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Ballencrieff House

Country House (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Ballencrieff House

Classification Country House (Period Unassigned)

Canmore ID 54910

Site Number NT47NE 5

NGR NT 48801 78270

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

Archaeology Notes

NT47NE 5 48801 78270

(NT 4880 7827) Ballencrieff (NR) (remains of)

OS 6" map (1968)

Ballencrieff House is now ruinous. Its SW part was built in the late 16th and early 17th centuries by John Murray, first Lord Elibank. (The RCAHMS note a dormer pediment dated 1625.) The N front and E end were added about 1730. The house was burnt out in 1868 and has since been deserted, but a two-storey outhouse of the later period, said to have been the laundry, still stands to the W and is inhabited. This is one of the two wings shown on a drawing of 1834. (The RCAHMS note a carved stone from the old house, with an indistinct date, probably 1586, inserted over the porch.)

C McWilliam 1978; RCAHMS 1924, visited 1912

The walls of this mansion, for the most part, still stand to roof height, though some of the N face has fallen. The dated dormer pediment was not located.

Visited by OS (RDL) 24 October 1962 and (BS) 14 October 1975

Clearance work in advance of restoration work has revealed several discoveries and cast new light on the building history of this residence. Discoveries include: (a) more 16th-century triple-mounted gun holes, (b) wooden draw bars in position in the ground-floor windows, (c) substantial remains of two early 17th-century moulded plaster ceilings in the first-floor hall and chamber, and (d) remains of an elaborate fireplace in the hall. Work continues.

C Tabraham 1993.

The house has been restored.

Information from C Tabraham, 17 May 2000.

Architecture Notes

NT47NE 5.00 48801 78270 House

NT47NE 5.01 48686 78219 Garden

NT47NE 5.02 48530 78000 Pavilion


Owner: John McLaren, Farmer.


Scottish Record Office

Summons. Mongo Buchan, Wright and Architect, at St Laurence House against the Rt Hon Patrick Lord Elibank presently residing at Balncrief on 17 May 1765. When an account of Wright work performed by him 1753-1754 upon The Mansion house of Balncrief was the subject of a tedious process before The Court of Session. Part of the agreement was that 4 Wainscot windows lying at Balncrief and the shutters all lying in The garret which were made by him and never paid for and also The Windows, doors & others lying at Cockenzie and St Laurencehouse are to belong to himself.

These were not delivered up and Ld Elibank was therefore liable for their value (and so the Court Case begins again) in 1774.

SC 40/20/10


Photographic Survey (January 1966)

Photographic survey by the Scottish National Buildings Record/Ministry of Works in January 1966.


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