16th century core. 3-storey, 9-bay crenellated gothick mansion house with inner courtyard; built on site of 12th century Cistercian monastery; remains of which incorporated into 16th century L-plan tower house. Extended in late 17th century; altered in 18th and 19th centuries with 19th century wings to N; central classical porch 1878 and modern accommodation block to far N 1967; now set in 19th century parkland with formal garden to rear. Predominantly sandstone rubble; squared and snecked to N wings; ashlar surrounds to openings.
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 3-storey, 9-bay symmetrical crenellated elevation with later (1878) central porch. 3-bay, flat-roofed porch; snecked sandstone; basecourse; corniced ashlar frieze. Central panelled 2-leaf door with moulded surrounds; advanced Tuscan columns; plain architrave with guttae; triglyphs to frieze and carvings of Lothian coat of arms, sun emblem and initials; overhanging cornice. Flanking windows. 2 windows to left return, 1 blocked; small lancet window set back to left; 2 windows to right return; small lancet window to right. Advanced central 3 bays, window in each bay. 3 round-headed bipartite ground floor windows and small window to left of porch in chapel, previously 3 rectangular windows with roll-moulded stone surrounds, remains of which visible to right. 3 windows to right of porch; mullioned Y-tracery to far right. 9 windows to 1st and 2nd floors. 3 arched windows to centre at 2nd floor. Hoodmoulds to most windows with Acanthus leaf detail. Corniced eaves course; taller crenellations at centre. 2 gas lamps flank porch.
N ELEVATION: 1st floor Venetian window and 2nd floor tripartite window blocked by later wing to left. 4th floor window in curvilinear gable to far left. 4-storey, 3-bay section to left of tower punctuated by 3 set-off buttresses; rectangular window to each storey and bay except for arched window with Y-tracery to ground floor 2nd bay window. 3 dormers breaking eaves with decorative curvilinear gable heads and floral motif finials. Stair tower to right; round-headed 1st floor window; rectangular window above; decorative corbelled work below corniced course at 3rd stage. Narrow arched slit to 4th stage; bracketed and corniced eaves course below swept slate roof with ball and spike finial. Set-off buttress to right of tower; blocked ground floor arch to far right; corniced eaves course and crenellations above.
E (REAR) ELEVATION: symmetrical 4-storey, 7-bay section to left;
4th storey added by Burn (1836). Hoodmoulds to all but 4th storey windows. Tripartite ground floor and 2nd floor windows to outer bays; blocked flanking panels to left ground floor tripartite window. Door with Y-tracery to 2nd bay. Window centred in each bay. Venetian windows to 1st floor outer bays; smaller tripartite window to 4th floor outer bays. 5 central dormer windows breaking eaves with curvilinear gableheads surmounted by flower motif finial. Curvilinear gables to outer bays.
S ELEVATION: 3-storey, 4-bay crenellated section to left; flat-roofed billiard room extension at 1st and 2nd bay; basecourse. 2 ground floor mullioned Y-tracery windows to right; 4 windows to 1st and 2nd floors, door opening to flat-roofed wing in 1st floor left window; roll-moulded stone surrounds to all. Hooks and metal strips of exterior sunblinds. Corniced course below crenellations. 4-storey, 4-bay section to right; window to each bay; ground floor window slit to left bay; round-headed windows to 1st floor; stonework surrounding 2nd window at 3rd floor reveals former larger opening; roll-moulded surrounds to all but slit window. 2 curvilinear gables to right bays; single window in each gable. Monastic masonry; basecourse and 3 buttress bases incorporated into S elevation.
N wings: W elevation 3-storey section set back to right added pre-1834; irregular fenestration, moulded string course below crenellations. Hoppers dated 1858 to far right. 3-storey, 3-bay advanced wing to left added 1875; crenellated 1886. Replacement door to left, 2 windows to right. 3 windows to 1st and 2nd floors with roll-moulded surrounds and heraldic keystone including Lothian rising sun motif. Datestone between 1st and 2nd floors, with monogram and date; 1886. Corbelled eaves below crenellations. Alterations to W wings evident in changes in stone work. E elevation of N wing; advanced 2-storey, 5-bay 1858 addition to right of main block. 5 ground floor windows; corbelled tripartite oriel window at 1st floor to left; polygonal swept slate roof with ball finial. Projecting gablehead to 4th bay with small central window; corniced coping with 5 decorative finials. Corniced string and eaves course; chamfered window surrounds with stops. 3-storey, 2-bay crenellated tower to far right; tall basecourse; corniced string course to 1st and 2nd floors; 2 windows at each floor; hoodmoulds at 3rd floor; corbelled eaves course below crenellation. Advanced buttress to right; wall stack to right return. Modern single storey harled boiler house to far right (not part of Statutory List). Uniform accommodation block to N enclosing courtyard by Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners, 1967. 4-storey, 3-block wing aligned E-W; single storey wing to E; 2-storey wing to S. Rock faced sandstone; piend roof; regularly placed fenestration.
