Late 16th and early 17th century fortified house with courtyard, now in a ruinous condition. 2 building period; earlier block fronting courtyard to S, range of outbuildings to E, and courtyard walls, dovecot and gateway date from late 16th century. Tower added on to N side in early 17th century in more lavish style, and extended to E with N courtyard wall. (See Inventory p6 Fig 38). Red sandstone random rubble, formerly harled, light couloured ashlar dressings; moulded string courses and roll-mouldings to major openings to later N range, crowstepped gables.
S ELEVATION: late 16th century towerhouse, 4-storey, carried higher st SE angle over wheel stair. 3 irregular bays; entance to right of centre, with 17th century bead and hollow doorpiece with cornice, featuring inscription "NISI DOMINUS FRUSTRA" in raised letters flanked by initials MIL and RD. Pedimented scroll-flanked oblong panel above cornice, containing an heraldic device, flanked by finials. Window to each floor above. 2 bays yo left, windows at ground and 3 floors, some blocked. Windows grooved.
W ELEVATION: later 4-storey block adjoining, advanced at NE corner. Cavetto moulded string course between ground and 1st floor, roll-moulded string courses to upper storeys. Windows at each floor to S, bipartites with stone mullions to E; pedimented dormerhead at 3rd floor. Roll-mouldings to ground and 2 upper floors. Corbelled stair bartizan projecting at NE corner above 1st floor with small windows to each floor and diamond opening to S.
N ELEVATION: 3 string courses, irregular fenestration, crowstepped gables. Recessed bay to left with roll-moulded windows to 1st and 2nd floors, corbelled bartizan to NE corner.
E ELEVATION: line of earlier block apparent to S with small irregular openings. Doorway at ground with rubble relieving arch, doorway above to right at 1st floor. Later block adjoining flush with wall-plane to N with string courses; larger, roll-moulded windows and corner corbelled bartizan (see above). Evidence of shape of irregular gable line of former 2-storey projection adjoined at ground. Now roofless derelict interior. GATEWAY: to courtyard to S roll-moulded, semi-circular arch, corbel course above supporting ashlar coping. Random rubble courtyard walls, adjoining dovecot (listed separately).
BARMKIN WALLS: 2 sets to road, extending to W rubble, enclosed garden.
Statement of Special Interest
Scheduled Ancient Monument. Redhouse, formerly known as Red Spittal (Red Hospital), seems to have been connected with the hospital of St Cuthbert at Ballencrieff. The lands passed to the Douglas Family in 1655, and the S range of the castle was probably built prior to 1607 when the lands passed to Master John Laing, keeper of the Sigent, and Rebecca Dennistoun his wife. They added the more elaborate N range, and their initials and heraldry appear on the doorpiece and dormerhead. Redhouse passed by marriage into the Hamilton family, but was lost in 1755 as a consequence of the '45 Rebellion. Passing to Lord Elibank of Ballencrief, the castle has since been uninhabited. It became part of the Wemyss and March Estates in 1825. The dovecot incorporated in the courtyard wall, and cottages to E on the site of old vaults are listed separately. Garden to W currently is use as market garden.