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.
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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There are two outings planned in early Summer 2018:
- To Stenton Village on Saturday 9th June
- To Doon Hill on Saturday 7th July
A visit to Melville Castle Hotel was the final outing of the season. It was led by the president who gave a short summary of the history of the building. The estate was noted as far back as 1155 when it belonged to Galfrid de Malleville. In the 18th century it became the seat of Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville who was virtually ruler of Scotland until his death in 1811. The estate remained in the possession of the Dundas family until c1980. It is now a hotel where Members had tea and visited the restored main rooms.
On Saturday 19 August 2017 the East Lothian Antiquarian & Field Naturalists’ Society made its 4th Summer Programme visit to Torness Nuclear Power Station.
Members thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience finding the strict security procedures, technology and grand scale of operations most interesting.
The guide also alluded to a somewhat unexpected field naturalist aspect being the power station having been awarded the Biodiversity Benchmark by the Wildlife Trusts for its work in protecting and enhancing the unique and diverse wild life around its operation. Most of the Members were not aware of the Torness Coastal Walkway and on another occasion this may be explored.
The visit was rounded off with tea and biscuits provided by the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides.
The next Society visit will be to Keith Marischal House on Saturday 16 September.
Photo credit © EDF
East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalists Society made a visit to Penicuik House and Estate on Saturday 10th September.
Penicuik House was destroyed by Fire in June 1899.When the Society last visited some years ago the house was still largely full of rubble and covered by vegetation.
The East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalists’ Society had their third summer programme visit on Saturday 6 August 2016. Members received a very warm and enthusiastic welcome from the owners of Monkton House, Old Craighall, near Musselburgh.
A party of Members and guests of East Lothian Antiquarian and Field Naturalists Society visited Mertoun,near St. Boswells, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland on Saturday 2nd July. They were welcomed by the Duke who outlined the history of the house, which was originally built by Sir William Bruce for Sir William Scott of Harden between 1703-5 and of the art collection. He then conducted the party on a tour of the mansion house. At the conclusion of the tour refreshments were provided. The President thanked The Duke, the Duchess and their staff for what was a most memorable visit.