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Roseburn House

A much-extended white-harled tower house lying in the shadow of Murrayfield Stadium in W Edinburgh, Roseburn House is located 1½ miles (2.5 km) west southwest of the city centre and dates from 1582. Once the seat of the Russells of Roseburn, whose arms are incorporated in an elaborately-carved lintel stone over the entrance, the house comprises three storeys and a vaulted basement. It was built for the merchant burgess Mungo Russell, who bought land here in 1576. Russell was Edinburgh's City Treasurer and owned the nearby Dalry Mills, which manufactured paper. There may have been an older house on the site as a decorative fireplace lintel, built into the courtyard wall, is inscribed 1562. Tradition suggests the house was visited by Mary, Queen of Scots (1542-87) about this time.

The tower was extended to the south in the early 17th C with the addition of a two-storey block. Later in the 17th C. an eastern L-plan extension was built, also of two storeys but with a garret. In 1650, Roseburn is said to have played host to Oliver Cromwell (1599 - 1658). In the 18th C both extensions were themselves extended to the south; the southern block was lengthened and the eastern extension gained a wing to become Z-plan. Thus, at its largest, the mansion extended around three sides of a courtyard, open to the south. The earliest extension, which formed the western side of this courtyard has been long demolished, with only a fragment of its outer wall surviving.

The house remains is use as a private home but its policies now form Roseburn Park, while a doocot to the west was demolished in the early years of the 20th C. Confusingly, another Roseburn House represents a modern retirement development in nearby Roseburn Drive.


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