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Colstoun House

Country House (15th Century)

Site Name Colstoun House

Classification Country House (15th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Coalstoun House

Canmore ID 56549

Site Number NT57SW 58

NGR NT 51556 70978

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT57SW 58.00 51556 70978

NT57SW 58.01 51508 70925 Garden

NT57SW 58.02 51399 71335 East Lodge

NT57SW 58.03 51430 71310 East Lodge, Bridge

NT57SW 58.04 Cancelled.

NT57SW 58.05 5147 7101 Stable (Formerly entered as NT57SW 61).

For Colstoun Bridge (NT 51464 71396), see NT57SW 328.

(NT 5155 7098) Colstoun House (NAT)

OS 1:10000 map (1978)

Colstoun first comes on record about 1270, when it was in the possession of David Broun. The mansion occupies a good defensive position on top of a high bank overlooking the Colstoun Water. Whether any portion was built by the first laird is not certain, but parts are undoubtedly of great antiquity. A fire, in 1907, exposed the walls in the NW corner, showing they were built without a proper foundation, and not even on the same level. The original house must have been a small square tower with a turret at the NW angle and two small turret stairs at the NW and SW corners. The present top storey of the tower was added soon after 1574. Some of the walls are enormously thick, those on the E side being 17ft. Under the basement is the Laird's Pit. The present main stair must have been constructed at an early date, perhaps also about 1574.

E C B Lindsay 1948

Colstoun House is of some antiquity, though details of its walls are obscured by harling. From the E (entrance) side it is a long three-storey block with asymmetrical wings. The W side is clearer. There is a corbelled turret at the NW corner of the centre block. The dormer head incorporated in the upper wall (subsequently re-exposed) bears the initials PB.ER (Patrick Broun and Elizabeth Ramsay) indicating a date about 1574. The S wing was added about 1750 while the N wing dates to 1875. The pedimented dormers belong to a reconstruction following the fire of 1907. The solid porch is of 1875, its doorway redesigned after the fire. Fragments of the original door with an 18th century armorial panel are preserved inside. The interior is mainly of 1875, modified in 1903 and 1907. The pit prison is on the W side of the building.

C McWilliam 1978

Architecture Notes


OWNER: Captain Colin Broun Lindsay d.1989 now Ludoric Broun Lindsay.

ARCHITECT: Restoration Dick Peddie c.1907


National Library. Small's 'Castles & Mansions of the Lothians' -

article and photograph 1883


'The arrangement reminds me very much of the attics built by Lorimer over a large room which he built for Mrs. George Baird as an addition to the old house of Colstoun in East Lothian. Lady Maxwell and I were given these attic rooms when we went to stay with the Bairds and we thought them the nicest rooms we had ever seen. They were beautifully finished with nice doors and fireplaces and coved ceilings adorned with that peculiar kind of plaster work in which Lorimer delighted.'

James Stirling Maxwell, Fairlie MSS.


Dick Peddie & MacKay, Edinburgh adds & alts

Bin 22, Bag 2 Peddie & Washington Browne 1902-3


Dick Peddie & MacKay, Edinburgh details

Bin 22, Bag 2 Peddie & Washington Browne 1905


Dick Peddie & MacKay, Edinburgh details

Bin 14, Bag 2 n/d


Coalston House (sic)

Plans (2) of ground and basement floors of Coalstoun House.

50 George Street, Edinburgh 12 February 1876

N.R.A.(S) 2383. Bundle 228 (Brown Lindsay)

Colstoun House and grounds.

Photographs Late C19

N.R.A.(S) 2383 Bundle 248.

(Undated) information in NMRS.


Photographic Survey (1955)

Photographic survey by the Scottish National Buildings Record in 1955.


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