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Luffness House / Luffness Castle, Luffness Estate, Luffness House And Stables, Garden, Sundials, Billard Room, Pend
- HER number: MEL606
- Site Name: Luffness House / Luffness Castle, Luffness Estate, Luffness House And Stables, Garden, Sundials, Billard Room, Pend
- Grid Reference: 347489 680427
- Civil Parish:
- Summary: 16th century tower house with 19th century additions, on site of earlier medieval castle
- Description: NT48SE 1.00 47490 80428
NT48SE 1.01 4748 8044 Cists
NT48SE 1.02 4748 8038 Earthworks
(NT 47490 80428) Luffness House (NR)
OS 6" map (1908)
(1)-(4) Luffness House: The present tower house of three storeys and an attic, built in the late 16th century by Sir Patrick Hepburn, forms a T whose short stem is a square turret, its first two storeys occupied by a turnpike stair. (Tranter considers that this incorporates remains of the great castle, of probable 13th century date, which stood here, being garrisoned by Edward II in 1311.) The stone inscribed S P H. I H. 1584, now on the SW bartizan turret, was probably originally set over the entrance. The first extensions were carried out by the Hope family, who bought Luffness in 1739. A row of rooms was added at the E end soon after 1802. In 1822, the SW angle of the 'T' was filled in with a small block designed by William Burn; in 1825 the kitchen was added to the NE, designed by Thomas Brown, who also designed the baronial wing added in 1841 to the W front (and demolished in 1959). The house was baronialised in 1846 by David Bryce. The main evidence surviving on the outside is the massive stone benches on each side of the new front door on the original E gable, and the triangular gables on the canted bay. In 1874, he added an elaborate gun-room wing, arcaded, dormered and turreted, forming something like a forecourt, and a stable court with an arched and battlemented screen wall standing slightly back from it. The saloon behind the gun room was designed in 1891, and a billiard-room added in 1907.
C McWilliam 1978; N Tranter 1962; RCAHMS 1924, visited 1913; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1892; RCAHMS AP Catalogue 1980
(5) Luffness House was generally as described when seen in 1962 and 1975.
Visited by OS (WDJ) 21 November 1962 and (SFS) 13 August 1975.
NT48SE 1.00 47490 80428
NT48SE 1.03 48357 80541 Kennels and Cottage
NT48SE 1.04 47332 80361 Gardener's House
NT48SE 1.05 47374 80321 Walls and Walled Garden
NT48SE 2 47117 80138 Carmelite Friary and Fish Ponds
NT48SE 16 47572 80472 Dovecot
NT48SE 49 47255 80101 Water Tower
NT48SE 50.00 48072 80879 Luffness Mill House and Kiln
NT48SE 50.01 47894 80925 Luffness Mill Cottages
NT48SE 142 46992 80237 Quarry House
NT48NE 142 48573 79862 Luffness Mains Cottages
(6) Historic Scotland Listed Building Description: Baronial Mansion with complex building history. On site of, possibly incorporating parts of earlier castle sacked 1548, nucleus of present house is T-plan tower house of 1584 - panel with date and initials of builder, Sir Patrick Hepburn and wife, Isobel, reset in SW bartizan. Tower House largely obscured by 19th century additions. William Burn extended house to NW, 1822 and filled in SW corner. Thomas Brown added kitchen wing, 1825 and W extension, 1841. David Bryce, 1846-1874, added gunroom and stable courts to SE, service wing to NW and further additions including interior remodelling. Work continued by D and J Bryce, 1891, billiard room addition, Barbour and Bowie, 1907.
TOWER HOUSE: clearly of more than 1 period, indicated by change in quoins and window mouldings above 2nd string course of stair window. 1584 tower orientated E-W, stair continued in square tower to S. Random rubble with ashlar dressings; 2 wide-mouthed gun loops remain visible at ground level, others in 2 bartizans carried on chequered and rope moulded corbels at SW and NE corners. Stair to upper levels contained in turret in SE re-entrant angle carried on squinch arch.
