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
Local Authority
East Lothian
Planning Authority
East Lothian
NT 45287 78587
345287, 678587


Robert Adam, 1790. Classical double pile mansion, 2-storey with basement. William Young replaced Adam's pavilions with Baroque pavilion wings 1891, and reorientated entrance to S, added arcaded loggia to E and W elevations. Polished yellow ashlar with base course, channelled basement, impost course, full entablature with noulded cornice, blocking course with balustraded sections and decorative urns. Moulded architraves, lugged or pedimented windows to principal floors.

E ELEVATION: centre 7-bay, former entrance elevation. Broad balustraded staircase to doorway at centre; Doric portico with entablature, 4 urns and cupola. Round arched doorway with panelled cast-iron door with glazed upper panels, narrow windows flanking; 3 windows at 1st floor. Arcaded loggia (1891) to basement with barrel vault, flanking steps with balustrade. 2 bays flanking door with windows to each floor. Broad outer bays, advanced with tripartite window to each floor, pilastered with entablature to principal floor, small pediment to centre at 1st floor. Frieze with decorative triglyphs and 4 paterae. Tabler above centre with swag and oval patera crowned by recumbent lions flanking armorial with lion rampant bearing swan crest. Sphinxes surmounting outer bays. Leaded dome on corniced balustraded polygonal base with urns, ironwork crown.

W ELEVATION: 3 broad bays to centre block, flanking pavilions. Arcaded loggia to basement as above, with statues. Giant fluted Corinthian pilasters dividing full height bays of principal apartments; paired columns flanking advanced and pedimented centre bay. Band course with guilloche relief to 3 large round-arched windows with tripartite screens. Ionic columnar mullions. Frieze bearing inscription and date, profile in tympanum.

LINKING BAYS AND PAVILIONS: William Young 1891. Recessed single storey and basement single bay blocks linking Adam mansion to pavilions, each with Venetian window to principal floor, double stairs terminating loggia to W. Pavilions comprised of single and 2-storey with basement blocks interlocked, each crowned with balustrade. 3-bay elevations to E and W with 2-storey advanced bay at centre; fenestration including Venetian windows set in round arched panels to principal floor. Cornice continuous with single storey and basement linking bays serving as cill course to 1st floor. Swagged roundel panels to each pilaster-quoined 1st floor angle. Flanking bays with consoled and balustraded balconies to pedimented windows.


S ELEVATION: keystoned round-arched doorway set in segmentally pedimented, Doric columned portico; open and broken pedimented cradling cartouche. Vestibule at ground with balcony above, keystoned Venetian windows to 3 recessed 1st floor bays 8ionic columnular-mullions) divided by Ionic pilasters, flanked by paired pilasters. Aedicule breaking blocking course at centre with blinded Venetian window with shell-niche, and ornate carving and inscription, paterae and swags in frieze fronting. Single storey and basement outer bays each with Venetian window at 1st floor, consoled ashlar balconies to centre light, paired Ionic pilasters flanking.


N ELEVATION: service ranges enclosing square courtyard. Blind windows to N. Single storey service range to W. Currently roofless. Sash and case windows with 2-pane glazing pattern. Panelled wallhead stacks with semi-circular ventilators. Flagpole over S entrance.

INTERIOR: fine decoration, largely by Young; fire damaged central block (as seen 1989). To S pavilion, imposing Marble Hall; masons Kirkwood of Edinburgh, structural steel by Sir William Arrol of Glasgow, stone and marble by Farmer and Bringley, plasterwork by Jackson, both of London (McWilliam). Polished Caen stone with panelled pink and white Derbyshire alabaster. Balustraded double stair, coombed ceiling with abundant fine plasterwork. Cinquecento Italian chimneypiece incorporating bronze relief panel; niches with portrait busts flanking. Triple tripartite gallery screen, ribbed and glazed cupola. 3 skylights over gallery. Adamesque decoration to principal rooms. Vaulted basement containing service areas. 2 Georgian staircases with delicate cast and wrought-iron balustrades flanking billiard room to E: Young 1891. Dado panelling, paired Corinthian pilasters and heavily corniced doorcases. Coombed plasterwork ceiling with moulded cornice. Late 19th century billiard table in situ. 3 state rooms to N each dominated by fenestration. Drawing room to S (fire gutted 1940), currently under repair (1989). Saloon and Dining Room with mid 19th century groin-vaulted ceilings with reeded gilt ribs. Some fine plasterwork retained in bedchambers. Kitchen block interior to N gutted. Entrance courtyard to S with central sculpture, enclosed by corniced, panelled wall opening to balustrade with gatepiers to S, guarded by 2 lions couchant.

