- HER number: MEL8410
- Site Name: Dalkeith House
- Grid Reference: 333324 667904
- Civil Parish:
- Monument Type:
- Country House (18th Century, Post Medieval)
- Summary: Mansion, built 1702-11, incorporating parts of 15th and 16th century castle
- Description: NT36NW 7.00 33325 67905 Dalkeith House
NT36NW 7.01 3340 6786 Garden
NT36NW 7.02 3384 6766 Dark walk, gateway
NT36NW 7.03 33820 68251 Laundry Bridge
NT36NW 7.04 33740 68093 Stables and Coach House SW
NT36NW 7.05 33037 68437 Hermitage
NT36NW 7.06 33422 67706 Town gates
NT36NW 7.07 32192 67700 King's Gates
NT36NW 7.08 32208 67694 Gate lodge
NT36NW 7.09 32943 67778 Walled Gardens
NT36NW 7.10 33728 68101 Stables and Coach House SW
NT36NW 7.11 33731 68113 Stables and Coach House W
NT36NW 7.12 33742 68126 Stables and Coach House W (Courtyard Clock)
NT36NW 7.13 33749 68136 Stables and Coach House W
NT36NW 7.14 33764 68144 Stables and Coach House N
NT36NW 7.15 33771 68139 Stables and Coach House N
NT36NW 7.16 33779 68134 Stables and Coach House NE (Kennels)
NT36NW 7.17 33768 68108 Stables and Coach House E
NT36NW 7.18 33759 68095 Stables and Coach House E
NT36NW 7.19 33751 68085 Stables and Coach House SE
NT36NW 7.20 33748 68081 Stables and Coach House SE, adjoining Outbuilding
NT36NW 91 33767 68260 Laundry house
NT36NW 94 34055 68108 Gamekeeper's House
NT36NW 122 33353 67773 Ice house
NT36NW 87 33818 68175 Conservatory
NT36NW 65 3350 6850 Deer park
NT36NW 85 3357 6820 Steel park
(NW 733 6789) Dalkeith House (NAT) and remains of Castle (NR)
OS 6" map (1968)
(1)-(2) Dalkeith House was begun about 1700; it incorporates parts of Dalkeith Castle, a 15th century L-shaped keep with curtain walls which had been greatly enlarged about 1585. It now comprises a main block, two chambers deep, four storeys in height, from either end of which parallel wings of the same elevation, but unequal in breadth, project and end in pavilions, one storey lower. The S wing embodies the old tower so completely that the skeleton can hardly be distinguished internally.
The castle was the stronghold of the Douglases of Dalkeith; it was enlarged for James Douglas, Fourth Earl of Morton, Regent, then purchased by the Second Earl of Buccleugh in 1642 and ceased to be the principal seat of the Dukes of Buccleugh and Queensberry about 1885.
RCAHMS 1929, visited 1921; SDD List 1964
(3) Dalkeith House is as described.
Visited by OS (BS) 30 October 1975
Photographed by the RCAHMS in 1978.
(Undated) information in NMRS.
(4) From item in Archibald Craig Scrapbooks (4/57/4)
This is the residence of his Grace the Duke of Buccleugh, and stands about six miles from the city of Edinburgh, on the southern bank of the North Esk, and in the immediate neightbourhood of the town of Dalkeith. It is erected on the site of an old castle, which was for a long time the property of the family of Douglas. the Regent of Scotland, vix the Earl of Morton, frequently dwelt in this castle during the time that James VI. was a minor; which at that period commonly went by the ancestors of his Grace about the close of the 17th. century. It consists of a main body and two wings, having some ornaments in front of it of the Corinthian order. The principal staircase, and several rooms within, besides the great hall, are allowed by judges to be finished in a very elegant manner. In one set of rooms the furniture in use at that period is still preserved with great care, probably because it was the donation of Charles II. to his sone the Duke of Monmouth, and his daughter-in-law Anna Duchess and heiress of Buccleugh, who espoused the Dukle of Monmouth. There is an excellent collection of paintings in the palace of Dalkeith, executed by different artists who were eminent in their day. The river North Esk glide's along directly under the walls of the house, and over it an escellent bridge has been thrown at the expense of his Grace.
