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Craigiehall House

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Craigiehall House old pic, PD via WP
Craigiehall House old pic

Craigiehall House is described as a fine three-storey country house which lies approximately 5 miles (9 km) to the west of Edinburgh. The house was purchased by the Army in 1951. Extensively repaired and modified, it was subsequently used as an officers' mess.

The house lies within Craigiehall, an area which served as Headquarters 2nd Division British Army until 2012, when it was disbanded.[1]

An old photograph found for this house shows the view looking from the west. Comparison with modern aerial views of the areas show the general plan of of the building remains the same, with additions, but that the roofs and chimneys have been extensively modified over the years. The source of image appears to be a book, Castles and Mansions of the Lothians.[2]


Craigiehall is a late 17th century country house, attributed to Sir William Bruce, with input from James Smith. It was built for the Earl of Annandale, who acquired the Craigie estate by marriage, and was completed in 1699.

In 1741, the 2nd Marquis of Annandale left Craigiehall to his nephew, Charles Hope-Weir (17101791), second son of Charles Hope, 1st Earl of Hopetoun, and the first of a series of owners who carried out a number of modifications to the house and estate

In 1818, Hope-Weir's grandson James Hope-Vere (17851843) had plans drawn up for an attic extension, although this was never carried out.[22] In 1828, he commissioned a new north wing, which included a dining room with new kitchens below, and bedrooms above. Plans for a matching wing to the south were never carried out, although the interior was remodelled.

James's son William (18241916) commissioned a further northern extension in 1853, to create a servant's range, and further remodelled some of the interior

William's son, Colonel James Hope-Vere (18581933), sold the estate when his father died in 1916, to the Earl of Rosebery for 85,0000.

Lord Rosebery purchased Craigiehall as a home for his second son, Neil Primrose MP. However, he was killed while serving in Gaza during World War I, and Rosebery eventually leased the house and policies in 1926, excluding the agricultural lands which he continued to farm as part of his neighbouring Dalmeny estate.

Craigiehall bath house, 2010
Craigiehall bath house
Calum McRoberts

The property stood empty for ten years, then the lease was taken over by Mr James Morton, an Edinburgh textile manufacturer. Morton had the house altered and modernised, including the installation of a water turbine in the bath house, to generate electricity. The bath house once sat on the River Almond, but is now ruined and roofless. It once featured a square vaulted chamber which had a plunge pool fed by river water, and an upper chamber with a circular saloon with windows.

In 1933, Craigiehall was re-let to Ernest Thompson, who turned the house into the Riverside Hotel and Country Club. This operated as 25-room hotel and golf course until 1939 and the start of World War II, when Craigiehall was requisitioned.

The house is a category A building, listed on February 22, 1971.[3]

Craigiehall has been described as a good surviving example of one of Bruce's smaller houses, and of a pattern which was set for such villas in the Edinburgh area during the 18th century.


1 Headquarters 2 Div Retrieved April 08, 2012.

2 Scotland 'Castles and Mansions of the Lothians' - a set on Flickr Retrieved April 14, 2013.

3 Historic Scotland Data Website - Listed Buildings: CRAIGIEHALL Retrieved April 15, 2013.

External links

Related Canmore/RCAHMS and ScotlandsPlaces (SP) entries:-



Aerial views



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