Borders: About 1.5 miles east of Duns, on minor roads east of A6105, at Manderston.
Private NT 810545 OS: 74 TD11 3PP
OPEN: Open early May-late Sep, Thu and Sun 13.30-17.00, last entry 45 mins before closing; Bank Holiday open Mon May and Aug, 13.30-17.00; other times group (min 15) visits by appt; gardens and
tearoom open 11.30. Venue for events, dinners, parties or weddings.
Tel: 01361 883450 Web: www.manderston.co.uk
Site of large castle, marked on Blaeu’s map of The Merse in an enclosed and wooded park as ‘Mannderstoun’. Standing in attractive grounds and policies, Manderston is a fine, substantial Edwardian mansion of two storeys and an attic, part of which dates from the original house of 1790 (perhaps with even earlier work). The building has fine Adam-style interiors and features the only silver(-plated) staircase in the world.
Manderston was held by the Manderstons in the 15th century, but was a property of the Homes of Manderston by 1568. Sir George Home of Manderston was involved in many witchcraft accusations, even involving Helen Arnot, his wife (who was not on good terms with her husband and may have perhaps had cause to revert to witchcraft to rid herself of him) and Alexander Hamilton (also see Penkaet Castle). The lady was cleared, but Hamilton implicated many others and himself, and he was executed in Edinburgh in 1630. The lands had gone to the Swintons by the middle of the 18th century, and by the end of that century to the Weatherstones.
The house was completely remodelled between 1903-5 by John Kinross for Sir James Miller, a millionaire racehorse owner, who made a fortune trading hemp and herrings with the Russians. His brother’s family had acquired the property in 1855, and it later passed by marriage to the Palmer Lords Palmer. Among many other attractions, Manderston is home to an extensive Palmer Biscuit Tin Museum.
The house stands in 56 acres of formal and informal gardens with a pond, and there is a fine marble dairy in a mock tower house and cloister.
Some stories have the house haunted by the apparition of a woman on the main stairs, the ghost identified in one account as Lady Eveline, Sir James’s wife.
This tale has been refuted.
The Channel 4 series The Edwardian House was filmed at Manderston and the PBS series Manor House, and this was a location for the 2000 movie The House of Mirth with Gillian Anderson and the 2010 supernatural drama The Awakening, starring Rebecca Hall.
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