(5) Historic Scotland Listed Building Ref: 1217/3/-
Historic Scotland Listed Building Description: James Smith, 1702-11, incorporating parts of 15th century and 16th century castle; later additions by James Playfair, 1786, and William Burn, 1831. 3-storey and basement irregular U-plan Classical mansion, including 2-storey and basement pavilions, and with 2-storey service blocks adjoined to S forming U-plan service wing. Variegated sandstone rubble; ashlar dressings. Base course. Rusticated quoins. String courses between floors, and moulded eaves cornice to principal elevation. Moulded lugged architraves to principal elevation, raised surrounds to remaining elevations. Gibbsian surrounds to basement windows, many blinded. Some relieving arches. Formerly harled.
E (principal) elevation: 3-storey U-plan, with 5 bays at centre, and outer wings 3 bays deep returned to E; terminated by lower piend-roofed pavilions to outer bays to E; masterful massing with central emphasis, forming open court. Tall windows to principal floor, square windows to 2nd floor. Heavy pediment to 3-bay ashlar centrepiece, 4 fluted giant Corinthian pilasters dividing. Ashlar steps to entrance (reinstated by W Schomberg Scott, 1973), with simple wrought-iron balustrade. Tall 2-leaf panelled door with 8-pane fanlight at centre; modillioned cornice with ornately carved frieze and dentils. Regularly disposed fenestration. Panel bearing palm garlands, coronet and monogrammed shield above principal floor openings. Architraves corniced to principal and 1st floors. Entablature breaking eaves, crowned by projecting ornate modillioned and corniced pediment. Regularly disposed fenestration to slightly recessed bays flanking centrepiece.
Courtyard returns: door in outer bays to E, foreshortening window above. Regularly disposed fenestration.
Wings: regularly disposed fenestration to inner bay; remaining bays masked by pavilions. Porch set in re-entrant angle of wing and pavilion to left.
Porch: ashlar, with cornice, blocking course and pilasters. 2-leaf door to left to N, with moulded panel above; window to right. Window to E.
Pavilions: 2 bays deep; 3-bay to E. Regularly disposed
N pavilion: 2-bay to N; blind windows in bay to right. Advanced from N elevation; 4 closet windows to W return.
S pavilion: porch adjoined at ground in re-entrant angle to N. 2-bay to S; service block adjoined at ground.
N elevation: 9-bay (6-2-1); N pavilion advanced to left; outer bay to left 2-storey and basement. Bowed ashlar tripartite window (James Playfair, 1786) to principal and 1st floors in bay to centre and right of centre; keystoned splayed-arched arcade at basement; cill courses, cornice and blocking course. Corniced and pilastered tripartite former French window, now glazed with panelled aprons, to principal floor in 2 penultimate bays to right; ashlar forestair, extended across outer bay to right. Regularly disposed fenestration, blind windows in outer bay to right.
W elevation: 11-bay (2-2-2-2-3), 2 to left advanced. Regularly disposed fenestration, tall windows to principal floor, small to 2nd floor. Small corbelled turret with small window set in re-entrant angle to left at principal floor level; corniced, with leaded roof. 2 arrowslits (lighting former turnpike stair) to right of centre bay. 7 bays to centre and right incorporating substantial evidence of early masonry.
S elevation: 1830s addition of 2 2-storey piend-roofed service wings to form U-plan service court to elevation; sited on falling ground, and incorporating earlier fabric. Evidence of demolished fabric.
Main house: irregular disposition of bays and plan, owing to inclusion of fragments of earlier castle. 2 tall multi-pane stair windows, divided by ashlar stack with angle pilasters. Roughly canted bay to court, with roof swept down unevenly to 1st floor height with recessed dormers; evidence of former kitchen services at ground. S pavilion advanced to right.
Service wings: circa 1830. Cream sandstone rubble; rusticated quoins to E. W wing: 7-bay to W, bay to outer left canted in re-entrant angle; bay to left of centre recessed; Gibbsian surrounds and window bars; service lean-to to E, with stone piers. E wing: 5-bay to E, single storey flat-roofed contemporary projection at ground; bay advanced to left to S, with semicircular-arched voussoired entrance to recessed porch to right return.
