Despite the awful weather members of East Lothian antiquarian and Field Naturalists society made an outing to Mellerstain, Berwickshire, the home of the Earl and Countess of Haddington on Sunday 5th August.

The party was welcomed by the Earl, who is a member of the society. In doing so the Earl outlined the history of the family both as Earls of Haddington and the Baillies of Jerviswood who built Mellerstain.

Mellerstain is one of Robert Adam’s finest works and incorporates two wings built by his father William Adam in 1725.It is set in a beautiful wooded valley by the river Eden.

Robert Adam was commissioned to build the main house in 1770. Robert Adam’s triumph is that house, garden and landscape compliment one another perfectly. The gardens were re designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield in 1910.

The party then went on a conducted tour of the mansion house and were impressed by the magnificent plasterwork and other Adam features ,by the fine collection of furniture, pictures and objets d’art and by the family memorabilia all of which helped to bring the story of a remarkable family to life.

At the end of the tour, and after a welcome tea, the group walked in the terrace garden and enjoyed the magnificent vista of the Border countryside stretching to the distant Cheviots.Rumbles of thunder indicated that Jedburgh which had been severely flooded that day was possibly under further threat.

The next outing is to Inveresk village on Saturday 22nd September.

Stephen Bunyan