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.


Group Category Details
100000019 - see notes
Date Added
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 33325 67905
333325, 667905


James Smith, 1702-11, incorporating parts of 15th century and 16th century castle; later additions by James Playfair, 1786, and William Burn, 1831. 3-storey and basement irregular U-plan Classical mansion, including 2-storey and basement pavilions, and with 2-storey service blocks adjoined to S forming U-plan service wing. Variegated sandstone rubble; ashlar dressings. Base course. Rusticated quoins. String courses between floors, and moulded eaves cornice to principal elevation. Moulded lugged architraves to principal elevation, raised surrounds to remaining elevations. Gibbsian surrounds to basement windows, many blinded. Some relieving arches. Formerly harled.

E (principal) elevation: 3-storey U-plan, with 5 bays at centre, and outer wings 3 bays deep returned to E; terminated by lower piend-roofed pavilions to outer bays to E; masterful massing with central emphasis, forming open court. Tall windows to principal floor, square windows to 2nd floor. Heavy pediment to 3-bay ashlar centrepiece, 4 fluted giant Corinthian pilasters dividing. Ashlar steps to entrance (reinstated by W Schomberg Scott, 1973), with simple wrought-iron balustrade. Tall 2-leaf panelled door with 8-pane fanlight at centre; modillioned cornice with ornately carved frieze and dentils. Regularly disposed fenestration. Panel bearing palm garlands, coronet and monogrammed shield above principal floor openings. Architraves corniced to principal and 1st floors. Entablature breaking eaves, crowned by projecting ornate modillioned and corniced pediment. Regularly disposed fenestration to slightly recessed bays flanking centrepiece.

Courtyard returns: door in outer bays to E, foreshortening window above. Regularly disposed fenestration.

Wings: regularly disposed fenestration to inner bay; remaining bays masked by pavilions. Porch set in re-entrant angle of wing and pavilion to left.

Porch: ashlar, with cornice, blocking course and pilasters. 2-leaf door to left to N, with moulded panel above; window to right. Window to E.

Pavilions: 2 bays deep; 3-bay to E. Regularly disposed


N pavilion: 2-bay to N; blind windows in bay to right. Advanced from N elevation; 4 closet windows to W return.

S pavilion: porch adjoined at ground in re-entrant angle to N. 2-bay to S; service block adjoined at ground.

N elevation: 9-bay (6-2-1); N pavilion advanced to left; outer bay to left 2-storey and basement. Bowed ashlar tripartite window (James Playfair, 1786) to principal and 1st floors in bay to centre and right of centre; keystoned splayed-arched arcade at basement; cill courses, cornice and blocking course. Corniced and pilastered tripartite former French window, now glazed with panelled aprons, to principal floor in 2 penultimate bays to right; ashlar forestair, extended across outer bay to right. Regularly disposed fenestration, blind windows in outer bay to right.

W elevation: 11-bay (2-2-2-2-3), 2 to left advanced. Regularly disposed fenestration, tall windows to principal floor, small to 2nd floor. Small corbelled turret with small window set in re-entrant angle to left at principal floor level; corniced, with leaded roof. 2 arrowslits (lighting former turnpike stair) to right of centre bay. 7 bays to centre and right incorporating substantial evidence of early masonry.

S elevation: 1830s addition of 2 2-storey piend-roofed service wings to form U-plan service court to elevation; sited on falling ground, and incorporating earlier fabric. Evidence of demolished fabric.

Main house: irregular disposition of bays and plan, owing to inclusion of fragments of earlier castle. 2 tall multi-pane stair windows, divided by ashlar stack with angle pilasters. Roughly canted bay to court, with roof swept down unevenly to 1st floor height with recessed dormers; evidence of former kitchen services at ground. S pavilion advanced to right.

Service wings: circa 1830. Cream sandstone rubble; rusticated quoins to E. W wing: 7-bay to W, bay to outer left canted in re-entrant angle; bay to left of centre recessed; Gibbsian surrounds and window bars; service lean-to to E, with stone piers. E wing: 5-bay to E, single storey flat-roofed contemporary projection at ground; bay advanced to left to S, with semicircular-arched voussoired entrance to recessed porch to right return.

Small-pane glazing patterns in sash and case windows, some multi-pane, some fixed pane and some double-glazed. Original lead rainwater goods; heads and fixtures decorated with coronets. Grey slates to piend, and piend and platform roofs; some swept eaves; lead flashing. Tall imposing corniced wallhead and ridge stacks with angle pilasters, some ashlar, some harled. Roof lights.