SCREEN WALLS AND GARDEN STATUARY: Round-arched gateways to gardens at E and W with entablature, surmounted by sphinxes. NW gate of wrought-iron with foliate ornament incorporating Wemyss initial and paired coronets. Walled terrace to W with corner pavilions echoing those of house. Screen wall to kitchen courtyard to N with gateways as above.

Statement of Special Interest

As originally built to Robert Adam's design, the main block had flanking pavilions, linked by colonnades. Incomplete in 1800, the house was found to suffer from damp, contributed to by the use of sea sand. The wings were demolished and plans submitted for extensive modification by Reid, Wyatt and Smithe. However, Burn was commissioned instead, 1830-40, to rebuild an earlier house (now demolished) adjacent to the stables for which plans remain (RCAHMS). The 9th Earl was dissuaded from demolishing the Adam shell by his son who commissioned Young to remodel the house in the 1890s. The magnificent Marble Hall may be compared with Young's earlier Glasgow City Chambers (1883-8). Gosford became a hotel between the two World Wars; see brochure held at NMRS. The central block is currently under repair after fire damage in 1940 while requisitioned by the Army, and extensive dry rot. The house contains a remarkable, extensive collection of paintings and porcelain.

The Baroque N and W lodges are listed separately, as is Young's E lodge. The policies were laid out as Pleasure Grounds c.1800; see Ainslie, 1808. The Mausoleum, Boat House, Ice House, Curling House, Walled Garden and Gardener's accommodation are listed separately, as are the Stables to the E. Harelaw and Craigielaw, the principal estate farms, are listed separately. A-group with the Icehouse, Curling House, Boat House and Hungary House, Bothy Cottage, Game Larders, Gardener's Cottage, Mausoleum, North Lodge, Footbridges, Ha-Ha and Aqueduct, Sables, and Walled Garden and with Gosford Gateway, West Lodge and Policy Walls listed in Gladsmuir Parish. Loudon attributes the Gosford landscape to James Ramsay, as Wemyss House (see Encyclopaedia of Gardening, p 1251). According to Loudon, Ramsay died in 1794; Colin gives 1800. The Mausoleum and plantations appear on Forrest's Map of 1799.



G Richardson THE NEW VITRUVIUS BRITANNICUS (1802-8) Plates 43-50.

J Small THE CASTLES AND MANSIONS OF THE LOTHIANS (1883). NEW STATISTICAL ACCOUNT Vol II (1837) p252. C McWilliam BUILDINGS OF SCOTLAND : LOTHIAN (1978) p222. C Green EAST LOTHIAN (1907) p99. J Martine REMINISCENCES AND NOTICES OF FOURTEEN PARISHES OF THE COUNTY OF HADDINGTON (1890) p13. RCAHMS* photographs from album compiled by James Lamb of GOSFORD HOUSE (1907). J Ainslie THE PLEASURE GROUNDS OF GOSFORD (1808) Survey plan. RCAHMS: ADAM OFFICE PLANS FOR GOSFORD HOUSE Edinburgh (1790) Reproduced from drawings in the possession of the Earl of Wemyss and March. RCAHMS: DESIGNS BY SIR ROBERT SMITHE FOR THE ADDITION OF WINGS TO GOSFORD HOUSE (1820). W Schomberg Scott THE EARLS OF WEMYSS AND GOSFORD (nd). Adair's MAP OF EAST LOTHIAN (1688).

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.

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Printed: 26/02/2024 18:50