Winton House / Winton Castle
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- HER number: MEL358
- Site Name: Winton House / Winton Castle
- Grid Reference: 343814 669494
- Civil Parish:
- Summary: 17th century mansion with later additions, and incorporating a 15th century castle
- Description: NT46NW 25.00 4361 6949
NT46NW 25.01 436 694 Garden
NT46NW 25.02 43862 69588 Walled Garden
NT46NW 25.03 43835 69463 Terraced Garden
NT46NW 25.04 44463 69073 South Lodge
NT46NW 25.05 43834 69662 Stables
NT46NW 54 43927 69643 Laundry
(NT 4361 6949) Winton House (NAT)
OS 6" map (1970)
(1) (2) Winton House: Until it was forfeited in 1715, Winton was the junior house of the Setons of Seton Place. They were given the Earldom of Winton in 1600 and about that time the first Earl repaired the house, which had been burnt by Hertford (1545). The second Earl employed the King's Master Mason, William Wallace to enlarge and embellish it in 1620-7. Although the exterior is partly obscured by John Paterson's additions of about 1805, this is still one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Scotland (C McWilliam 1978). What remains of the earliest masonry is a freestone rubble block, with a jamb at the E end of the N side and a stair-turret in the angle. Wallace added a square tower, projecting N, at the W end, and re-faced part of the earlier work in ashlar. Paterson made castellated additions to the entrance (N) front, and bays E and W. The main block is three storeys in height to the N, but is one storey higher to S, due to the fall of the ground.
N Tranter 1962; RCAHMS 1924
(3) A large mansion, as described.
Visited by OS (BS) 21 October 1975.
(4) Historic Scotland Listed Building Description: William Wallace, King`s Master Mason, Anglo-Scottish Renaissance mansion, 1620-1627, with large additions to N and W in tudor style,John Paterson, circa 1805. Sandstone rubble for original mansion, with white painted harling, ashlar stair towers, ashlar dressings, string
courses, moulded eaves cornice and ornate barley sugar stacks; 19th century work in sandstone ashlar with base, string and band
courses, hoodmoulded openings and crenellated parapets. 17th century mansion: L-plan, main block running E-W with NE jamb and square plan stair tower to NE; semi-octagonal stair tower set in re-entrant angle with NE jamb; ground and 1st floor of N and W elevations largely obscured by later additions. N elevation of 3 storeys, S elevation 3-storey and basement on falling ground by River Tyne. Circular stair turret adjoined of NE tower at 2nd floor in re-entrant angle with ogival leaded roof and small windows; renaissance balustrade to square 4-stage tower with strapwork ornament to cornice below, and observation platform. Semi-octagonal tower of 4 lower stages with ogival roof deliberately set askew, some decoratively cut ornate slates and glided finial. 2nd floor windows generally with pilastered rybats, some fluted and with ornate strapworked pediment, breaking eaves as dormerheads. Oval oculus in gablehead of E elevation of E-W block. Plan one room in depth with NE jamb 1-bay deep. 3 bays grouped closely at centre on S elevation with further bay to outer right. Tall, ornate barley sugar stacks in groups of 3 to 5, at gable and wallheads, with great variety of oramental carving. Crowstepped gables. 19th century additions: to N and W. Single storey and basement to N with canted 2-stage entrance bay at centre; single storey and basement to W elevation without basement recess; octagonal, crenellated towers closing each addition of 2 and 3-stages, with hoodmoulded lancets, blind in upper stages. Rectangular porch projecting from canted bay to N, with angle buttresses and moulded pointed-arch doorway. Taller windows at ground floor. Stone mullioned tripartities to W elevation at principal floor level, flanking canted bay set off-centre to left. Piend roofs behind parapets; flat, leaded roof with conical skylights above projecting entrance bay. Small and square-pane glazing patterns to sash and case windows. Grey slates.Cast-and wrought-iron balcony across principal floor to S, on coped ashlar parapet with cast-iron columns and decorative railings. Interior: outstanding 17th century decoration retained. The library (or King`s Charles Room) contains the finest early 17th century plaster ceiling and a chimneypiece of large proportions bearing what was probably originally the pediment over the entrance door (moved in circa 1805); the flue is thought to have belonged to the castle which stood on the site before the work in the 1620s. The drawing room formerly the great hall of the castle includes a similarly magnificent chimneypiece and strapwork plaster ceiling; fine strapwork plaster ceilings in the bedrooms, with ornate panels.Stone wheel stairs. Tudor decoration to vaulted inner vestibule of 19th century addition; decorative plaster cavetto cornice to Dining Room, with apsidal ends; decoratively carved classical chimneypieces
.Notable fittings and furnishings, much of an early date. Gate to walled garden: probably 18th century; decorative wrought-iron gate wide side panels and overthrow crowned by fleur-de-lys finial; sited on S sited of garden. Terraces and railings: squared and snecked sandstone terrace walls to S; round-arched Renaissance balustrade to E beyond octagonal pavilion; summer pavilion with hoodmoulded lancets and slated ogival roof, linked to house by further (different) balustraded
parapet. Decorative cast and wrough-iron railings to terraces and to basement recesses at N.
