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Keith Marischal

A fine old house located a mile (1.5 km) north northwest of Humbie, Keith Marischal lies amongst 5.6 ha (14 acres) of parkland in the East Lothian countryside. Built as an L-plan tower-house in 1589 for George Keith, the 5th Earl Marischal (c.1553 - 1623) whose family had been given lands here by King David I (1083 - 1153). Keith's successors lost the house owing to their Jacobite sympathies and it passed to the Earls of Hopetoun in 1696. The Hopes set about significantly extending the property, building a new wing to the west, to complete a U-plan.

In 1889, the property was sold to George Fraser Tytler, Secretary of the Bank of Scotland, who instructed the architects, Kinnear & Peddie, to carry out improvements and extensions, including building over the courtyard giving the house its present layout. The north front was baronialised but much which is original remains. From 1953, this was the country home of noted architect Sir Robert Matthew, who died here in 1975. The house was sold following the death of his widow in 2003. It now comprises four public rooms and seven bedrooms.

The steading of c.1800 has been converted into private residences, and a fine octagonal doocot lies at its centre. The Hopes built a walled garden c. 1807. In woodland to the north are the remains of Keith Church which was built c, 1225 as the parish church and as the family chapel for the Keith family. Now a scheduled ancient monument, the ruins include the gable wall with a vesica window above two Gothic arched windows.


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