S wing: single storey flat-roofed billiard room wing to right of main block. Crenellations to W. W elevation 3 windows; Y-tracery to central truncated window. Wall continues to right with 4 arches; Y-tracery and mullion to left window; open arches to right. Wall continues without crenellations to S gable end; niche with decorative carved stone to top and moulded base carved with foliage and green man head to bottom; cross pomme below. E elevation of billiard room wing; tooled snecked sandstone; tall base course. 3 windows set into moulded ashlar surrounds; window ledge. Door and window with moulded surrounds to left return; plain frieze with moulded band. Chamfered arris to basecourse carved with 'M90'; decorative cast-iron hopper dated 1872. Wall continues to left; 3 open arches supported on square plinths; ashlar surrounds. Later railings in openings.
Building to S: squared sandstone with chamfered quoins to N; corniced eaves with later (blocked up) crenellations above; corrugated-iron catslide roof. Moulded, arched door in N wall; keystone with carved head. 2 carved stones to E wall; carved stone frame with coronet in keystone and stone centred in frame with effaced initials and dated 1776. Lothian family crest to left with carved head above. Wall terminates with crenellated gable to S. Tooled sandstone with 2 narrow moulded columns to S quoins. Arched niche in N wall. Advanced outer bays to S, arched niche in each. Recessed central bay in S elevation with blocked opening to left; marble plaque carved with Lothian emblem of rising sun with crown (similar to one at Southside). Carved representation of wine-making to base with figure with strainer, spoon and barrel.
INTERIOR: exceptional interior with remains of monastic structures and original late 19th century decorative scheme to drawing room and 17th century plaster ceiling in library. Central imperial timber staircase in hall decorated with carved foliage and marquetry; central 18th century marble roundel with putti and goat. Parquet floor with marquetry edge in hall; water powered organ to right. Various marble fireplaces throughout; some with richly carved timber overmantels including in porch (dated 1878); hall and carved depiction of the story of Solomon halving the baby in S wing billiard room. Monastic remains of vaulted chambers flank staircase at ground floor; original rib and barrel vaulting in parts; replaced elsewhere; some with original 14th century column bases. Parquet floors delineate position of former column shafts and mirror vaulting above. 2 large stone fireplaces with stone carving of Lothian coat of arms above; late 19th century fireplace to S; 17th century panel above N fireplace which shows 16th century work in moulded jambs. Vaulted room to W converted to chapel in 1900; marble altar; timber and painted rear screen; decorative stone arch to chancel; decorative marble aumbrey and screen to window to left of altar. Ornate parquet floor copies original medieval tile design, 2 of which are positioned in chancel floor. Blocked elevated 'leper's window' in SW corner. Early 16th century hexagonal font on 19th century base carved with coats of arms including that of Margaret, queen of James IV and Madeleine, wife of James V. Double-height drawing room on 1st floor richly decorated by Thomas Bonnar, circa 1870, and largely untouched since. Panelled dado and shutters with ornate brocade pelmets; gilded heraldic carving surmounting pelmets and tall pier glasses between windows. Walls covered in Hay's patent imitation damask with gilt fillet to further the illusion of damask. 2 doors with geometric panelling with marble architraves; 2 fireplaces with corniced marble surrounds and Ionic columns; gilded overmantels painted with scenes of Princess Margaret's visit to Newbattle in 1503 by Riccardo Meacci. Deeply coved painted ceiling with putti, Lothian emblems, 3-dimensional gilded stars and gilded cornices. Dining room to E; 18th century and later panelling including Corinthian columns; decorative overmantel; timber cornice; shutters and panelled doors; carving in style of Grinling Gibbons and recessed buffet niche. 3 images of pastoral scenes above doors; pink marble fireplace surround with tiled cheeks. Plaster ceiling with putti; stars and floral design. L-plan library to NW; 17th century moulded ceiling of pendants; lions and dragons. Shelving throughout with spiralled shafts surmounted by carved heads. 2 fireplaces with marble surrounds and Morris & Co tiles; carved timber overmantel with gas fittings behind lions heads; spiral columns; carved Lothian emblems; portrait of de Gusman attributed to van Dyck over one fireplace and copy of Sheffield-type portrait of Mary, Queen of Scots over the other. Decorative fireplaces and cornicing to Bryce's 1858 wing including vaulted ceiling of Marchioness' boudoir decorated with gold and green lattice and gold stars. 2 blocked (previously external) windows with roll-moulded stone surrounds and rising sun keystone face into corridor on E wing with datestone between, monogrammed and dated; MKLN 1580 (Mark Ker, Lord Newbattle). A similar, blocked (previously external) window positioned in inner hall to small drawing room wall at 1st floor and above at 2nd floor indicate the extent of external wall of former L-plan house. Ground floor door with stone roll-moulded surround may also align with these 1st and 2nd floor windows. 2nd and 3rd floor rooms are now teaching rooms and studies. 2 turnpike stairs to SE and NW and open well stair to N.
Predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Piended slate roof; various stacks including spiral stacks to SE; crowsteps to E chimneys with end crowsteps carved as man's head with beard. Cast-iron rainwater goods, some hoppers decorated with Lothian rising sun and dated.
Statement of Special Interest
A-Group with Newbattle Abbey Policies Fernery, Grotto and Ice House, Lothian Burial Ground, Maiden Bridge, Monkland Wall, North and South Sundials, Port Lodge, Newbattle Road and Abbey Road Wall and Gatepiers, Lamb's Nursery, Archbishop Leighton's House, 1-5 Riverside Cottages, Old Bridge, Newmills Road, Dalkeith Lodge in Dalkeith Burgh and The King's Gate in Cockpen Parish. The present building stands upon the site of a Cistercian monastery which was founded in 1140 by David I as the daughter house of Melrose Abbey. The name Newbattle means new dwelling. After the abbey's final burning in 1548 and the dissolution of the monasteries Mark Ker became the commendator and in 1580 began to build a mansion upon the remains of the conventual buildings, the former dorter subvault; calefactory; kitchen and lay brothers' apartments using stones from the abbey church. The earliest visible remains on the ground floor probably date from the late 14th century when the monastery was repaired after an attack in 1385. In 1580 a range to the E was added to form an L-plan house with the main entrance in the E elevation. The house was extended during the late 17th century; there are references to removing the 'old house' and creating the Great Hall (probably the drawing room). The building to the S with carved stones appears contemporary in origin with Port Lodges (early 18th century). The house was castellated in the late 18th century; the upper storey was added to the E by William Burn in 1836 retaining only some of the crenellations. A wing to the N was present in 1834 which was extended Eastwards by the addition of a family wing in 1858 by David Bryce for the 8th Marquess of Lothian. The gablehead to the 4th bay was intended as a curvilinear gable as shown in Bryce's 1858 plan to mirror Burn's earlier gableheads. A further N wing was added by Bryce in 1875 which received its crenellated upper storey in 1886. Following excavation of the ground floor, Bryce also redesigned the main staircase. The porch was added in 1878 and the modern accommodation block was built in 1967 on the site of an earlier 19th century kitchen wing. The chenille drawing room carpet, raspberry in colour and probably once purple is contemporary with Bonnar's 1870's decorative scheme for the room. The building was given over to the Scottish Universites by the 11th Marquess of Lothian as a college of adult education in the 1930's, occupied by the army during the war and reopened as a college in 1950 with modern accommodation block added to the N in 1967 by Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners. The courtyard by the residential wing was once the cloister garth. The WW II army huts (Newbattle Annexe) do not form part of the Statutory List.
J Adair, A Map of Mid-Lothian, 1735; D Laing (Editor), Correspondence of Sir Robert Kerr, 1st Earl of Ancrum and his son, William, 3rd Earl of Lothian, 1875; J C Carrick, THE ABBEY OF S. MARY NEWBOTTLE, 1907; J C Carrick, AROUND DALKEITH AND CAMP MEG, 1912; RCAHMS, INVENTORY FOR MIDLOTHIAN AND WEST LOTHIAN, 1929, p142; W B de Bear Nicol, NEWBATTLE ABBEY MIDLOTHIAN A BRIEF GUIDE FOR THE VISITOR, 1958; C McWilliam, LOTHIAN, 1978; NEUBOTTIL NEWBATTLE, 1980; I Gow, THE FINEST ROOM IN SCOTLAND, Scottish Society of Art History Yearbook, 1988; R Wenley, THE LOTHIAN PICTURE COLLECTION, HISTORY AND CONTEXT, University of St Andrews Picture Collection, M Litt Dissertation, 1990; M Hall, NEWBATTLE ABBEY LOTHIAN, Country Life, 8th July 1993, p74; J Thomas, MIDLOTHIAN, 1995, p142; D Howard, SCOTTISH ARCHITECTURE FROM REFORMATION TO RESTORATION, 1995, pp105, 106; NMRS Archive; Historic Scotland & Scottish Natural Heritage, AN INVENTORY OF GARDENS AND DESIGNED LANDSCAPES IN SCOTLAND, (Draft); Scottish Record Office, Lothian Family Papers, Ref GD40.
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Printed: 22/03/2019 05:05