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 46065 68447
346065, 668447


William Burn, 1818-1825, Tudor mansion, incorporating 15th century towerhouse to W, a 2-storey, 4-bay addition to E, 1769-1775, alterations by Robert Burn in 1803; converted to flats, Robin Jell, 1967-1971.

Sited on high ground by Birns Water to N of West Saltoun. 3-storey and basement main block with taller rectangular tower, and 2-storey and basement wing to E. Pink sandstone ashlar with base course, hoodmoulds, chamfered and cavetto reveals and crenellated parapet; stone mullions; rendered and lined repairs to S and W.

MAIN BLOCK: roughly square in plan, around tower.

N ELEVATION: 7-bay. 5 recessed bays at centre linked to full-height square pavilions by single storey crenellated loggia; loggia comprised of set-off buttresses dividing 3 4-centred archways; narrow windows flanking. 4-centred doorway at centre closely flanked by narrow windows and with 4-centred openings to each end of loggia, blinded with Gothic panelling. Ribbed stone vault with ornately carved bosses and capitals. Bipartite windows to pavilions at ground and 1st floor, smaller single windows at 2nd.

S ELEVATION: 6-bay. SW pair of bays set at obtuse angle on ground falling to Birns Water; 4 bays to right, 1769-76, with rectangular entrance bay projecting off-centre to left in tower form, breaking main parapet with further crenellated parapet; wrought-iron railings to steps leading to deeply graded reveal of 4-centred doorway; windows in ground floor bays, smaller at 1st and 2nd floors (4-centres in 4 2nd floor bays to centre and right). Corbelled bartizans at 2nd floor with glazed arrow slits and parapets.

W ELEVATION: 7 irregular bays, largely 15th century, in splayed line. Circular tower off-centre to right. 2 blinded windows.

E WING: William Burn. 5-bay N elevation with outer left bay as square pavilion; tripartite and traceried windows at ground, 4-centred bipartites at 1st floor (tripartite in pavilion). 3-stage circular tower set in re-entrant angle with main block. Crenellated porte-cochere on E elevation with polygonal piers and 4-centre archways and windows; circular, crenellated stair tower to left of entrance. 7-bay S elevation with 3 bays to left of centre canted; windows to each floor in each bay, some 4-centred. Small- and horziontal-pane glazing patterns to sash and case windows. Decorative cans retained.

INTERIOR: largely by William Burn in Gothic style. Saloon particularly fine, rectangular in plan with side galleries over 4-centred archways with rib vaulted soffits to passages; ribbed spandrels below circular whispering gallery and octagonal rotunda; ornate ceiling. Panelled library with marble chimneypiece and ribbed ceiling.

TERRACES: crenellated ashlar parapet with polygonal piers to buttressed terrace by Birns Water at E.

ENCLOSURE: circular tradesman's bay to E of house, comprised of cast-iron railings, open to N.

Statement of Special Interest

Ancestral home of the Fletcher family. 3 very famous figures, Lord Innerpeffer, Judge; Andrew Fletcher, patriot; and Lord Milton, Lord of Session. Style echoes Gothic revival essays of Sir Robert Smirke at Kinmount, Dumfriesshire, 1812 and Lowther Castle, Westmorland, 1806-11. Outstanding collection of books amassed by the Fletchers, formerly housed in splendid library. Watercolour by Littlejohn illustrates the house before the Burn alterations. North and South Lodges, Home Farm, Walled Garden and Garden Cottage are each listed separately and the Dovecot and West Lodge are listed in Pencaitland Parish. The bridge across the Birns Water was washed away in 1948 and the Gas Works of 1870 were recently demolished.



RCAHMS INVENTORY No 164. Margaret Wyllie HISTORY OF SALTOUN AND THE FLETCHER FAMILY (1987) p33. Sir Thomas Dick Lauder, SCOTTISH RIVERS (1890) pp 324-5. T Hannan, FAMOUS SCOTTISH HOUSES (1928) p157-60. SCOT'S MAGAZINE, April 1962, pp18-20. J Small, CASTLES AND MANSIONS OF THE LOTHIANS (1883) Vol II.

Saltoun Drawings, National Library of Scotland, copies at MRS (ELD/110/1-100). Alistair Brown; ground plan, 1968.

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.

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Printed: 24/03/2019 00:31