Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing 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.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
NT 51556 70978
351556, 670978


15th century onwards, with substantial additions and alterations notably in the 16th, 18th and mid-19th centuries. Substantially rebuilt 1907, N wing partially demolished 1990 and retained portion finished more in 18th century style. Imposing and severe mansion, basically 4-storey including raised basement. 6-bay central block with asymmetrical wings. Harled with exposed margins, chamfered reveals to older openings. Plain cornice.

CENTRAL BLOCK: E elevation 6-bay, dominated by heavy and severe flat-roofed central porch, doorway with moulded architrave, topped by heraldic panel and plaque. Window to each flank, cavetto cornice and blocking course. 6 windows to 2nd and 3rd floors, 2 to each side of porch at 1st, 1 to each side at ground. 3 gabled and pedimented dormers. W elevation irregular, with single window to ground, 2 windows to 1st plus French window accessed by stone forestair, 3 large windows to 2nd, 4 small windows to 3rd. Window to each floor on S flank, 2 at ground. 3 gabled and pedimented dormers. Corbelled bartisan turret to NW corner, close by datestone of 1574.

S WING: 2-bay. Door at 1st floor in angle of return with central block, 4 panelled with plain fanlight, with access by forestair. E elevation symmetrical, but with only 1 window central at 1st floor. Openings to S elevation irregular, with 1 window infilled at 2nd floor. W elevation retains some older openings, but dominated by flat-roofed tripartite canted block rising to 2nd floor, with 3 large windows to 1st floor, foreshortened to ground and 2nd floor, cornice and parapet.

N WING: 2-bay portion remaining, irregular openings to all floors on E and N elevations, including tall stair window to E and doorway to courtyard on N. 2 openings only to W elevation on ground and 1st. Courtyard enclosed by harled screen wall and 2 small lodges retained as garage, single storey and harled with cornice and blocking course.

Fenestration in timber sash and case, 12-pane predominating, but also some in 16-pane (N wing) and 2-pane plate glass to larger windows. Roofs all piended unless otherwise stated, in graded grey slate.

7 large ashlar stacks, plain cans.

GARDEN STATUARY: on lawn across Colstoun Burn, several carved sundials and urns, probably dating from later 19th century alterations.

Statement of Special Interest

This house has a complicated history, and McWilliam notes that it ".....hides a good deal of antiquity and mystery under a drab overcoat of harling". The property has been in the hands of the Broun or Broun-Lindsay family since before 1270, when a charter first mentions "Cumber Collstoun". The first authentic date for the existing structure is in a surviving datestone (an incorporated dormerhead) inscribed PB.ER 1574. The original L-plan towerhouse was extended to south and east around 1635 and 1670, but the essential appearance dates from the later 18th century when further additions were made and the upper storey raised. Over a period from 1863 and 1879, a large N wing, much of the S wing and a porch were added (architect - John Lessels), and in 1903 Sir Robert Lorimer contributed in work to the S and N wings.

In 1907, the House was gutted by fire. Rebuilding was supervised by Dick, Peddie and McKay who returned it externally substantially to its 1903 appearance with some additions of their own notably the existing porch and dormers, while the interior was almost completely replaced. The door plaque inserted at this time reads "From sorrow and fire and all evil things that be, salve benedicte. JGAB SFG". See separate listing for Colstoun House Stables and Dovecot.



OS Map, Haddingtonshire, 1854. OS Map, East Lothian, 1893.

C McWilliam, LOTHIAN, (1978), p 141. S Green, COLSTOUN, unpublished thesis, Edinburgh College of Art 1985. T Hannah, FAMOUS SCOTTISH HOUSES OF THE LOWLANDS, (1928), p 65.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). 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 only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 19/04/2019 11:21