19TH CENTURY ADDITIONS: 1802-3; 2-storey wing with canted bay at E end added to NE of main block. Large roll-moulded windows at ground and 1st floors; polygonal hipped roof (see Gilpin drawings) replaced with gables inset with re-used panels of foliate carving by Thomas Brown 1841. SW angle between stair tower and main block infilled by William Burn, 1822, with 3 storey wing, slightly recessed on plan, of contrasting red squared rubble. Ground and 1st floor windows flanked by re-used 17th century decorative panels, heraldic panel to gable (see notes). SW skewputt, also re-used, bears Hepburn initials SPH and EH. All openings with broad stop-chamfered surrounds, bipartite window openings, blacony with scrolled Jacobean brackets at 1st floor. Dog-leg stair at NW gable, probably Burn, with similar balustrade. Thomas Brown, 1825, 2-storey kitchen block to NE in picturesque style; masons Hunter and Bowman of Aberlady. Large arched service door with ornamented surround, large trefoil window above, under overhanging bracketted cat-slide eaves. Adjoining block at right angles with 2 tall round arched windows, steeply pitched gabled bellcote dormer corbelled out and breaking eaves at centre round arched opening to bell. Giant blind arcade with window above on N return. 1846. Main entrance on E elevation enlarged by David Bryce, with stone benches flanking doorway. 3-storey round tower corbelled to square at upper storey (probably Bryce), with service access and tunnel from the N, terminating in The Pend to main road; large round arched gateway with 2 orders of facetted blocks, possibly incorporating earlier stonework topped by blind parapet carried on square corbels. Interior remodelled by Bryce (see below). EAST WING, AND STABLES: David Bryce and later John Bryce, Baronial styel, between 1846 and 1891; adjoining house to SE, connected by screen wall with archway. EAST WING: dated 1891 2-storey wing with turret and arcade at
ground floor, 1st floor corbelled out to E, pedimented dormerheads with finials breaking eaves, dormer to E with blank circular panel, possibly for a clock. Sash and case windows with 2-pane lower, 9-pane upper sash glazing pattern. Crowstepped gables, bracketted eaves, grey slates, ashlar coped wallhead and paired diamond stacks, piended rooflight. Dated initialled panel to gable at rear. BILLIARD ROOM: Barbour and Bowie, 1907; single storey addition to garden elevation of gunroom. Canted 5-light bay to left with crenellated parapet, 2 windows to right breaking eaves in semi-circular pedimented dormerheads with dated initialled panel and scrollwork. Polygonal turret advanced at right with 4 windows. Crenellated curtain wall and 2 canted bays at ground linking to main house. STABLE YARD: enclosed by battlemented wall with blind arcade at ground, turret at NE corner with candlesnuffer roof; finial and weather-vane. Entrance through large round arched battlemented gateway in curtain wall; further gateway to E with square gatepiers. STABLES: 2-storey, double-pile block with 2 doorways and windows at ground, 6 windows at 1st floor breaking eaves in pedimented dormerheads. Now converted to housing, forestair to 1st floor to E. Turret with weather-vane. Part of court to W glazed over. Sash and case windows with 12-pane glazing pattern, crowstepped gables, grey slates. Sash and case windows; predominantly 2-pane glazing pattern with some 12-pane glazing at rear. Crowstepped gables, ornamented stone finials, raised grouped diamond stacks by Burn. Grey slates, some decorative gutter fixtures. Mounting block in courtyard. INTERIOR: largely by David Bryce; remodelling of entrance hall with glazed doors formed like yetts, fireplace 1849. Library extended to SW by Burn, interior by Bryce 1874, with geometric plasterwork ceiling and cedarwood panelling, Wirth Brothers, Edinburgh, encompassing bookshelves, with block cornice and plant ornament. A double sided chimneypiece divides room into 2 with Jacobean motifs and pilasters wuth plant ornament to cedarwood overmantels. Wide newel stair to 1st and 2nd floor in S stair tower by Bryce, top floor and attic served by turret stair. Some original moulded door surrounds and tiny wall chambers survive. ITALIAN GARDEN: sunken parterre to S of house laid out in wheel of radiating beds enclosed by lawn. Until World War I, extended into moat with herbaceous borders. SUNDIALS: wall mounted sundial featuring sculptured soldier's head near well in S court. 2nd sundial dated 1759 as centrepiece of Italian garden.
The site of Luffness is an early Norse settlement: graves have been found within the grounds and foundations. The barony was associated with the de Lindsay and Bickerton Families in the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries, the remains of a Carmelite Friary are situated with the policies to the W which received a grant in alms from the estate (see INVENTORY NO 1). The present house is built on the site of an early 16th century fortification, of which extensive remains can be found in the grounds. Evidence of 4 corner tower, 1 now accommodating an ice house, and a wet moat are visible. The fort is said to have been constructed by General de Thermes to defend Aberlady Bay and access to Haddington during the "rough wooing" in the early 1540s. The fort was ordered to be destroyed in 1551, the Hepburn family taking possession in the 1580's built the present tower house on the foundations of the earlier keep. Luffness was bought by the Earl of Hopetoun in 1739, and has since been occupied by the Hope Family. it is thought that the 17th century sculpted ornamental plaques re-used on the E and SW additions by Burn may have come from the 1st Hopetoun House. Walled garden to W, garden walls, Gardener's House, Water Tower and Dovecots are listed separately, linked in an A Group.
(7) Site of castle sacked in 1548, rebuilt as T-plan tower house in 1584. Many 19th century additions from 1822 to 1907. The sundials are dated to the 18th century.
Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' 1996.
An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland. Vol 5, 150-154
- For more information contact: East Lothian Council HER
- Related Places:
- Associated Periods:
- Bibliographic reference: Views in the Lothians. 'Views in the Lothians', p.65. 8.
- Bibliographic reference: Eddington, A. 1904. Edinburgh and the Lothians at the opening of the twentieth century ... contemporary biographies. 53.
- Bibliographic reference: Small, J. 1883a. The castles and mansions of the Lothians.
- (1) Bibliographic reference: McWilliam, C E. 1978a. Lothian except Edinburgh. 318-19.
- (2) Bibliographic reference: Tranter, N. 1962-70. 'The fortified house in Scotland'. Vol.1, 40-1.
- (3) Bibliographic reference: RCAHMS. 1924. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Eighth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the county of East Lothian. xxv-xxvi; 2-4, No.3.
- (4) Bibliographic reference: MacGibbon and Ross, D and T. 1887-92. The castellated and domestic architecture of Scotland from the twelfth to the eighteenth centuries. Vol.4, 87-91.
- (5) Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Site Visit.
- (6) Bibliographic reference: Historic Scotland. Historic Scotland Listed Building.
- (7) Unpublished document: James, H F. 1996. Coastal Assessment Survey: The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Border of Fife.