Author Archives: georgerobertson

Visit to Marchmont House

The July outing of the Society saw members visit Marchmont House near Greenlaw in the Scottish Borders.
The house is one of Scotland’s finest country mansions. It is an imposing Grade A listed Palladian masterpiece built in 1750 by Sir Hugh Hume- Campbell, 3rd Earl of Marchmont.
The last Hume to live at Marchmont was Sir John Hume- Campbell. He sold it in 1913 to Robert Finnie McEwen who commissioned Sir Robert Lorimer to extensively extend the property with a new top floor and a music room with organ.
During the 1980s the house saw life as a Sue Ryder Nursing Home. However, after the closure of the care home the house fell in to disrepair.
Marchmont House was bought in 2005 by the Burge family who already owned surrounding farmland. They have spent considerable time restoring the property and gathering together a collection of fine artworks from across the centuries. Hugo Byrne also has a great interest in rush seated furniture and it is intended to open a workshop to continue the tradition in the near future.
In 2018 Marchmont House was the winner of the Historic Houses Association/Sotheby’s Restoration Award.
Members were escorted on their visit by House Curator, Francis Raemakers.
Following the visit Vice President, Jacquie Bell, thanked him for his interesting talk and the opportunity for members to see such an outstanding collection of artworks. She noted how good it was to see the house, which she had last visited when it belonged to Sue Ryder, as a much loved family home.
During tea and biscuits members were briefly joined by Hugo Burge. Mrs Bell again thanked him for the opportunity to visit.

Outing to Portmore Gardens

Members enjoyed their first outing of the summer with a visit to Portmore Gardens at Eddlestone near Peebles.

Once part of the Blackbarony Estate, Portmore was purchased by the Earl of Portmore in the 18th Century. It was later sold to the Mackenzie family and the house was built by William Forbes Mackenzie in 1850.

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Guided Walk Around East Linton

Saturday 3rd August. A guided walk round the historic village of East Linton with Garry Menzies

This historic town lies north of the river Tyne with the Lynn that supported four mills. The 16th century “Linton brigges” over the Tyne on Great North road from the south. Surrounded by fine agricultural land local residents, Sir George Buchan-Hepburn, George Rennie, Andrew Meikle and Robert Brown of Markle all played an important part in the agricultural improvements of the 18th century. In the 19th century the fine landscape, stone buildings with pantiled roofs brought many artists to the area. Nearby lies village of Preston, with the parish church, site of Friary of the Red Friars and Preston Mill. This walk will concentrate on the town, the mills and the bridge.

For further information contact eastlothianantiquarians@gmail.com

ELAFNS Annual Dinner – with David Campbell 12th April 2019

East Lothian Antiquarian & Field Naturalist Society Annual Dinner for 2019 will take place at the Maitlandfield House Hotel, Haddington on Friday 12th April 2019 at 7 for 7 30pm.

Late News: Tim Porteous has had to call off due to an urgent family matter. He has however arranged for what will be an excellent substitute in David Campbell.

David is an acclaimed writer, broadcaster, poet and storyteller, and will talk on the same subject of  “The convergence of East Lothian Folklore and History”.

Joy Dodd can provide booking forms and menu choices.

AGM & Lecture by Architect Tom Donaldson, Chalmers Memorial Church Sat 18th May

The AGM will be held at 2.30pm on Saturday 18th May 2019 at Chalmers Memorial, Church 29 Gosford Road, Port Seton EH32 OHG

A talk about the church will be given by Tom Donaldson, retired architect and elder of the church followed by a tour.

Come and learn more about this excellent example of Arts & Crafts Church. Designed by Sydney Mitchell for the United Free Church, the foundation stone was laid in 1904. It has a very elegant spire and bell-tower and unique stencilled interior. Stained glass windows by Margaret Chilton and Marjorie Kemp 1924-50.

This is an open lecture and will be followed by tea. Visitors welcome

Visit to Marchmont House Sat 13th July

Saturday 13th July at 2.30 PM – Marchmont House, near Greenlaw, Berwickshire with Ian Hardie

By invitation of the proprietors. Marchmont House is arguably one of Scotland’s finest mansions. It is an imposing Grade A listed Palladian masterpiece built in 1750 by Hume-Campbell, 3rd Earl of Marchmont.

The current proprietors purchased the House and estate in 2005 and have undertaken a most ambitious restoration – such that last year they won the 2018 Historic Houses / Sotheby’s Restoration Award. The House is full of paintings, sculptures and period furnishings. Members will be taken on a private tour of the House led by the House Curator Frances Raemaekers and will include artwork ranging from the 16th to 21st centuries. The tour, lasting between 2 and 2.5 hours, will end with tea / coffee and biscuits.

Visit to Portmore Gardens Sat 22nd June

Saturday 22nd June at 2.30 PM – Portmore Gardens, near Eddleston, Scottish Borders with Ian Hardie

By invitation of the proprietor Mrs. C Reid, Portmore Gardens are located 1 mile north od Eddleston on the A703 (heading south on the left, post code EH45 8QU The entrance is identified by a lodge and stone pillars.

The Gardens have been lovingly created by Mr and Mrs Reid over the last 30 years. They surround a David Bryce designed mansion house.

Highlights include a restored 1.5 acre walled garden, large Edwardian glasshouses, and a water garden leading to a woodland walk with views of the Borders landscape.