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Scotland

Mellerstain House

  • Earlier Houses: There was at least one earlier house on, or near, the site of the current house.

    Built / Designed For: George Baillie

    House & Family History: The Estate of Mellerstain was granted by royal charter to George Baillie of Jerviswood in 1642, though mention of it is found as early as 1451. His descendant, George Baillie, and his wife, Lady Grisell Baillie, commissioned the design of the current house in the early 18th century, engaging William Adam Sr. to design the two wings. His famous son, Robert Adam, designed the central block in his castle style 50 years later. The library is particularly famous and is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Neoclassical decoration and color in Britain, with extraordinary plasterwork that incorporates marble busts by Louis-Francois Roubiliac.

    Collections: A set of four Paul Storr wine coolers, circa 1817-18, was sold at Sotheby's on November 22, 1984 for £121,000. In 1988 Louis-François Roubiliac's two busts of "Grizel, Lady Stanhope," dated 1746 and 1747, were taken in place of tax, given to National Museums of Scotland, and loaned back to Mellerstain. There is a fine collection of paintings on display, including works by van Dyck, Gainsborough, Ramsay, Aitken, and Nasmyth. Some of the contents from Tyninghame House, another family house, were moved to Mellerstain.

    Comments: Mellerstain is frequently cited as one of the finest examples of Georgian design in Scotland. The library is often called Robert Adam's finest creation.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The Italian-styled terraced garden was laid out in 1909 by Sir Reginald Blomfield and looks over a wooded lake to the Cheviot Hills. Mellerstain won the HHA/Christie's Garden of the Year Award in 1998 (shared with Iford Manor).

  • Architect: Reginald Theodore Blomfield

    Date: 1909
    Designed: Italian style terraced garden

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    Architect: William Adam, Sr.

    Date: 1725-29
    Designed: Wings for George Baillie

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    Architect: Robert Adam

    Date: Circa 1770-78
    Designed: Central block, incorporating earlier wings by his father, for the Hon. George Baillie.

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  • Country Life: XXXVIII, 648 plan, 1915. CXXIV, 416 plan, 476, 1958.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pgs. 52, 57
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
    Author: Sayer, Michael
    Year Published: 1993
    Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
    ISBN: 0859551970
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Category A

    Park Listed: Designated Garden & Designed Landscape

  • "Antiques Roadshow" (2001 - TV BBC documentary, episodes 24.10 & 24.11).
  • Current Seat / Home of: George Baillie-Hamilton, 14th Earl of Haddington.

    Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSES: George Baillie of Jerviswood, 17th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: George Baillie, 1729-38; George Baillie-Hamilton, 10th Earl of Haddington, 1858-70; George Baillie-Hamilton-Arden, 11th Earl of Haddington, 1870-1917; George Baillie-Hamilton, 12th Earl of Haddington, 1917-86; John George Baillie-Hamilton, 13th Earl of Haddington, 1986-2016.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01573-410-225

    Fax: 01573-410-636

    Email: enquiries@mellerstain.com

    Website: http://www.mellerstain.com

    Awards: HHA/Christie's Garden of the Year Award 1998 (shared with Iford Manor).

    Historic Houses Member: Yes