Renaissance work commissioned by 10th Lord Seton, extending and aggrandising a later 15th century castle; 19th century work commissioned by Colonel Hamilton. The work by William Wallace constitutes a landmark in the development of Scottish architecture after the union of the Crowns, standing as an early xample of the style developed later at Heriot`s Hospital, Edinburgh, and Argyll`s Lodging, Stirling,for example. The Setons were also the patrons of the outstanding work prior to Winton at Fyvie Castle and Pinkie House. The Laundry Cottage Stables and North and South Lodges are listed separately. The walled garden by the stables is not included in the current listings, but the wrought-iron gate is included above.
(5) David Elder lists an octagonal dovecot at Winton House in his list of 'Doocots of East Lothian'. This may be the octagonal pavilion mentioned above, and could have been a dovecot later converted into a pavilion.
- For more information contact: East Lothian Council HER
- Related Places:
- Associated Periods:
- Bibliographic reference: Forman, S. 1959. Strangeness in Proportion [Winton House], Scot Fld Vol. 106 Part 681 1959, p.35-37. 35-37.
- Bibliographic reference: Winton House. 1954. Winton House.
- Bibliographic reference: McWilliam, C E. 1978a. Lothian except Edinburgh. 472-4.
- Bibliographic reference: Skene, J. 1829. A series of sketches of the existing localities alluded to in the Waverley Novels. opp 97.
- Bibliographic reference: Weaver, L. 1912c. 'Winton Castle, East Lothian', Country Life Vol. 32 Part 816, p.260-7. 260-7.
- Bibliographic reference: Billings, R W. 1901. The baronial and ecclesiastical antiquities of Scotland.
- Bibliographic reference: Svanberg, J. 1983. Master masons. vol 11, p.79.
- Bibliographic reference: Forman, S. 1947. Great Homes of the Scottish Lowlands, Country Life Vol. 102 Part 2640 1947, p.378-381. 378, 379.
- Bibliographic reference: Winton House. 1995. [Winton House, newscutting], The Daily Telegraph.
- Bibliographic reference: Small, J. 1883a. The castles and mansions of the Lothians.
- Bibliographic reference: Ross, T. 1891d. 'Wintoun House', Trans Edinburgh Architect Ass Vol. 1 1891, p.122-7.
- Bibliographic reference: Views in the Lothians. 'Views in the Lothians', p.65. 17-18.
- (1) Bibliographic reference: Ogilvy, F G A. 2000. Winton House, East Lothian: a guide. Pencaitland.
- (1) Bibliographic reference: Tranter, N. 1962-70. 'The fortified house in Scotland'. Vol.1, 60-1.
- (3) Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Site Visit.
- (4) Bibliographic reference: Historic Scotland. Historic Scotland Listed Building.
- (5) Unpublished document: Elder, D. 2004, 2006. East Lothian Doocots.