Small-pane glazing patterns in sash and case windows, some multi-pane, some fixed pane and some double-glazed. Original lead rainwater goods; heads and fixtures decorated with coronets. Grey slates to piend, and piend and platform roofs; some swept eaves; lead flashing. Tall imposing corniced wallhead and ridge stacks with angle pilasters, some ashlar, some harled. Roof lights.
Interior: earlier castle incorporated internally, including vaulted ceilings and 2 turnpike staircases to S. Oak panelling, and black and white marble tessellated floor to entrance hall, with painted frieze, and to hall to grand staircase, divided by 2-bay marble basket-arched arcade, with Corinthian column and pilasters. Marble panelling to stair well. Wide half-turn stair with landings to S; delicate wrought-iron balustrade with birch handrail (late 18th century replacement); white marble steps, parquetry treads. Suite of 6 state rooms to W: great ante-chamber to S, morning-room, book-room, ante-room, Duchess's sitting-room, and boudoir in NW angle; variety of decoration including marble chimneypieces, overmantels and architraves, oak panelling, carved cornices, and gilt cornices and panel mouldings; red marble chimneypiece to Duchess's sitting-room, with carved white marble overmantel, "The Story of Neptune and Gallatea" by Grinling Gibbons, 1701, surmounted by blue glass panel with silver monogram and red marble border; elaborately garlanded white marble chimneypiece to boudoir, with painted mirror overmantel, surmounted by carved monogram. Library to N, with bookshelves by James Blaikie, 1769-70, and marble chimneypiece by Alex Govan, 1771. Ashlar chimneypiece with monogrammed overmantel to armoury. Brass door furniture by Oakes Bickford of London, 1704-05.
Retaining wall: flat coped rubble buttressed wall to SE of house.
Lamp standards: 2 elegant decorative cast-iron lamp standards flanking steps to E elevation. Decorative 19th century cast-iron lamp standards to SW drive, inscribed "Jas Ferguss, Tayport".
Historic Scotland Listed Building Notes: James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton, substantilly enlarged the early castle in the later 15th century. It was sold to Francis Scott, 2nd Earl of Buccleuch in 1642. Anne Scott, Duchess of Buccleuch, commissioned James Smith to build the house in 1701; Smith incorporated the L-plan tower-house to the S and sides of the courtyards into his design. The ashlar sandstone was obtained from Culross and Queensferry quarries, and the house cost ?15,225 to build. The masonry work was executed by James Smith, James Smith and Gilbert Smith. William Morgan and Isaac Silverstyne carved the enriched mouldings of the principal rooms; the exterior carving was either by them, or by the Smiths. Grinling Gibbons supplied 8 or 9 chimneypieces; the marble staircase was probably installed by Richard Neale.
James Adam made some repairs to the house in 1762. James Craig drew up plans for remodelling the house and adding wings in 1776, but these
were never executed. Some minor alterations were made by James Playfair, who added the bow window on the E elevation in 1786. William Burn drew up a scheme for enlarging the house in an Elizabethan Revival style in 1831, which was never executed, and made some minor alterations to the interior; he may also have been responsible for blocking the principal door and building the porch. Interior restoration was undertaken by W Schomberg Scott in 1973.
Dalkeith House ceased to be the principal residence of the Buccleuchs after the first World War. Pictures, furniture and fittings were gradually removed, but the house was finally cleared in 1970. The house is now leased for business and educational use. A Group - see DALKEITH PARK.
Historic Scotland Listed Building References: SRO GD 26/489, 492 Leven and Melville MSS. SRO GD 244/379, 625/1 Buccleuch MSS. SRO RHPO 9521, 9687, 9698, 9704, 9705, 14446, 49090-49098. J Small THE CASTLES AND MANSIONS OF THE LOTHIANS (1883) Vol I. D MacGibbon and T Ross THE CASTELLATED AND DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTLAND (1892) Vol IV, p390. A Francis Stewart DALKEITH: ITS CASTLE AND ITS PALACE (1925). RCAHMS INVENTORY (1929) pp 61-65. W Adam VITRUVIUS SCOTICUS (1980, facsimile et.) plates 22-24. C McWilliam LOTHIAN (1980) pp 158-161. T Ruddock "Dalkeith House pediment: its form and construction", The Scottish Georgian Society ANNUAL REPORT (1981) pp34-40. J G Dunbar and J Cornforth, "Dalkeith House, Lothian", COUNTRY LIFE 19 April 1984, pp 1062-1065, 26 April 1984, pp 1158-1161, 3 May 1984, pp 1230-1233. AN INVENTORY OF GARDENS AND DESIGNED LANDSCAPES IN SCOTLAND (1987) Vol 5, pp 42-48. Lawrence Hunter, undergraduate dissertation Department of Architecture, Edinburgh University.