Interior: earlier castle incorporated internally, including vaulted ceilings and 2 turnpike staircases to S. Oak panelling, and black and white marble tessellated floor to entrance hall, with painted frieze, and to hall to grand staircase, divided by 2-bay marble basket-arched arcade, with Corinthian column and pilasters. Marble panelling to stair well. Wide half-turn stair with landings to S; delicate wrought-iron balustrade with birch handrail (late 18th century replacement); white marble steps, parquetry treads. Suite of 6 state rooms to W: great ante-chamber to S, morning-room, book-room, ante-room, Duchess's sitting-room, and boudoir in NW angle; variety of decoration including marble chimneypieces, overmantels and architraves, oak panelling, carved cornices, and gilt cornices and panel mouldings; red marble chimneypiece to Duchess's sitting-room, with carved white marble overmantel, "The Story of Neptune and Gallatea" by Grinling Gibbons, 1701, surmounted by blue glass panel with silver monogram and red marble border; elaborately garlanded white marble chimneypiece to boudoir, with painted mirror overmantel, surmounted by carved monogram. Library to N, with bookshelves by James Blaikie, 1769-70, and marble chimneypiece by Alex Govan, 1771. Ashlar chimneypiece with monogrammed overmantel to armoury. Brass door furniture by Oakes Bickford of London, 1704-05.

Retaining wall: flat coped rubble buttressed wall to SE of house.

Lamp standards: 2 elegant decorative cast-iron lamp standards flanking steps to E elevation. Decorative 19th century cast-iron lamp standards to SW drive, inscribed "Jas Ferguss, Tayport".

Statement of Special Interest

James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton, substantilly enlarged the early castle in the later 15th century. It was sold to Francis Scott, 2nd Earl of Buccleuch in 1642. Anne Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch, commissioned James Smith to build the house in 1701; Smith incorporated the L-plan tower-house to the S and sides of the courtyards into his design. The ashlar sandstone was obtained from Culross and Queensferry quarries, and the house cost ?15,225 to build. The masonry work was executed by James Smith, James Smith and Gilbert Smith. William Morgan and Isaac Silverstyne carved the enriched mouldings of the principal rooms; the exterior carving was either by them, or by the Smiths. Grinling Gibbons supplied 8 or 9 chimneypieces; the marble staircase was probably installed by Richard Neale.

James Adam made some repairs to the house in 1762. James Craig drew up plans for remodelling the house and adding wings in 1776, but these

were never executed. Some minor alterations were made by James Playfair, who added the bow window on the E elevation in 1786. William Burn drew up a scheme for enlarging the house in an Elizabethan Revival style in 1831, which was never executed, and made some minor alterations to the interior; he may also have been responsible for blocking the principal door and building the porch. Interior restoration was undertaken by W Schomberg Scott in 1973.

Dalkeith House ceased to be the principal residence of the Buccleuchs after the first World War. Pictures, furniture and fittings were gradually removed, but the house was finally cleared in 1970. The house is now leased for business and educational use. A Group - see DALKEITH PARK.



SRO GD 26/489, 492 Leven and Melville MSS. SRO GD 244/379, 625/1 Buccleuch MSS. SRO RHPO 9521, 9687, 9698, 9704, 9705, 14446, 49090-49098. J Small THE CASTLES AND MANSIONS OF THE LOTHIANS (1883) Vol I. D MacGibbon and T Ross THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND (1892) Vol IV, p390. A Francis Stewart DALKEITH: ITS CASTLE AND ITS PALACE (1925). RCAHMS INVENTORY (1929) pp 61-65. W Adam VITRUVIUS SCOTICUS (1980, facsimile et.) plates 22-24. C McWilliam LOTHIAN (1980) pp 158-161. T Ruddock "Dalkeith House pediment: its form and construction", The Scottish Georgian Society ANNUAL REPORT (1981) pp34-40. J G Dunbar and J Cornforth, "Dalkeith House, Lothian", COUNTRY LIFE 19 April 1984, pp 1062-1065, 26 April 1984, pp 1158-1161, 3 May 1984, pp 1230-1233. AN INVENTORY OF GARDENS AND DESIGNED LANDSCAPES IN SCOTLAND (1987) Vol 5, pp 42-48. Lawrence Hunter, undergraduate dissertation Department of Architecture, Edinburgh University.

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.

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