Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Local Authority
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
NT 60223 73246
360223, 673246


Late 15th to early 16th century L-plan tower house, with

single storey wing to W probably added in early 19th

century along with further alterations, and gabled

2-storey projection to S added 1964. 2-storey tower

house with cap-house. Deep corbelled and crowstepped

parapet with water spouts at intervals. Red rubble

sandstone; harled brick to 1964 addition. Chamfered

arrises to windows; small-pane glazing to sash and case

form. Grey slates.

TOWER: stair jamb to E side; doorway to left with roll and

cavetto surround and lintel shield (Douglases of

Whittingehame); small irregular stair windows above and

gunloop under parapet; further blind gunloops on N side.

N elevation with 2 early 19th century hoodmoulded

windows at 1st floor with smaller earlier window above.

Addition of 1964 on S elevation to right side with early

19th century wing adjoined to SW corner. W elevation

given hoodmould; small square window at centre. Early

19th century wing adjoined to SW corner. W elevation

given pointed-arch window at ground, probably in early

19th century; blind gunloop above and window under

parapet (recently repaired). Crowstepped gables to

cap-house, with gable-end stacks; diminutive cap-house

above stair jamb.

W WING: single storey, flat-roofed, 7-bay wing running to

W, adjoined to SW corner of tower, probably altered in

early 19th century and incorporating earlier walls and

formerly with crenellated parapet. N elevation blank with

dagger carved on 1 stone. 7 hoodmoulded windows to S

elevation, with penultimate window to right altered to

doorway (French windows). Moulded eaves cornice to N.

Drum stack, recently altered.

S ADDITION: 2-bays deep. Irregular windows with gabled

dormerheads to 1st floor windows breaking eaves;

doorway on S gabled elevation.

TOWER INTERIOR: barrel-vaulted ground floor,

white-washed. Outstanding 17th century strapworked

plaster ceiling to 1st floor drawing room with heraldic,

mystical and fertility symbols set in naturalistic borders

(recently restored). 17th century woodwork and wall

recess (servery); egg and dart enrichment to doors,

probably later 17th century.

WELLHEAD: white stone circular wellhead with acanthus

carving, worked at corners to support moulded square

surround; set on octagonal base. Decorative

wrought-iron overthrow.

SUNDIAL: octagonal stone columnar sundial set on stepped

octagonal base with blind quatrefoil carving on pedestal

and blind Y-tracery moulding to shaft; acanthus moulding

to wider neck and table cornice.

Statement of Special Interest

Possibility of 14th century date for the Tower was debated by

Marshall B Lang. The Darnley Conspiracy was allegedly

hatched at the Tower, 1567, and the carved dagger may

conceivably be related to this event. The Tower was

formerly known as the Castle and comprised a 5-pointed star,

of which all but the earliest tower have since been

demolished, but the lines of gables on remaining parapet

presumably relate to former wings. The cap-house was later

used as a dovecot and certain windows were blocked.

The plaster ceiling bears similarities with other 17th

century ceilings on the E coast of Scotland, such as nearby

Lennoxlove, and House of Binns, suggesting the same workmen

were employed. The wellhead takes the form of a capital from

a Greek temple and a similar wellhead can be seen at

Westerdunes, Dirleton Parish. The early 19th century work was

almost certainly by William Atkinson, who effected a

parallel restoration at Biel House, nearby, circa 1814-17,

including numerous hoodmoulds. Whittingehame House was built

in 1817 to replace the Tower as the Balfour mansion. Tower

Cottage, North Lodge and the pavilion lodges and gatepiers

are listed separately. The extent of the remaining buildings

in 1819, including the 17th century service buildings and gun

platform, is evident on the estate plan by John Mason,

surveyor (RHP.2518, of 1819).




Marshall B Lang, vol.III, pp80-93. INVENTORY 213. MacGibbon

and Ross, CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC, vol.I, pp300-303. C

McWilliam, LOTHIAN (1978), p469.

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 statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. 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.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned 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. For information about curtilage see 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 is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 21/11/2018 14:42