(6) A history of Dalkeith House and Estate was compiled in 2003 by the University of Wisconsin, who lease the house for the Wisconsin-in-Scotland study abroad program.
Owner: Duke of Buccleuch
James Smith 1701-1709
John Adam visits to inspect roof, sashes and other parts needing repairs, April 1762
Entrance lodge by James Playfair
Grinling Gibbons carvings
William Burn 1831 - additions
James Craig 1776 - adds not executed
Robert Adam 1794 - design for entrance gates and lodge
W Schomberg Scott Photograph Collection Acc no 1997/39
detail of stonework on the entrance front - 2 prints
Royal Botanic Gardens Library - The Book of the Garden by Charles Mackintosh - text
Scottish National Portrait Gallery - Country Life October 7th, 1911 & September &th 1935 - article and photographs
SCOTTISH RECORD OFFICE:
RHP 9520 (1718) and 9521 (1759) - plans of park (including Smeaton)
RHP 9536 1824 - plan of park
RHP 9539/9541 1831 -plan of park
RHP 9687/9 9697/9706 19thc - plam of house and stables
RHP 9715/12-13 19th C - plans of layout of garden
Accout for work done at ? Dalkeith Castle.
ND GD 150/2740
Repairs and additions to be made to Dalkeith Castle. Estimate for #2000. A note is added there must be a clause obliging Mr Smith to heighten the walls of the old house at the same rate he builds the new.
1702 GD 26/5/492
Repair of Dalkeith Castle. Articles of agreement.
1709 GD 26/5/489
Letters by William Burn, architect, 131 George Street, on buildings and improvements on Buccleuch estates.
1830-38 GD 224/508/1
Accounts and legal papers relating to claim by John Adam, architect, as representing his late father, William Adam, architect, against the representatives of the late Francis, [2nd] Duke of Buccleuch, for payment for building a bridge, stables and other offices at Dalkeith "and for other works perfomed there". The bundle includes (with an inventory) 18 estimates, accounts, and letters by the 2nd Duke to William Adam, on all of which the claim was bases. Some of the letters are endorsed with brief comments apparently in William Adam's hand, though not signed or initialled. The bundle also includes a letter by John Adam to Archibald Campbell, W.S., dated 6 September, 1757, regarding the clain (no.21).
1740-58 GD 224/337/4
Account book of workmen employed about the palace of Dalkeith, June - Dec., 1724.
(Includes names of workmen)
Copy account rendered to the Duke of Buccleuch by John Adam, architect, for work done at Dalkeith House, etc.
Contract tradesmen's accounts and legal papers relating to the addition made to Dalkeith House by Anna, Duchess of Buccleuch, and to subsequent Court of Session process arising from her allegations of faulty workmanship on completion of the work. (31 items)
(1) 1702, March 21. Extract of contract between Anna, Duchess of Buccleuch, on the one part, and Mr James Smith of Whythill, and James and Gilbert Smith, masons in Edinburgh, on the other part, whereby the latter parties undertake to build in good and sufficient mason work the addition designed tobe made to the Castle of Dalkeith.
[Registered in the Books of Council and Session on 3 October, 1711]
(30) 1717, January 16. Interlocutor finding in favour of James Smith
1702-1717 GD 224/391/1
Letter (no.1) by John Adam, architect, Edinburgh, 17 February 1762, to John Craigie of Kilgraston, advocate, enclosing account (no. 2) of work done by him for the Duke of Buccleuch at Dalkeith between 1752 and 1757, and not yet paid for; and relative letters (n s. 3-16) by Gilbert Grierson, chamberlain of Dalkeith, and Donald Dunbar, W.S., to Mr Adam between 1752 and 1754, authorising or relating to the various pieces of work referred to in the account. Subjects include inter alis survey and estimates for repairs to Dalkeith church and manse; nomination of a skilful person to survey for coal at Hawick; inspection of repair work to Dalkeith mills; plumber work on roof of Dalkeith Palace and pavilions.
