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Gosford House

Country House (18th Century)

Site Name Gosford House

Classification Country House (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Gosford House Policies; Gosford Estate; Gosford Park; Wemyss And March

Canmore ID 54909

Site Number NT47NE 49

NGR NT 45287 78587

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Architecture Notes

NT47NE 49.00 45287 78587

NT47NE 49.01 45485 78663 Coach house and Stables

NT47NE 49.02 45571 78939 Mausoleum

NT47NE 49.03 45863 78747 Boathouse

NT47NE 49.04 45579 79123 Bothy Cottage

NT47NE 49.05 45538 78764 Curling House

NT47NE 49.06 45446 79294 East Lodge

NT47NE 49.07 46408 78877 Hungary House, Game Larders

NT47NE 49.08 46404 78860 Hungary House

NT47NE 49.09 45536 79122 Gardens Cottage

NT47NE 49.10 45840 78846 Ice House

NT47NE 49.11 45892 78726 Footbridge

NT47NE 49.12 45894 78720 Ha-ha and Aqueduct

NT47NE 49.13 45243 78566 Formal gardens

NT47NE 49.14 45721 79125 Garden Plantation Walled Garden

NT47NE 49.15 4523 7856 Sundial

NT47NE 49.16 45490 78612 Old Gosford House

NT47NE 49.17 46406 78848 Cancelled, see NT47NE 49.07.

NT47NE 49.18 46416 78845 Cancelled, see NT47NE 49.07.

NT47NE 49.19 46406 78882 Hungary House, Game Larders

NT47NE 49.20 46533 78412 and 4651 7845 Six Acre Wood, limekiln and quarry

NT47NW 70 44942 78720 North Lodge

NT47NW 87 44593 76606 West Lodge and Gateway


Owner: Rt. Hon. The Earl of Wemyss

Architect: Robert Adam

W. Young - new wings and basement from 1870

Sydney Smirke plans for alterations which were not carried out

Robert Reid, Smirke & Wyatt - adds which were not carried out

Bedford Lemere Register 3 12308/11, 12421/26 - Interiors

Gosford House was designed by Robert Adam in 1790. It was not completed till 1810. It was altered and extended, the wings being replaced by much larger ones by William Young, who finished his work in 1891.

C McWilliam 1978

The Listed Buildings Recording Programme (LBRP) survey of Gosford House began as a Special Survey of the principal window of the three great windows of the main (W) front. This window was of unusual construction, for which see the RCAHMS survey drawing. The window in question, the central window out of the three, measures some 8m by 5m in overall height, including the fanlight, and was one of the largest glazed openings created in a late 18th-century building in Scotland. The sashes are of a particularly interesting form of construction, with the astragals having copper covering over a wood and a cast-iron core. Investigation on site has also led to a significant reappraisal of the history of the building as a whole. The LBRP survey has identified substantial areas of masonry, previously thought to be from the primary period of building (to Robert Adam's designs in the late 18th century), to be of late 19th-century date. What has obfuscated this point for previous commentators is the fact that the 19th-century work, including such elaborate features as Corinthianesque capitals, closely replicates masonry detailing of the late 18th century. This theory was substantiated by the discovery of a substantial stone dump in the woods at Gosford. On investigation, it proved to be a resting-place for a very substantial amount of early masonry, most of which can be ascribed on stylistic grounds to the main house. On the basis of the evidence of original drawings and early photographs, some fragments can also be identified as having come from the now-demolished 'Old House', designed by William Burn. information from RCAHMS (NMC 2001)

Please consult architecture paper catalogue East Lothian 9 for diagram of arrangement of plaques and roundels.


National Library: Country Life Sept 2nd 1911 - article and photographs

Country Life Jan 8th 1921 - article and photographs

North Berwick Library: "Album by Lamb" - text and photographs

Information from the Earl of Wemyss, November 1983:

The statues on the gate piers leadig to the mausoleum are copied from one in the Uffizzi Gallery , Florence, which is from a 2nd century BC Greek original - Pergamum - the subject being the Scythian Skinner (flayer) of Marsyas.

Information from Miss Alison Kelly, Sept 1983:

Coade plaques now laid out in a shed where table tennis is played, among a good deal of straw. There are 11 roundels, all of a size, and 1 considerably larger with a beaded rim, with the same girl's head as one of the smaller ones.

They include what I take to be the four continents - man wearing helmet like an elephant, man wearing turban and head with feather headdress like a red Indian, plus, I suppose, an ordinary female head for Europe. Also Pomona with garland of fruit, Bacchus with grapes, lady in a helmet inscribed Scotia, bearded man and some others. All have large sized heads, and one in the style of those on the stable block.

Some are dirty and mossy but all are pretty well complete.

There are also a number of oblong plaques, mostly broken. (I think more may be broken now than when I saw them last time). They are as follows:

Astronomy - lady with telescope. Broken marked Coade London 1786

Navigation - similar, with masts and rigging in background. Broken.

Plaque so badly damaged as to be unidentifiable. Broken.

A piece of a bird's wing. (From the heraldic family bird?)

Half a vase (for a baserelief) with figures on it too battered to identify. Under the wing, a small female bust, apparently in good condition.

The above suggests that there were several sets. i.e.

Oblongs - putii with grapes and flowers - probably originally a set of four, one (Winter) missing.

Oblongs, 2 from Borghese Vase - possibly originally a set of four, all surviving.

Oblongs with rounded top corners (how used?) Astronomy, Navigation, Architecture, possibly a set of four - one missing. Interupted moudlings round edge. What happened in quadrants?.

Roundels with 4 continents - Asia, Africa, N. America and a youth, could it be Scotia standing for Europe, or one of the various girls? (Complete) good condition.

Roundels with gods and goddesses - Flora (flower headdress) Pomona with 5 figures from the Borghese Vase, marked Coade Lambeth 1796 broken.

Plaque of putto with basket of flowers marked Coade and Sealy 1802, broken.

Plaque of putto with grapes to match above.

Plaque of putto with corn to match above, broken.

Plaque of figures from the other side of the Borghese Vase, with one of the figures having to be held up.

Plaque with 4 figures, and an altar with a Statue on it. From the Medici Vase. Broken. Marked Coade London 1796

Plaque almost the same as above but with girl crouched at the foot of teh altar.

Very battered plaque with subject seeming to be a girl, on the left with another figure, mostly missing, behind her. Broken.

Plaque if Architecture, marked Coade London no date. Broken.


Photographic Record (1900)

Photographic Record (1910)

Photographic Record (1952)

Photographic Record (1970)

Photographic Survey (October 1975)

Aerial Photography (1977)

Aerial Photography (1978)

Aerial Photography (November 1979)

Photographic Record (September 1981)

Aerial Photography (1 January 1986 - 1 January 1986)

Aerial Photography (1994)

Photographic Survey (27 June 2000)

Photographic Record (19 November 2002)

Photographic Record ( - 1907)


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