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Country House (Period Unassigned), Pillory (Post Medieval), Walled Garden (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Fountainhall

Classification Country House (Period Unassigned), Pillory (Post Medieval), Walled Garden (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Penkaet Castle

Canmore ID 54713

Site Number NT46NW 21

NGR NT 42659 67712

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council East Lothian
  • Parish Pencaitland
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District East Lothian
  • Former County East Lothian

Architecture Notes

NT46NW 21.00 42659 67712

NT46NW 21.01 42528 67625 Cottages

NT46NW 21.02 42567 67666 Stables

NT46NW 21.03 42539 67635 Cottages

NT46NW 21.04 42535 67631 Cottages

NT46NW 21.05 42523 67621 Cottages

NT46NW 21.06 42515 67616 Cottages

NT46NW 11 4270 6765 Dovecots

NT46NW 48 42633 67642 Gatepiers

NT46NW 49 42476 67648 Well

NT46NW 50 42712 67609 Offices

(NT 42659 67712) Penkaet Castle (NAT)

OS 6" map (1970)

This is a small mansion of the late 16th century, prolonged in the early 17th century on the same scale and in the same materials. The earliest part is the W end; one room thick with a projecting stair-turret, it was probably built soon after 1685 (2 - sic; ? 1585 intended); the ridge chimney and crowsteps show where it once stopped. The turret was afterwards widened, filling in the small re-entrant angle to the W, with a corbel course above the first floor, then another storey and a dormered attic. In the E angle a round stair-turret is corbelled out over the entrance; its roof and the adjacent gable have been modified. The next principal stage of the building was the much lower range to the E, originally separate, with gables to N and S, and access to the dormered upper floors by an outside stair. This was the work of John Pringle, who bought the estate in 1635. His initials appear on one of the dormers with the date 1638. He subsequently continued the original building to join up with it, providing a round stair-turret at the back of the link and probably adding the pedimented dormers all round. He may have been responsible for the enhancement of the W end as well. In 1685 the the estate was bought by John Lauder of Newington, and the house, previously known as Woodhead, became the seat of the barony of Fountainhall. It is only in recent years that the name has been changed to Penkaet Castle (J Whitaker 1938).

The jougs attached to the S wall were formerly attached to the dovecot described on NT46NW 11.

Tranter (1962) suggests that the original house here may have been a small free-standing tower of earlier date than the 16th century. Adjoining the house on NW and E are extensive walled gardens with an early 17th century gateway.

C McWilliam 1978; RCAHMS 1924, visited 1920

Penkaet Castle is generally as described. The 17th century gateway is at NT 4269 6770.

Visited by OS (BS) 21 October 1975


Owner: Mr Cowe

Typescript History by A R Dufty c.1955

Deposited by A R Dufty, 1989.


Scottish National Portrait Gallery:

National Art Survey - 12 sheets

Scottish National Portrait Gallery:

Country Life Dec. 2nd 1954 - article and photographs

National Library:

Small's 'Castles and Mansions of the Lothians' - article and photograph


Measured Survey (1866 - 1921)

The architect Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, founder of the Edinburgh School of Applied Art, initiated the National Art Survey of Scotland in 1866 to create a library depicting the best examples of Scottish Architecture from which students could take inspiration. Two bursars, selected from the best draughtsmen trained by the school were appointed each year. In 1903 the Edinburgh School of Applied Art joined with the Board of Manufacturer's School of Art to found the Edinburgh College of Art and the bursaries were continued there. The majority of the drawings were made by architectural students between 1895 and 1906.

The National Art Survey of Scotland Collection comprises around 1500 measured survey drawings by a number of different draughtsmen, many of whom later became well known architects, including Ramsay Traquair and Peter Macgregor. They cover a wide range of buildings from across Scotland including castles, tower houses, churches and urban structures, as well as decorative details, plasterwork and furniture.

Measured Survey

Drawings by J Gillespie in the National Art Survey of Scotland Collection.

Measured Survey

Drawings by George D MacNiven in the National Art Survey of Scotland Collection.

Photographic Survey

Photographic survey by the Scottish National Buildings Record in 1955.


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