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Archerfield House

Country House (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Archerfield House

Classification Country House (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Archerfield House Policies

Canmore ID 56746

Site Number NT58SW 17

NGR NT 50558 84114

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/56746

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

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Archaeology Notes

NT58SW 17.00 50558 84114

(NT 5056 8412) Archerfield (NAT)

OS 6" map (1968)

NT58SW 17.01 NT 5022 8409 Walled garden

NT58SW 17.02 NT 51339 84030 East Lodge

NT58SW 17.03 NT 5026 8399 West Approach

NT58SW 17.04 NT 502 839 Summer House

NT58SW 17.05 NT 50043 83839 Gardeners Cottage

See also:

NT48SE 118 NT 49893 83747 Home Farm

NT48SE 119 NT 49841 83461 West Lodge

Location formerly entered as NT 5056 8412.

Archerfield was built about the end of the 17th c by William Nisbet of Dirleton.

J Small 1883

This three storey building is now used as a farm stone. Although in poor condition, the front is generally unaltered.

Visited by OS (JP) 8 July 1975

The shell of Archerfield is still in use as a grain store. Built in the late 17th century, work was carried out on it in 1933, in 1745-6 and from 1754. In 1790 Robert Adam was paid for extensive alterations, though it is stated that repairs and additions went on from 1789 to 1795. The Adam interiors were stripped in 1962. This chronology is probably incomplete. The late 17th century house probably formed three sides of a courtyard open to the E, where the end walls of the wings can still be seen. In the first half of the 18th century the W side took its present form, the two-storey wings and quadrant links were added, and the main block refaced. Robert Adam recast the main rooms. The central extension to the E was already in existence when he started his work.

C McWilliam 1978.

An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland. Vol 5, 5-9.

Site recorded by GUARD during the Coastal Assessment Survey for Historic Scotland, 'The Firth of Forth from Dunbar to the Coast of Fife' 1996.

NT 5056 8412 A walkover survey of the Archerfield Estate undertaken in December 2004 located designed landscape features varying in their state of preservation: walls, ha-has, areas of tree management, ponds, quarries, trackways, earthworks, a domestic dump, an ice house, tree bowls and a cairn. Most damage was due to the action of trees, either by root action, pushing or tree collapse.

The landscape features identified reflected alterations from the 18th to 20th centuries carried out by various designers.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: Archerfield Joint Venture Company.

E Hindmarch 2005

NT 406 841 Due to the proximity of known archaeology and following the results of a Designed Landscape Survey (DES 2005, 50), an archaeological evaluation was carried out by AOC Archaeology Group between January and October 2006 in advance of a golf course development. The evaluation identified the buried remains of walls relating to 18th-century and later landscape division which can be seen to relate to upstanding walls recorded during the Designed Landscape Survey. The evaluation also revealed the remains of buildings and walls.

Subsequent excavation in this area revealed the remains of up to eight buildings and associated field boundaries. At least two settlement phases, separated by layers of wind-blown sand, were observed. What appears to be the earliest phase was dominated by long-house-style buildings, one of which contained stone furniture and had settings within the walls for a possible cruck frame. Later buildings by comparison were much larger with only the foundation courses surviving. All building phases were constructed from clay-bonded rubble stonework. Ceramic finds from the site included white gritty ware and green glazed pottery. Animal bone was also recovered, most of it from overburden, as well as a small assemblage of metalwork.

The excavation was limited in its scope in order to support interpretation of the archaeological remains while preserving in situ the structures beneath the 16th and 17th holes of the proposed golf course.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: The Renaissance Golf Club at Archerfield.

Erlend Hindmarch, 2006.

Architecture Notes

NMRS REFERENCE

ARCHITECTS: John Douglas - contract for addition 1747

Robert Adam, 1790 - additions to earlier house.

The interior of this Category B Listed building was gutted for grain drying in Winter 1962-3.

Information from Demolitions catalogue held in RCAHMS library.

EXTERNAL REFERENCE

Scottish Record Office:

Wright work at Archerfield. Receipted accounts from Frances and Richard Buchan. They amount to #318.14.2 3/4

1778-1781 GD205/Box 48/Portfolio 18

Repair and furnishing of Archerfield House. Estimate from William Hamilton amounts to #218.13.5

He writes 'it is only proposed to make the apartments neat and clean upon the smallest expense that the present condition of the house will admit off'.

1777 GD205/Box 48/Portfolio 18

The Green and Hot houses at Archerfield. Measurements and accounts for joiner and glazier work on the pineries, peach house and greenhouse.

1780 GD205/Box 48/Portfolio 18

Proposed plan of a tower for Archerfield.

Letter from John Jackson (1778-1831) to Mrs Hamilton Nisbet Ferguson. He writes that he hopes to afford Mr Atkinson (?) (William Atkinson c.1773-1839) some useful hints for the plan of the tower and that Beaumont will make it as old as the venerable fabric to which it will be an appendage.

1827 GD205/Box 48/Portfolio 18

GD205/Box48/Portfolio 18.

Thomas of Duddingston. (Rev. John) (1778-1840). Landscape.

'A View of the Belfry of Archerfield'

GD205/Box48/Portfolio 18

'Haddingtonshire' 'Archerfield Estate'

'To be Exposed FOR SALE, by Public Auction, unless previously Sold. Privately, within Dowell's Rooms, 18 George Street, Edinburgh, on Wednesday, 9th February, 1921, at 2:15 o'clock.

ARCHERFIELD HOUSE, Garden Policies, Home Farm, Woodland, Graes Parks, Houses, Sawmill, etc and Private Golf Course close by of 18 Holes, extending in all to about 1033 Acres.

The House contains 8 Public Rooms, Ample servants and Office Accomodation, Stables, Garage, etc. with Telephone, Gas, Gravitation Water. Sanitary arrangements in good order.

Post Office 1/2 mil. DIrleton Station 2 .Gullane 1 1/2 miles. Drem 3 miles, North Berwick 2 3/4 miles. Sea Beach 1 1/4 miles.'

For further particulars, apply to Messrs Dundas and Wilson, C.S 16 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh; or to Mr W.S. Curr Estate Office. Ninewar, Prestonkirk, who will arrange for intending Purchasers being shown over the Property.

T.F Dibdin - 'A Bibliographical Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in the Northern Counties of England and Scotland, 1838'

Vol. II page 978 - see Bibliography

'....There is, however, a sort of state drawing-room; of a beautiful form but not yet completely furnished. It is a parallelogram, about forty feet in length, by twenty-five in width and sixteen in height. It is papered with that elegant French paper introduced into this country a little after the year 1790. A large bay window is at one end; and at the other, on entrance, there is a semicircular niche on each side, which, I presume, will be the receptacle of some classical vase or figure'

This paper is shown on Adam's design for the Dining Room Vol. 27 No.8 cf Adam's design for Moccas Court.

Robert Adam accounts, 1790-1791

GD 6/1644

Measurement of painting and plasterwork after alterations. John Wallace

1777 GD 6/1625/10

Furniture Accounts in Ogilvie of Inverquanty (?) papers.

SC40/67/62 Improvement Registers (Entailed Estates).

General account of money expended for making a new addition to and reparations to Archerfield House.

Page 2. 1792. Paid for stone from quarry at Gulane.

Paid Richard Cooke, london, on account for statuary marble chimney and sundries.

Page 36. Paid John Coney, plasterer in Edinburgh 11 October, 1791 for Great room ceiling as per estimate. Ante Room, Saloon, Library - enriched mouldings to top of cove - and Dining Room - lintel mouldings - Staircase ornament string.

Paid John Vetch, Aygust 1791. Cutting four stones, drappery and roses for portico - 28 days #3.10/-

Setting up marble including chimneypieces.

George Burn, overseer at Archerfield, and William Thomson, mason in Gulane.

Page 44. July 1791. Richard Cooke supplying statuary marble chimneypiece with venus tablet fluted frieze and pilasters and black slips for Register stove etc.

Page 86. Dec 1792. John Hamilton plasterer in Rockville. Polished mouldings in porch, flutes in freize, stone hall and porch.

Page 90. To 3 days plastering putting up figures in the great room at 2/6d and labourers at 10d. Plaster modelling and casting flower for the ante-chamber.

Page 94. 1792 Marshall and Armstrong, Leadwork.

2 ornamental balconies and 6 scroll brackets.

Page 99. 1792 Painting.

Library. Papering and painting walls gray.

Painting and whitewashing ceiling and cove.

Saloon. Dead white, 82 yards green on walls. 70 yards painting and whitewashing on ceiling.

Ante-Room. Dead white and yellow. Painting 16 large swags.

Great Room. Oil and painting colours in ceiling and cornices - dead white - varnishing 3 windows.

Page 113. 1792 David Blair, plasterer - 8 metre leaves in angles of cornices.

Page 114. Richard Cook, 1793 - to an elegant statuary marble chimneypiece for Drawing Room. #64.3.7

Pages 273-288. Work on South pavilion, paid 1795.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

Activities

Archaeological Evaluation (January 2006 - October 2006)

NT 406 841 Due to the proximity of known archaeology and following the results of a Designed Landscape Survey (DES 2005, 50), an archaeological evaluation was carried out by AOC Archaeology Group between January and October 2006 in advance of a golf course development. The evaluation identified the buried remains of walls relating to 18th-century and later landscape division which can be seen to relate to upstanding walls recorded during the Designed Landscape Survey. The evaluation also revealed the remains of buildings and walls.

Subsequent excavation in this area revealed the remains of up to eight buildings and associated field boundaries. At least two settlement phases, separated by layers of wind-blown sand, were observed. What appears to be the earliest phase was dominated by long-house-style buildings, one of which contained stone furniture and had settings within the walls for a possible cruck frame. Later buildings by comparison were much larger with only the foundation courses surviving. All building phases were constructed from clay-bonded rubble stonework. Ceramic finds from the site included white gritty ware and green glazed pottery. Animal bone was also recovered, most of it from overburden, as well as a small assemblage of metalwork.

The excavation was limited in its scope in order to support interpretation of the archaeological remains while preserving in situ the structures beneath the 16th and 17th holes of the proposed golf course.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: The Renaissance Golf Club at Archerfield.

E Hindmarch 2006

Excavation (2006)

NT 406 841 Due to the proximity of known archaeology and following the results of a Designed Landscape Survey (DES 2005, 50), an archaeological evaluation was carried out by AOC Archaeology Group between January and October 2006 in advance of a golf course development. The evaluation identified the buried remains of walls relating to 18th-century and later landscape division which can be seen to relate to upstanding walls recorded during the Designed Landscape Survey. The evaluation also revealed the remains of buildings and walls.

Subsequent excavation in this area revealed the remains of up to eight buildings and associated field boundaries. At least two settlement phases, separated by layers of wind-blown sand, were observed. What appears to be the earliest phase was dominated by long-house-style buildings, one of which contained stone furniture and had settings within the walls for a possible cruck frame. Later buildings by comparison were much larger with only the foundation courses surviving. All building phases were constructed from clay-bonded rubble stonework. Ceramic finds from the site included white gritty ware and green glazed pottery. Animal bone was also recovered, most of it from overburden, as well as a small assemblage of metalwork.

The excavation was limited in its scope in order to support interpretation of the archaeological remains while preserving in situ the structures beneath the 16th and 17th holes of the proposed golf course.

Archive to be deposited in NMRS.

Sponsor: The Renaissance Golf Club at Archerfield.

E Hindmarch 2006

References

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