Author Archives: Ian Hardie

Nan Shepherd – a naturalist’s odyssey to a Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note

 It’s a grand thing to get leave to live”


Erlend Clouston:

writer and journalist, knew Nan Shepherd for 35 years
and now acts as Nan’s literary executor.

on Saturday 10th November 2018 at 2.30pm followed by tea
at the Maintlandfield Hotel, Haddington

Erlend Clouston will relate how and why Nan Shepherd’s photo appears on the new Royal Bank of Scotland £5 note.

Nan Shepherd was born in 1893 and died in 1981. She spent almost all of her life in north east Scotland, close to Aberdeen. This allowed her extraordinary explorations of the natural heritage of the Cairngorms.

He will concentrate on Shepherd’s book “The Living Mountain” which has been acclaimed as one of the classic novels about the Scottish landscape. Whilst this book explores Shepherd’s love of the Cairngorm mountains her insights are applicable to any natural landscape, not least those of East Lothian.

Non members welcome, however a £2 contribution towards costs appreciated

Barony House visit on Sunday 11th October 2015

The Society visited Barony House, Lasswade on Sunday 11th October 2015. Members were met by the owners Mr and Mrs Davies, who kindly opened their home and garden. Stephen Davies led a tour of the house and garden and explained its rich history including especially its notable occupant Sir Walter Scott and his wife Charlotte.

Barony House originated as Lasswade Cottage, which was built in 1871 by John Clerk of Eldin House for his nephew. He was the seventh son of Sir John Clerk of Penicuik. His brother-in-law was Robert Adam, the most notable architect of the day. John Clark was, among other achievements, a pioneer of the late 18th century romantic landscape movement and extended a smaller house into a “cottage-orne” with a thatched roof and bow-fronted living room. This unique house attracted the newly married Sir Walter Scot, who rented it in 1798 as a summer retreat. Scott and his wife spent six years there, entertaining his many admirers and friends including the Wordsworths and Thomas De Quincy. In 1804 Scott was appointed Sheriff Depute of Selkirkshire and moved away.

In 1865 the house was enlarged by the Clerk family as a dower house adding new gables and

Further extensive additions were made by the architect James Tait from 1913-1919.dormer windows in the Scottish Baronial style.

At the conclusion of the visit members were entertained to tea and spent some time enjoying the garden.

Thanks were expressed to Mr and Mrs Davies by the president.

An old postcard of “Lasswade Cottage”