Lothians: About 2 miles north-east of Tranent, on minor roads south of A198, 1 mile south-west of Longniddry, at St Germains House.
Private NT 426747 OS: 66 EH32 0PQ
OPEN: Accommodation available.
Tel: 01875 853034 Web: www.st-germains.co.uk
Site of old house or castle, probably developed out of the remains of a medieval hospital, which was dedicated to St Germain and was the only Bethlehemite establishment in Scotland. The name is from a property in France. In wooded grounds, the present house dates from the 18th century, but incorporates older work, perhaps from the 1500s. The building was altered in the 1820s and again in the 1950s and rises to three storeys with an imposing classical front. There is a cylindrical doocot [NT 426746], which has 501 nesting boxes.
‘S. Germains’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of The Lothians, then as ‘Sanctgermains’ on Adair’s map of East Lothian.
The preceptor of St Germains is mentioned in 1577, but the property had passed to the Setons (whose own seat Seton Castle is nearby) by the beginning of the 17th century, and probably much earlier, and stayed with them until they were forfeited following the 1715 Jacobite Rising. St Germains went to the Hastings family, one of whom was active in the East India Company, then probably to the Campbells before 1745, and then to the Andersons in 1782, who held the property until the beginning of the 20th century.
St Germains then passed to the Tennents, who were brewers and made lager. The house was used by the RAF as a convalescent home during World War II, and was divided into apartments in 1947. It is still occupied.