Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Melville House

Country House (17th Century)

Site Name Melville House

Classification Country House (17th Century)

Canmore ID 30153

Site Number NO21SE 16

NGR NO 29893 13801

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Fife
  • Parish Monimail
  • Former Region Fife
  • Former District North East Fife
  • Former County Fife

Archaeology Notes

NO21SE 16.00 29893 13801

NO21SE 16.01 NO 298 138 Park

NO21SE 16.02 NO 299 137 Garden

NO21SE 16.03 NO 29937 14141 North Lodge

NO21SE 16.04 NO 29718 14144 Monument

NO21SE 16.05 NO 29883 14075 Walled Garden

NO21SE 16.06 NO 29805 14104 Walled Garden

NO21SE 16.07 NO 29929 13796 East Pavilion

NO21SE 16.08 NO 29887 13769 West Pavilion

NO21SE 16.09 NO 29970 13735 East Garden Lodge

NO21SE 16.10 NO 29940 13711 West Garden Lodge

For sundial see NO21SE 24

See also NO31SW 85

(NO 2989 1381) Melville House AD 1692 (NAT)

OS 6"map, (Fife, (1921)

Melville House was built in 1692. Having been continuously occupied, Melville House has undergone some alterations, but the second floor has been preserved intact, and is an example, possibly unique, of the formal apartments and furnishings of a Scottish nobleman's seat.

Another interesting survival is the provision of a shot-hole in each wing.

RCAHMS 1933, visited 1925.

Melville House is now a preparatory school, and the furnishings have been removed. The shot-holes can no longer be seen and the gate pillars have been demolished, otherwise Melville House is as described and photographed by the Commission.

Visited by OS (W D J) 12 May 1970.

No longer scheduled.

Architecture Notes

See also



NO31SW 129 MELVILLE HOUSE, South Lodges


ARCHITECT: James Smith 1697-1701. Founded 15th June 1697.

Reginald Fairlie 1939. Additions and Alterations.

See entry for Kenneth Smith, Painter in Artists Catalogue in NMRS.


17th/early 18th century lead statues were supposedly taken to Balgarrock House, Aberlemno, c.1970. Information from Mr Hugh Stewart, Struthers Bros, Cupar.


Sir William Bruce informs the Earl of Melville that he has improved the draught of the design of the Earl's new house. He has kept Mr Edward busy in order to extend 'the whole stories and the elevation of the front'.


GD 26/13/272

Mention of lay out of grounds and James Smith's original draught.

Delay in building Melville House.

Sir William Bruce writes a letter of explanation to the Earl of Melville. He expects Mr Edward and Mr Smith to be at Monimail within two weeks and meantime he will continue with the draughts.


GD 26/13/440

Non-Guardianship Sites Plan Collection, DC28269- DC28270, 1954.

Letter Mr MacLaurin to Sir Hans Sloan concerning effect of lightning on Melville House. Oct. 27th 1733. Considers it worthy of attention of Royal Society.

Damage to chimney heads

breaches in walls

Sulphurous smell throught breaks.

Quick silver melted off mirrors

Gilding melted off leather hangings.

Floor torn up

Plaster singed

Glass broken

Holes burned through picture

Pictures discoloured

Panelling fell

Marble pavement damage by masonry.

'My lord's eyes uneasy for some days from the brightness of the light.'

'That the particular effects of the lighting may be best understood I have sent a plan of vestibule floor & the principal floor of the house which is esteemed one of the best in this country. Mr Adam, the architect, from whom I had them (the plans) has added a view of the front.' (not there)

GD 26/13/276

Wage book for workmen and masons.


GD 26/5/564

Payment for building a new house at Melville in 1697. Petition of David, Earl of Leven against action at instance of James Smith and his partner for the sum due.


GD 26/6/164

Providing a lead roof. Contract between George, Earl of Melville and John Carnaby, plumber.


GD 26/6/158

The entry to Melville House is described as 'a long flat Avenue with beautiful trees, chiefly beeches on each side. The Front of the house is large and makes a good appearance.'


GD 126/Box 30


One late 19th century photograph in the Inigo Thomas album, purchased by NMR, Swindon in 1997.


Photographic Survey (1954 - 1956)

Photographic survey by the Scottish National Buildings Record in 1954.


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions