East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalists society visited Colstoun on Saturday 21st July.The visit should have taken place on the 7th July but had to be cancelled on that day because of flooding. Fortunately the 21st was a lovely day.
The group was welcomed by Ludovic Broun Lindsay,whose grandmother Edith,Lady Broun Lindsay was a former president of the society. He outlined the history of the house and family over many centuries.
Christian Broun, heiress to Charles Broun, married The 9th Earl of Dalhousie,who among other appointments was governor of Canada 1819-28 and C in C India from 1829-32 Her son was the 10th Earl and only Marquis. He died in 1860 without a male heir.The Marquis was Governor General of India from 1847-56. During his time great reforms were carried out and vast territories annexed.
Ludovic is descended from one of his daughters and this connection adds much interest to the story of Colstoun.
The party divided into two sections Ludovic led the first group round the mansion house and showed the building and its collection. It was fascinating to see how it been reduced in size to make a much more convenient home but retained the grandeur of a past age.
Cameron Sinclair Parry led the other group through the garden and policies showing how the Colstoun Company led by him and Freddie Macnamara are carrying out various enterprises to develop the estate to meet the challenge of the present day.
These developments are bringing new life to old buildings and to the garden.
The two groups met for tea and Ludovic supplemented his account with the story of the Colstoun pear,which was given by Sir Hugo Gifford to his daughter when she married a Brun in the 13th Century. It had a chequered history but it still exists and is believed to make the family prosper. There are other pears on view including a huge glass one..
Thanks were given to Ludovic, Cameron and Freddie for what was declared a most memorable and successful visit.
The next visit is to Mellerstain on Sunday 5th August