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Edinburgh, Craigiehall House

Country House (17th Century), Military Headquarters (20th Century)

Site Name Edinburgh, Craigiehall House

Classification Country House (17th Century), Military Headquarters (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Goc Scotland; Craigiehall Estate; Craigiehall Policies

Canmore ID 50408

Site Number NT17NE 29

NGR NT 16671 75424

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Dalmeny
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County West Lothian

Archaeology Notes

NT17NE 29.00 16671 75424

See also:

NT17NE 30 NT 16785 75439 Sundial

NT17NE 42 NT 17034 75239 Grotto; Bath House

NT17NE 43 NT 17284 75620 Ice House

NT17NE 169 NT 16717 75502 Walled Garden

NT17NE 170 NT 16686 75611 Stables

NT17NE 171 NT 17091 75221 Grotto Bridge

NT17SE 264 NT 17030 74912 Temple

(NT 1668 7541) Craigie Hall (Craigiehall on OS 6") dated 1699. Georgian 2 storeys, with garret, of ashlar on rusticated basement. Piended slated roof platformed on top. Central 2 bays projecting and pedimented. Advanced pedimented wing. Other additions 1926-7. Built for William Johnston, 2nd Earl of Annandale. Estate later passed to the Hopes of Hopetown.

SDD List 1964

As described.

Visited by OS (SFS) 20 August 1974

Photographed by the RCAHMS in 1980.

Architecture Notes

NT17NE 29.00 16671 75424

NT17NE 29.01 NT 16589 75460 Dovecot

NT17NE 29.02 NT 16611 75418 Sundial

NT17NE 29.03 centred NT 16722 75512 Military Headquarters

NT17NE 29.04 NT 16595 75536 Barracks

NT17NE 29.05 NT 16553 75454 Bunker

NT17NE 29.06 centred NT 16823 75683 Barracks; Buldings; Huts

NT17NE 29.07 centred NT 16769 75314 Housing Estate

NT17NE 29.08 centred NT 17322 75494 Housing estate

NT17NE 29.09 centred NT 16745 76007 Housing estate

NT17NE 29.10 NT 17068 75257 Statue

NT17NE 29.11 NT 1669 7537 and NT 1670 7537 Air Raid Shelters

For other structures within the Policies see also:

NT17NE 30 NT 16785 75439 Sundial

NT17NE 42 NT 17034 75239 Grotto; Bath House

NT17NE 43 NT 17284 75620 Ice House

NT17NE 169 NT 16717 75502 Walled Garden

NT17NE 170 NT 16686 75611 Stables

NT17NE 171 NT 17091 75221 Grotto Bridge

NT17SE 264 NT 17030 74912 Temple

ARCHITECT: Sir William Bruce, 1699

Sir Robert Lorimer, 1926 - 1927 (additions)

OWNERS: War Department (Ministry of Defence).



NMRS Photographic survey of drawings for Craigiehall including: designs for additions by Thomas Brown 1818; designs for William Burn 1828; designs by David Bryce 1852; design for stained glass at Craigiehall by Messrs. Ballantine; survey of Blackwood House, Lesmahagow c. 1829; late seventeenth century design for a house; designs by Sir William Bruce; designs for garden layout by William Boucher; designs by Craigiehall Temple attributed to John Adam c. 1755 and many designs for estate buildings.

Copied 1983 Inventory 149



A view of the dovecot, Craigiehall House, ink drawing, framed and glazed. Picture Store.

Insc: 'The auld Dou-cot', Craigie Hall, Linlithgowshire, by me, George A.Fothergill, March 1913'

Signed: 'George A. Fothergill'

17 1/2 x 23 1/2"

Pen and pencil.

Note: See NMRS Xerox copy 'The Antiquities of Craigie Hall' by George A.Fothergill. Drawing No.3. - Bib. no. 28605

Non-Guardianship Sites Plan Collection, DC23242- DC23245, 1955,1963 & 1965.


Annandale Papers per NRAS/SRO

Bundle 825

Sir William Bruce to Lord Annandale. Kinross, 4 july, 1699. His opinion and directions for finishing stonework over cornice at Craigiehall to bring water from the roof in a conduit; has written a long letter to Mr Smith on this subject; to be directed to Tobias Paterson is to be told what Bruce says; if Bruce's plan is followed 'it will last as long as the rest of the stonwork and be of a verie small charge and will prevent a great may evills that housses are layable to by the falling of watter down the waals from the roof, I have an ill hand in writing, and in case the masson and the wright do not read it clearly and distinctly. I have a servant in Edinburgh just now, Dneiell Reide, whom they both know and is to be found at Mrs Bells in Milnes Square who will read my writ to them exactly.'

