Lothians: About 2 miles south-west of Gorebridge, on minor roads north off B6372, just east of River South Esk, at Arniston.
Private NT 326595 OS: 66 EH23 4RY
OPEN: Open Apr-Jun, guided tours on Tue & Wed starting at 14.00 and 15.30; Jul-mid Sep, Tue, Wed and Sun at 14.00 and 15.30; private groups of 10-50 accepted all year by prior arrangement;
grounds open 12.00-17.00 on open days. Holiday cottages.
Tel: 01875 830515 Web: www.arniston-house.co.uk
Site of castle, with a vaulted basement, known latterly as ‘Old Arniston House’. Dating from before 1592, the old house was mostly demolished when the present house was built, an impressive symmetrical classical mansion of three storeys and a basement with lower flanking wings. The first part of this house was designed by William Adam, with later work by John and Robert Adam. The house incorporates some of the castle.
‘Arnistoun’ is marked on Blaeu’s map of the Lothians in a park, then ‘Arnestoun’ on Adair’s map of Midlothian.
This was a property of Sir James Dundas, who was knighted by James VI, and many of the family were lawyers and statesmen. The present Arniston was built for Robert Dundas of Arniston by William Adam in 1726. The house was altered in 1754 and 1877, and is still owned by the same family, now Dundas Bekker.
A section was gutted because of dry rot, and is undergoing restoration. The house retains fine plasterwork, family portraits and period furniture, and the garden is in a pleasant country setting.