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.
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.
The property and gardens were in disrepair when bought by the current owners Mr and Mrs Reid in 1987. Since that time they have lovingly restored them.
Members were guided by Ken Kennedy, the Head Gardener, who has worked at Portmore since the earliest days of the restoration project. They were able to see a wide range of plants and magnificent trees outdoors as well as in a number of glasshouses. One glasshouse has a grotto built for a past owner, Mrs Robertson, to remind her of her home in Italy. Members were able to buy plants before afternoon tea. Mr Kennedy answered a range of questions about the garden and its flora.
Vice President, Jacquie Bell, gave thanks to Mr Kennedy for his informative input to an enjoyable outing.
The Society’s next outing will be to Marchmont House on July 13th.
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.
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Saturday 7th September A walk at Tyninghame looking at the mansion house, the ruin of St Baldreds Kirk and the site of the old village of Tyninghame.
The mansion house, incorporating part of an early tower house, was extended in 1617. Built round a courtyard, it was remodelled and further extended in 1829 by William Burn.
The beautiful remains of the 12th century church, dedicated to St Baldred, lies to the south of the house. The parish church until 1761, it is now the burial ground of the Earls of Haddington.
The site of the old village of Tyninghame lies to the south, east and west of the church
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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.
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 churchfollowed 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
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.
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.