William Burn, 1830, remodelling of earlier tower house to give substantial Baronial mansion. 2- and 3-storey with basement
and attic. Surrounding burn regularised to form pseudo-moat,
and oversailed by arched culvert in 1830 at W. Variety of squared
and snecked pink sandstone with grey ashlar dressings.
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: in 2 blocks, 3, 3-storey
crowstepped bays to right raised on earlier foundations.
Jacobean doorway with strapworked pilasters and pediment
obelisk finials; regular fenestration. Turret corbelled
from 1st floor level, in re-entrant angle with left block rising
above wallhead with candle snuffer roof. Left block of 2,
2-storey bays slightly advanced scrolled pedimented heads to
1st floor windows.
E ELEVATION: set at obtuse angle about stair turret at centre
irregular openings. 3-storey range to left with pedimented
dormerheads to 2nd floor windows flanking wide wallhead stack.
2-storey and basement range to right with varied openings.
S ELEVATION: 2 wide, 3-storey bays; left bay crowstepped gabled
with attic window, right bay with inserted tripartite French
windows with flight of semi-circular steps; pedimented
dormerhead to 2nd floor window.
N ELEVATION: irregular arrangement; gabled bay advanced to outer
left with projecting stack, circular tower at centre set deeply
into wall, flanked to outer right by full-height canted bay with tripartite windows at centre to each floor.
12-pane glazing pattern to sash and case windows, some small-pane
Grey slates to gabled and candlesnuffer tower roofs; tall,
copied diamond stacks, set on ashlar bases, linked and
INTERIOR: cellar below basement awaits excavation to determine
more about earlier house. Basement, with walls 12' thick,
includes vaulted bake-house with segmentally arched ovens and
flagged floor. Under W drive, linked to house, lies a former
prison, beside boiler house. 17th century newel stair. Burn's
work in upper stages includes Jacobean panelling in hall, and
timber stair, decorative plasterwork, plain chimneypieces.
BOUNDARY WALLS: rubble boundary walls with squat piers,
"CHAPEL": small gabled building set on steeply falling ground to
S of house, possibly associated with earlier house; rubble
sandstone with slate roof, entered by doorway on N side; window
in E gable. Serving as outbuilding, adjoined to boundary walls
by walled area on steep ground to S.
GAME LARDER: 2-stage, square building of circa 1830, in
red rubble, sneck harled, set in slope with door to upper
floor at E, louvred bipartite to N side; timber brackets to
overhanging eaves of grey slated swept roof, louvred ventilator
Statement of Special Interest
The title deeds suggest that some building was on the site of
Spott House from 1295. The fortified house which Burn rebuilt,
appears to have been present by 1650, in the hands of the Hays,
when legend has it that Colonel Leslie stayed at the house on
the night before the Battle of Dunbar, and Cromwell on the
following night! Burn was commissioned by James Sprott,
who had just bought the earlier property, and his design was contemporary with his work at Tyninghame House; James Dorward
of Haddington was the builder. Burn almost certainly landscaped
the area with the avenue of trees; the house was sited for a
spectacular view. By the Larder and "Chapel" are 2 more ruinous buildings, one a roofless former house, the other a small
square piend-roofed larder. The Lodge, stable court, kennels
and Home Farm lie to S, and are listed separately.