Saturday, 12 October 2013

Leithen Lodge

The forest of Leithen in the Moorfoots Hills was given by King Alexander III to the monks of Newbattle Abbey. After the Reformation the estate passed into private hands and the house known as Leithen Hopes was built during the 1660's.  In 1852 it was bought by John Millar, a railway engineer from Edinburgh who extended the house, changed its name to Leithen Lodge and installed the first hydro heating system in Scotland.

The fabulous appearance of the house today is due to Sydney Mitchell who designed the south east wing and completely redecorated the house, inside and out in the Scottish Renaissance style with Arts and Crafts detailing.

The entrance to the courtyard on the east side of the house, the Lochend Arch was built for Sir John Sinclair of Longformacus for house house at Dunbar in 1684. It was designed by James Smith, in the manner of Italian master Palladio. It was bought to be reconstructed at Leithen Lodge.

The stable block.

Then owner Sir John Millar-Cunningham sold the estate to the Rosebery family in the 1940's. The house was let and allowed to fall slowly into a derelict state until a timely restoration in the early 90's saved this gem from destruction.

The two arch bridge over Leithen Water dates from the nineteenth century. It carries water pipes from the reservoir in the hills to the house.

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