Early 18th century (possibly 1715) with later additions and alterations. Symmetrical 2-storey with basement and attic, 5-bay, rectangular-plan, austere classical house on Palladian plan. Later full-height, stepped portico to front; single storey addition to side (service courtyard); separate single storey, rectangular-plan pavilions flanking at front. Whinstone rubble throughout; cream sandstone dressings (pink sandstone dressings to later porch). Base course in part; lintel course; ashlar frieze and concave cornice at eaves. Rusticated quoins and plain pilasters dividing centre bays from outer; droved long and short surrounds to openings; shouldered margins at ground and 1st floors; shallow relieving arches at basement and ground; projecting cills throughout.
NE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: grouped 1-3-1 with giant order pilasters defining outer bays. Projecting portico at centre comprising steps to advanced, flat-roofed porch with round-arched opening, balustraded parapet, 2-leaf timber panelled door with round-arched, stained and leaded fanlight set within; single window centred in pedimented projection recessed at 1st floor; bipartite window in box dormer aligned above. Single windows at all floors in remaining bays recessed to left and right (squat basement windows; keystoned windows at ground). Single storey addition slightly recessed to outer left with bipartite window at centre; full-width, balustraded pediment.
NW (SIDE) ELEVATION: 3-bay. Narrow window at 1st floor off-set to left of centre; single windows at all floors in remaining bays to right. Single windows at all floors in full-height portico recessed to left with round-arched window centred in lower, balustraded porch to outer left.
SW (REAR) ELEVATION: grouped 1-3-1 with quoins defining outer bays. Single windows at all floors in all bays; 2 bipartite windows in central box dormer; canted dormers to left and right. Single storey addition (service courtyard) to outer right with balustraded parapet; balustraded stair to front with single window to left.
SE (SIDE) ELEVATION: full-width, single storey projection (service courtyard) at basement with large, square-headed opening off-set to left of centre. Principal block set behind with single windows at ground and 1st floors in bay off-set to right of centre and bay to outer left; bipartite window in box dormer centred above. Single windows at all floors in full-height portico recessed to right with round-arched window centred in lower, balustraded porch to outer right.
8- and 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows; decorative stained and leaded windows to porch. Grey slate piend and platform roof with swept eaves. Prominent sandstone stacks flanking centre; octagonal cans.
INTERIOR: single stair accessing all floors with rolled detail to stone treads. Reception rooms with timber panelled doors; timber skirting and dado rails; some dado panelling; plaster cornices; various fireplaces. Remainder not seen 1999.
PAVILIONS: single storey, rectangular-plan pavilions flanking house to front. Whinstone rubble; tooled cream sandstone dressings. Moulded eaves; rusticated quoins. SE PAVILION, SW ELEVATION: single windows in all 4 bays. NE ELEVATION: single windows in bays to outer left and right. NW ELEVATION: single window to left. SE ELEVATION: boarded timber door to left; large boarded timber opening to right. NW PAVILION, SW ELEVATION: boarded timber door off-set to right of centre; single windows in remaining bays to right and left. NE ELEVATION: single windows in all 3 bays (central bay originally door). SE ELEVATION: single windows in both bays. NW ELEVATION: single window (former door) to left; small-pane glazed door to right; piended dormer off-set to left above. Timber sash and case windows to both pavilions. Grey slate piended roofs with swept eaves. Squat, brick-built wallhead stacks. INTERIORS: not seen 1999.
SUNDIAL: irregular composition comprising 2 circular grinding stones forming stepped base; corniced, square-plan pedestal beneath square-plan, cream sandstone ashlar block with inscribed dial; coat-of-arms (Homes of Renton); panel embossed 'S.D R.H.I.D 1715'.
QUADRANT WALLS AND BOUNDARY WALLS: rubble-coped, rubble quadrant walls flanking entrance to NE. Rubble walls partially enclosing site (buttressed in part at rear).
Statement of Special Interest
Noted in the OS Name Book as "...a fine square built house with offices and farm attached." Once home to the Homes of Renton, this early 18th century house remains one of the most significant structures in the parish - its interest being both architectural and historic. As the sundial is dated 1715, it is probable that the house is circa this date. Features of particular note include the vertical division of the front and rear elevations - most unusual and, according to Strang, 'unparalleled'. Also of note is the forecourt, with its quadrant walls and flanking single storey, bell-cast pavilions (that to the NW being in separate ownership 1999). In the 19th century, Renton House was a coaching stop on the main road between London and Edinburgh and, as shown on the 1821 map, was known as 'Renton Inn'. Rutherfurd's notes Lady Stirling as resident here in 1866. The 1858 OS map shows a conservatory to the SE of the house (no longer in place). A photograph dated 1875 and held in the NMRS shows the garden elevation prior to the insertion of the dormers.