The house from the grounds in 2013
The house from a circa 1897 postcard
The house from the grounds
The entrance facade
Gate to the garden
The Marble Hall
The Marble Hall
The Marble Hall from the May 11, 1895 issue of "American Architecture and Building News"
The lower Marble Hall
Upper Marble Hall
French clock in the upper Marble Hall
The upper Marble Hall
Horace Walpole's 1st century AD marble Roman eagle, resting on an inscribed ancient Roman marble cinerary altar, at Gosford House.
Eagle console table
Built / Designed For: Francis Charteris, 7th Earl of Wemyss.
House & Family History: Gosford was built by the 7th Earl of Wemyss between 1790 and 1800 to the designs of the great Robert Adam, who didn't live to see the completion of his largest and last classically-designed Scottish house. The 8th Earl demolished the wings; his grandson, the 10th Earl, rebuilt them in 1891 to designs of the architect William Young. During World War II, when Gosford was occupied by the British Army, the main rooms of the central block caught fire; the damage was extensive and restoration of the central block continues today, over 70 years later. The South Wing, which contains the famous Marble Hall (made of Staffordshire alabaster), was restored in 1951 and its roof replaced in 1987. On a clear day Gosford can be seen from Edinburgh.
Collections: A once-famous 18th century portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie by Allan Ramsay, painted a year before his defeat at the Battle of Culloden and the only portrait of the Prince painted in Britain (he probably sat for it when he was installed at Holyrood Palace in 1745), was acquired by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in 2016. The painting had been hanging in a forgotten corridor at Gosford until it was rediscovered in 2014 by Bendor Grosvenor. Last publicly exhibited in Edinburgh in 1946, the portrait was transferred from the Wemyss Heirlooms Trust to the nation for £1.1 million through the AIL system (Acceptance in Lieu) as part of the settlement of the estate duty due from the death of the 11th Earl of Wemyss in 1937. In the portrait Bonnie Prince Charlie is wearing a velvet robe fringed with ermine and the blue ribbon and star of the Order of the Garter. The portrait was famous in its day, being used as propaganda for the Jacobite cause through its frequent reproduction via engraved copies. One of Horace Walpole's most prized possessions, a colossal 1st century AD marble Roman eagle, is in the collection today at Gosford (see photo in "Images" section). The eagle was excavated in 1742 in the Boccapaduli family’s garden, within the precincts of the Baths of Caracalla, in Rome. Cardinal Alessandro Albani brought the discovery of the ancient eagle to the attention of the antiquarian and collector John Chute (of The Vyne, Hampshire), who convinced his friend Horace Walpole to purchase it in 1745. The bird was displayed in the Gallery of his famous house, Strawberry Hill, from 1747 until 1842, when it was sold at auction in the famous Strawberry Hill sale (an engraving of the eagle appeared on the frontispiece of the sale catalog). Walpole was so taken with the large bird that it appears in his 1756–57 portrait by Joshua Reynolds (in the collection of Ragley Hall, Warwickshire); on the table next to Walpole's elbow in the portrait is a print, commissioned by him, that prominently shows the large bird. The eagle was documented by Adolf Michaelis in his 1882 publication, "Ancient Marbles in Great Britain" and it was one of the stars of "The Treasure Houses of Britain" exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, in 1985.
Vitruvius Britannicus: C. New, I, pls. 43-50, 1802.
Country Life: XXX, 342 plan, 1911. CL, 1048, 1200 [Photocopy], 1971.
Title: Treasure Houses of Britain, The - SOFTBACK
Author: Jackson-Stops, Gervase (Editor)
Year Published: 1985
Reference: pg. 319
Publisher: Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art (New Haven: Yale University Press)
Book Type: Softback
Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
Author: Sayer, Michael
Year Published: 1993
Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
Book Type: Hardback
Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
Author: Colvin, Howard
Year Published: 1995
Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
Book Type: Softback
House Listed: Category A
Park Listed: Outstanding
Current Seat / Home of: James Donald Charteris, 13th Earl of Wemyss and 9th Earl of March; Charteris family here since the 18th century.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home