Sir William Bruce to Lord Annandale. Kinross, 19 june 1699

Question of jointure of recipient's daughter, to be married to Lord Hopton; cornice of Annandale's house; will tell Mr Edwards when he comes how to arrange matters more easily than in Mr Smith's plan; is sorry that mason's mistake has retarded the work'

Bundle 822

Letter from Sir William Bruce to the Earl of Annandale

Edinburgh, 17 february, 1701

Extra money claimed by Thomas Alburn; Andrew Paterson, who was present at signeing the agreement, says there was no mention made of the 'houses round the whole roomes in the prime storie, nor of the sloping rooffs into the cupples of the uppersmost storie, as also that Alburn has finished the stair and couppello finer and better than condition'; thinks that the work well worth 100 (pounds scots) is more than he first agreed for'

Bundle 825

?A Paterson to Lord Annandale. ?Kirktoune, 20 June 1699

Bear f letter, George Burn, is the man who is cutting recipient's flowerpots near Mallsslie; they are well done; 12 are ready and one with recipient's aarms and a pretty dial; he needs money.

NRS (S)2171(Johnstone of Annandale), Bundle 152/2


Contract between William, Earl of Annandale, and Thomas Alburne, plasterer in Berwick, whereby the latter is to mend all the plaster which is defficient and to whiten all the rooms of the house of Craigiehall. With accounts.

25 November, 1700

NRS (S)2171 (Johnstone of Annandale), Bundle 152/2


Proposals by Thomas Alburne for plastering the house of Craigiehall.

26 August, 1699

NRS(S)171 (Johnstone of Annandale), Bundle 152/2


Contract between William, Earl of Annandale and Andrew Patersone of Kirktoune, Wright, Burgess of Edinburgh, whereby said Andrew binds himself to finish wright work of said William's new house presently building at Craigiehall, as specified, including 5 chimneypieces, various doors and windows, a pavilion rose upon the house, a cupola conform to the model and other work as in the draught.

6 October, 1698

NRS(S)2171 (Johnstone of Annandale), Bundle 155/2

Slating an office house.

Account due to William M of Annandale, to Peter Simsone, Slater in Canongate.

21 October, 1704

NRA(S) 2171, Bundle 152/1 (Johnstone of Annandale)

Account for carved work done at Craifiehall by an unnamed workman in the dining room, with - drawing room, my lady's bedchamber, her dressing room and my Lord's bedchamber

10 June, 1701 (With account of measurement of carved work N.D.

GD 124/15/752/1 - 2

Construction of courts, gates and garden at Craigiehall. (The property of the Marquis of Annandale)

Letters (2) from Alexander McGill, Architect, to the Earl of Mar. They concern plans and measurements.


Craigiehall House is situated within the Policies of 2nd Earl of Annnadale, on the N side of the River Almond immediately outside the old boundary of the City of Edinburgh.

Three storeys high with a basement, the main elevations face NE and SW. The E front of the house also has the entrance steps with a pedimeted centre piece carved with the Coat of Arms of the 2nd Earl and date 1699. The house has had several extensions and alterations and is no longer in original condition.

The house was built to Sir William Bruce's design and extended by William Burn in c.1830's who built the dining room extension on the N side. The extension had a matching pediment now removed. David Bryce RSA was responsible for the billiard room and a new staff wing also on the N side of the house beyond the Burn dining room extesion.

Some final alterations were carried our by Sir Robert Lorimer who was commissioned by Mr James Morton in 1926 to restore much of the interior and notably, an oriel window on the S elevation.

The army purchased Craigiehall House in 1951 and undertook major alterations to the roof due to the discovery of woodworm and dry rot. New top floor windows were added, the chimneys were removed and a hansard roof replaced the original roof.

The interior has been substantially altered, mainly by Sir Robert Lorimer, with little of the original room arrangements and decoration left, though some fireplaces survive. However, some of the original wood panelling, carved door surrounds are extant, but possibly not in their original position. The wrought iron staircase balustrade to the first floor is original and was made around 1699 to Sir William Bruce's order and may have been the work of Alexander Eizat as there is a similar one at Hopetoun House and an exact copy at Caroline Park. However, it has been noted that the 'thistle' finials on the balustrade differ from those recorded by Stanislaw Tyrowicz in 1948, where his drawings show plain ball finials. The 'blue room' was not visited in May as it was in use on the date of visit. However, a further visit in September 2007 noted the white marble fireplace with marble decoration and a fine wooden carved chimney piece with Ionic Columns either side. Above the fireplace is a 17th century painting of a View of Edinburgh from the N.

The house is now part of Scottish Command Headquarters and is used as the Officers' Mess.

The present Ministry of Defence (MoD) estate occupies about 75 hectares, within which there are several garden features including a grotto, grotto bridge and ice house. The Temple lies outside the MoD land

Visited by RCAHMS (DE, CJS, EL), 22 May and 19 September 2007


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