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Houstoun House

Hotel (Period Unassigned), Lairds House (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Houstoun House

Classification Hotel (Period Unassigned), Lairds House (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Houston; Houstoun House Hotel; Orphoot Whiting And Lindsay, Architects

Canmore ID 49264

Site Number NT07SE 10

NGR NT 05264 71334

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council West Lothian
  • Parish Uphall
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District West Lothian
  • Former County West Lothian

Recording Your Heritage Online

Houstoun House, Uphall, from 16th century

Striking vertical U-plan mansion, brilliant-white harl, stone margins to windows and doors, and steeply pitched and slated crowstepped roof. It has been through many changes: the skyline probably sliced in the 18th century, additions infilling the square with a new wing and stair to the north-west, causing a re-siting of the entrance first to the south and then to the east. Restored as his home by the architect, Ian G Lindsay, in the 1940s. Subsequently refurbished and extended as hotel by Wheeler & Sproson, 1970, who removed the east porch and added the attractive glazed foyer to the east and sympathetic, slate-hung bedroom block. Normal ground-floor vaulted cellars now bar and meeting room; delightful principal-floor apartments with much of the original panelling and plasterwork. The north wing across the walled courtyard was the woman house, 1600, with a coachhouse, 1736, and stables adjoining. Good 17th-century lectern doocot, sundial, 1757, on a square baluster, and lovely formal gardens. A most beautiful place, Houstoun was built for, or extended by, the advocate, Sir Thomas Shairp. The 1980, 'heritage-style', crowstepped bedroom block gave its design palette to the large-scale 'village street' of bedroom and ancillary facilities by Crerar and Partners, 1995 and 1998. Flat-roofed private house to the west by Donald Mclnne

Taken from "West Lothian: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Stuart Eydmann, Richard Jaques and Charles McKean, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NT07SE 10.00 05264 71334 Houston House

NT07SE 10.01 05262 71309 Garden; Sundial; Walled Garden

NT07SE 10.02 05234 71359 Stables; Coach house

NT07SE 10.03 05182 71180 Workers' Cottages

NT07SE 10.04 05241 71342 Woman House

NT07SE 10.05 05541 71570 Gate House

NT07SE 3.00 05315 71348 Dovecot

(NT 0525 7132) Houstoun House (NR)

OS 6" map (1913)

Houston House, as it appears today, is a fine example of a 17th century laird's house, four storeys and an attic high. The building dates mainly from two periods, part of the S and E sides representing the original L-planned mansion, begun in 1600 by Sir John Shairp, King's Advocate. This was extended to W and N later in the same century, making the plan almost square. The small stair-tower projecting from the N gable of the original E wing is still later, dating from 1737. The porches are more modern still. The walls are of harled rubble. The main house forms the S side of a courtyard, the N side being a range of 2-storeyed domestic buildings with a vaulted ground floor. These were built c.1600.

Houston passed out of the hands of the Shairp family in 1945. A Houston of that ilk gave a charter in 1556, but the present house dates from later than this period.

RCAHMS 1929, visited 1926; SDD List 1964; D MacGibbon and T Ross 1887; N Tranter 1962

The house is as described, and is now a hotel with several extensions. No further information.

Visited by OS (DWR) 5 March 1974.

Architecture Notes


Owner: Ian G Lindsay


1737 adds


National Library: Small's 'Castles & Mansions of the Lothians' - article & photograph


I G Lindsay Collection T/1 and W/33


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