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Woodhall House

Country House (Period Unassigned), Tower House (Medieval)

Site Name Woodhall House

Classification Country House (Period Unassigned), Tower House (Medieval)

Canmore ID 54745

Site Number NT46NW 5

NGR NT 42837 68097

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2020.

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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT46NW 5 42837 68097.

(NT 4283 6809) Tower (NR) (site of)

OS 6" map (1970)

The small mansion of Woodhall incorporates a 16th century tower, which was restored in 1884, when the roof level was lowered. The tower is a simple oblong on plan, with walls 4 ft thick now only two storeys high, with a gabled roof and crowsteps, and an angle-turret at the NE corner. There have been outer works, no doubt walling to enclose a courtyard, to E and S, possibly with a flanking tower and ditching. The house has been modernised internally, making assessment of the original arrangements difficult. It is now in excellent condition.

Woodhall was part of the barony of Wester Pencaitland; it first belonged to the Setons; in 1488 it passed to John Sinclair of Hermanston. In 1799, the castle was in ruins, and the 19th century restoration was evidently only of a portion of the whole.

N Tranter 1970; RCAHMS 1924, visited 1920

This building, known as 'Woodhall House' is as described above. It was not possible to identify any further remains.

Visited by OS (BS) 22 October 1975.


Field Visit (22 May 1920)

On high ground half a mile south-west of Pencaitland station is the dwelling house of Woodhall, which incorporated a portion of a small tower c. 16th century that was restored, according to a tablet on the building, in 1884. The original portion (fig. 132) is a two storied structure built of yellow freestone rubble originally covered with roughcast. At the northeast angle a circled turret is corbelled out. The basement chamber is vaulted and measures19 1/3 feet by 13 feet; the walls are 4 feet in thickness. The windows throughout have been enlarged.

HISTORICAL NOTE. Early in the 17th century Woodhall was in possession of John Sinclair of Herdmanston, but in 1644 confirmation was given of a charter in which Sinclair resigned the barony of Wester Pencaitland including Woodhall and its manor-place, in favour of Robert Sinclair of Longformacus (Berwickshire), and the place was still in the ownership of that family at the close of the century.

RCAHMS 1924, visited 22 May 1920.

R.M.S. s.a. No. 1536 ; Inquis. Spec. Hadd. Nos. 337, 383 Cf. Art. No. 163 [Herdmanston House].


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