DiCamillo Companion

Mavisbank House (New Saughton Hall)

  • 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.

  • Architect: John Clerk

    Date: 1723
    Designed: Original design for House; William Adam improved and executed Clerk's design.

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    Architect: William Adam, Sr.

    Date: 1723-27
    Designed: Executed and contributed to designs of Sir John Clerk

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  • 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
    ISBN: 0140710663
    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
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Category A

    Park Listed: Outstanding

  • "Restoration" (2006 - BBC documentary, brief update in epidode 3.4 "Scotland").
  • 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