slit windows to 3rd; tall narrow stairtower in W return with slit windows. Central section of E elevation (3 bays) has advanced end bays (southmost only to 1st floor level) with large tripartite and bipartite windows; N end bay (2 storeys) with bipartite window to ground.

E WING, N ELEVATION TO COURTYARD: very varied, irregular, and mostly plain. 3-storey elevations probably originally harled, raised margins to windows including an ocular stairlight. To N, abutting E wing, 2-storey M-roofed unit adjoins "gatehouse" (both early 19th century) adjoining courtyard arch (from original 15th century barmkin) in symmetrical gable with arched 1st floor windows. Arched doorway to courtyard on inner side of gatehouse.

Fenestration in Tower and E wing varied, mostly small-paned timber sash and case, a few 2-pane with leaded glass, some tiny and fixed. Roofs a mixture of piended, skewed and crowstepped in graded grey slate. Stacks numerous, some ashlar, some rubble, plain cans.

NW RANGE: circa 1676? Sir William Bruce, architect? 2-storey, 5-bay block in classical style, adjoining long single storey block to E on N side of courtyard. Main block in random sandstone rubble with rusticated quoins and rybats. Base course, double band course at 1st floor, eaves course and machicolated cornice. S elevation symmetrical, 5 windows to each floor, those on ground floor with cornice mouldings. W elevation similar, 2 bays. N elevation less regular, with central tripartite window on both floors, flanked on ground by 2 doorways, flanked on 1st by bipartite windows. Outer bays with single windows, except for large arched doorway in westmost bay to ground. Single storey block in random rubble with roughly-dressed margins, central door partly glazed, 8 flanking windows in irregular pattern.

Windows timber sash and case, 16 and 12-pane. Roofs in graded grey slate, piended to main block with single ashlar stack, cavetto coping and plain cans; 1 gable to single storey block with skews, 2 short stacks, ridged partially in stone "tiles".

OLD COACH HOUSE: circa 1676? Sir William Bruce, architect? 2-bay pavilion in identical classical style to NW range (q.v), round corner tower added to NE corner in 1914 (Sydney Mitchell and Wilson). W elevation retains double arch of coach house entrance, infilled by later ashlar to leave 2 windows, single window to 1st floor. S elevation with 2 windows to ground, 1 to 1st. N elevation with single window to 1st, door and window to ground with open modern lean-to carport. Corner tower with door, plain and boarded, with 1 window to 1st floor.

Windows timber sash and case, 16 and 12-pane. Roof in graded grey slate, pyramidal but ogee to tower. 1 ashlar stack with cavetto cope and plain cans.

N RANGE: 1914 Sydney Mitchell and Wilson. Single storey range in snecked sandstone rubble with smooth ashlar dressings. S elevation with 8 bays: 2 central windows are flanked by 2 doors, plain boarded with plain fanlights, flanked in turn by 2 arched windows to W end and 2 arched garage doorways to E end. Kennel compound adjoins E end. Rear (N) elevation with 3 distinctive swept, elliptical, dormer style rooflights.

Windows timber sash and case to S, small-paned. 2 skylights to S, rear "dormers" small-paned, inward opening. Roof piended, graded grey slates, stone ridge.

Statement of Special Interest

One of Scotland?s most ancient and notable houses. The Lethington estate was acquired in 1385 by the Maitland family who first built the L-plan tower house, which was burnt and damaged by the English army in 1549. The Maitlands became the Earls and, later, Dukes of Lauderdale. Numerous additions and alterations were carried out over the centuries. Interestingly, there was a scheme to Palladianise the whole building, but only the NW range and coach house were carried out. Ownership changed in the 20th century and the property was finally purchased by the Duke of Hamilton in 1947. By reason of a romantic venture, the name was changed at the behest of the Duchess of Lennox in 1703, although the original Lethington was in common use until the 20th century.



Blaeu?s Map 1654. OS Map, Haddingtonshire, 1854. OS Map, East Lothian, 1893. C McWilliam, LOTHIAN, (1978), p 279. RCAHMS, INVENTORY, (1924), No 70. McGibbon and Ross, THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND, vol III, p256. Groome, Vol IV p496. Pitkin, TREASURES OF LENNOXLOVE HOUSE, 1960s, (booklet, RMR Ref 17629). J Small, CASTLES AND MANSIONS OF THE LOTHIANS, 1833.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 03/10/2023 00:53