1752-62 GD 224/388/1B
Debts of Francis, [2nd] Duke of Buccleuch: scrolls or drafts of assignations and discharges by some of the Duke's creditors. No. 2 (containing 4 items) relates to sums owed to John Adam, architect, Edinburgh, representing his late father, William Adam, architect. (Numbered 1-19: a total of 22 items)
1752, April 7. Copy report on, and estimate of repairs to, the roof and chimney heads and some other parts of Dalkeith House, by John and Robert Adam, architects.
Miscellaneous Dalkeith vouchers. (High Somervell, W.S., Receiver General). (Includes discharge by Wm Adam, architect, 1727 (for drawing up plans)).
1727-9 GD 224/259A/2
The castle was sold by the Earl of Morton to Francis 2nd Earl of Buccleuch in 1640. It was remodelled for Anne, Duchess of Buccleuch 1702-1710 by James Smith (c.1645-1731) who demolished part of the existing castle and incorporated the rest into the new house.
Account for repair work at Dalkeith Castle (house).
N.D. (pre 1642) GD150/2740 (Morton)
Copy of drawing attributed to John Elphinstone c.1740s in poss. of Mrs N Cooper, London - 1 photograph
NMRS REPORT DATE: 30/11/2004
- For more information contact: MidLothian Council HER
- Related Places:
- Associated Periods:
- Bibliographic reference: Eddington, A. 1904. Edinburgh and the Lothians at the opening of the twentieth century ... contemporary biographies. 51.
- Bibliographic reference: Small, J. 1883a. The castles and mansions of the Lothians.
- Bibliographic reference: Poling, S. 1997. Picking up the pieces of stately jigsaw [Dalkeith House, newscutting], The Scotsman.
- Bibliographic reference: Cornforth and Dunbar, J and J G. 1984c. 'Dalkeith House, Lothian: III', Country Life Vol. 175 Part 4524, p.1230-3.
- Bibliographic reference: Cornforth and Dunbar, J and J G. 1984b. 'Dalkeith House, Lothian - II', Country Life Vol. 175 Part 4523, p.1158-61.
- Bibliographic reference: Cornforth and Dunbar, J and J G. 1984a. 'Dalkeith House, Lothian - I', Country Life Vol. 175 Part 4522, p.1062-5.
- Bibliographic reference: National Monuments Record of Scotland. National Monuments Record of Scotland survey of private collections. inv 49.
- Bibliographic reference: Stark, J. 1838. Picture of Edinburgh: containing a description of the city and its environs...with a new plan of the city and forty-eight views of the principal buildings, 6th edition. opp p.343.
- Bibliographic reference: Stark, J. 1806. Picture of Edinburgh: containing a history and description of the city, with a particular account of every remarkable object in, or establishment connected with, the Scottish metropolis ... illustrated with a plan ????>???????>???>???????>???>???>????
- Bibliographic reference: Adam, W. 1812. Vitruvius Scoticus: being a collection of plans, elevations, and sections of public buildings, noblemen's and gentlemen's houses in Scotland: principally from the designs of the late William Adam Esq., architect. pl????>????
- (1) Bibliographic reference: RCAHMS. 1929. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments and Constructions of Scotland. Tenth report with inventory of monuments and constructions in the counties of Midlothian and West Lothian. 61-5, No.76. fig.???
- (2) Bibliographic reference: SDD. 1960-. List of Buildings of Architectural or Historical Interest, (Lists held in Architectural Department of RCAHMS). 1, no.1.
- (3) Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Site Visit.
- (5) Bibliographic reference: Historic Scotland. Historic Scotland Listed Building.
- (6) Unpublished document: Gile, J. 2003. 'The History of Dalkeith House and Estate,' UW-L Journal of Undergraduate Research VI (2003).