1) Callendar House, Falkirk
Callendar House sits on the line of the Antonine Wall, built by the Romans in the 2nd Century. The core of the house dates from the 14th Century, though most of the structure which is built in a French chateau style was built in the 19th Century. Many important figure in Scottish history have visited Callendar house, including, Mary Queen of Scots, Oliver Cromwell, Bonnie Prince Charlie and Queen Victoria. Today the house and it’s gardens are popular visitor attractions.
2) Gosford House, Longniddry
Gosford House located in Longniddry, East Lothian was built in the late 1700’s for the Charteris familly. Like many large houses, Gosford was taken over by the British Army during World War 2, and during this time part of the building was gutted by fire. After the war, Gosford’s fortunes have improved, the building was re-roofed in 1987, and renovation works are being carried out to this very day. The building is open to the public in summer.
3) Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute
Mount Stuart sits on the Isle of Bute, on the west coast of Scotland. The house has been described by some as a n ‘architectural masterpiece, and one of the world’s greatest houses.’ The house was built in the 1870’s for the Stuarts of Bute, who are direct male-line descendants of King Robert II of Scotland. In recent decades the house has undergone major renovation work, and is now open to the public.
4) Abbotsford House, Galashiels
Abbotsford is Category A listed house, and was once home to the famed Scottish poet, Sir Walter Scott. Although the poet only stayed in the house for a single year (1825) due to debt issues, his descendants still occupied the house right up until 2004. Today the house features a newly built visitor’s centre, and is open to the public.
5) Pollok House, Glasgow
You don’t often find a country house within the boundaries of a large city, but Pollok House is an exception. The house was built in 1772 for the Maxwell family, who had owned the surrounding lands for over 700 years. In 1966, the house and it’s extensive grounds were donated to Glasgow City Council, and today the building is cared for by the National Trust for Scotland. Pollok House and its extensive gardens are now open to the public, and rightfully a major visitor attraction.
6) Traquair House, Innerleithen
Traquair is supposedly the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland. The 50 roomed house which resembles a castle is actually a fortified mansion, and it’s believed the present building dates back to the 15th Century. Mary Queen of Scots stayed in the house, in 1566, and today her room and some personal possessions can be seen be the public as Traquair is now a visitor attraction.
by Bernt Rostad
7) Haddo House, Tarves
Haddo House near Tarves in Aberdeenshire is a seat of the Gordons, who have lived on the site for over 500 years. During WW2, the house was converted into a maternity hospital and over 1200 children were born within it’s walls. By 1979 the house had passed into the hands of the National Trust for Scotland, and is now a popular visitor attraction.
8) Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill
The impressive 120 roomed ‘Pink Palace of Drumlanrig’ was built in the 17th Century for the First Duke of Queensbury, William Douglas. The castle hosts a collection of rare art; in 2003 a painting by Leonardo da Vinci was stolen by thieves. The rare painting was recovered some years later from a house in Glasgow. Today the category A listed building is open to the public.
9) Paxton House, Paxton
Paxton House, located in the Scottish Borders was designed and built in the late 1700’s by architect John Adam, it is reputedly one of the finest examples of neo-palladian (16th Century Italian origin) architecture in Scotland. In 1988 the last ‘Laird of Paxton’ gave this fine house and it’s 80 acres of ground to the nation, for their benefit and enjoyment.
by yellow book
10) Newhailes House, Musselburgh
Newhailes located near Musselburgh in East Lothian was built and designed in 1686 by architect James Smith as a family home. The property is now open to the public, and with some it’s 18th Century decor still intact, offers the opportunity to see rare Chinese wallpaper, and elaborate Italian marble fireplaces from that era.