Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
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. 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

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 19/05/2024 00:37