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 61845 74121
361845, 674121


Early 17th century. 3-storey L-plan laird's house, with

successive later additions and alterations. White painted

harling with evidence of battered base course; pink

sandstone margins; moulded eaves cornice.

ENTRANCE ELEVATION: original L-plan house with wings

running E-W and N-S. Former staircase turret set in

re-entrant angle removed early in 18th century, replaced

by rectangular stair tower, piend roofed and with wide

turnpike stair. W jamb originally 2-bay, extended in

early 18th century. Doorway in stairwell, with initialled,

dated pediment (AS 1663) set in above, moved from

original position in dormerhead (in early 18th century, in

removal of attic rooms); panelled door. 1 window to each

floor above; 1 ground floor window to W, 3 to 1st and 3

to 2nd floors, grouped towards re-entrant angle. Small

square panel over ground floor window of entwined heart

and triangle.

W GABLE: 2-bay; 2 low square ground floor windows,

1 window to 1st and 1 to 2nd floors, both at right.

S GABLE: window to each floor of stairwell; doorway

flanked by window at ground to right, currently

concealed by lean-to glass-house 2 1st floor windows and

1 in 2nd floor to right.

N ELEVATION: lower 3-storey projection to N and E end,

2 bays deep, raised from single storey circa 1900, with

2nd floor breaking eaves in gabled dormerheads. Single

storey small lean-to in re-entrant angle; with inserted

19th century stone canted window at ground, (regularly

spaced windows, 4 to 1st and 2nd floors), and window to

left. Window to each bay of 1st and 2nd floors.

E ELEVATION: original S elevation of 3 bays, with 2 low

square windows at ground to centre and left, taller

window to right; 3 regular windows at 1st and 2nd floor

with small window to outer right at 1st floor.

2 advanced, lower bays to right (raised from single

storey circa 1900), with 2 arrow slits at ground and

windows to each bay at 1st and 2nd floors, bipartite to

right bay and 2nd floor windows breaking eaves in gabled

dormerheads (as above). 12-pane glazing predominating

in sash and case windows. Grey slates. Crowstepped

skews, ashlar to circa 1900 additions.

INTERIOR: modernised. Memel pine window cases and

panelled shutters retained.

SUNDIAL: later 17th century. Horizontal sundial on

balustered red sandstone pedestal; white marble face;

wrought-iron gnomon; AS inscribed on stone table (as on

House itself). Set in walled garden (see below).


garden adjoined to house at E end of S elevation, with

coping and ball finials; round-arched gateway and

rounded corners by house; further gateway to stable

court in W wall.

SUMMER HOUSE: dated 1890. Square, rubble, piend-roofed

garden house, harled at rear, projecting to S from S wall

and entered by round arched doorway, with recessed

rectangular panel above, initialled and dated

(LBS MBS 1890).

BOUNDARY WALLS: rubble walls, swept up by entrance to

drive at W, flanked to S by pedestrian gateway with

decorative timber gate.

Statement of Special Interest

Archibald Sydserff adorned the property with the date stone

and initials. Ruchlaw House stayed in the Sydserff family

for several centuries. The drive is lined with yew trees.

In 1950 James Bridie (Scottish playwright) bought the house,

whose family lived there until recently. Former sundial,

earlier than that listed above, of 17th century lectern type,

was dismantled circa 1965, and its whereabouts is uncertain.



C McWilliam, LOTHIAN (1978), p421. SCOTTISH FIELD, November

1953, pp34-5. MacGibbon and Ross, CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC,

vol V, p486. RCAHMS Inventory, 217.

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.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 21/04/2019 00:00