The House from a circa 1915 postcard
The Mauritshuis, The Hague, from a circa 1900 postcard. The Mauritshuis's design influenced a number of British houses.
Built / Designed For: Sir John Clerk
House & Family History: Mavisbank was executed by William Adam from an original design by Sir John Clerk (Howard Colvin says Sir John was "Scotland's chief arbiter of taste in matters architectural during the second quarter of the 18th century"). Colin McWilliam, writing in "The Buildings of Scotland: Lothian," calls the result "highly original" and "a beautiful house." The House is of five bays and two stories over a basement, with a French style roof. The bay design is based on The Mauritshuis at The Hague (see photo in "Images" section). Unusually, the top floor windows are as big as those on the main floor (piano nobile). The House is linked to pavilions by quadrants of one-story over a basement. Mavisbank was extended in the 19th century, when serving as an asylum. It was severely damaged during a fire in 1973 and has been left as an unoccupied, roofless ruin. In December 2015 Mavisbank was shortlisted for the most endangered heritage sites in Europe list.
Vitruvius Scoticus: Adam, W., pls. 46, 47, 1810.
Title: Buildings of Scotland: Lothian Except Edinburgh, The
Author: McWilliam, Colin
Year Published: 1980
Publisher: London: Penguin Books
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
Past Seat / Home of: Sir John Clerk, 18th century. John Batty Tuke, early 20th century.
Current Ownership Type: Preservation Organization
Primary Current Ownership Use: Unoccupied
House Open to Public: No
Historic Houses Member: No