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Drummore House

A fine mansion located 1¼ miles (2 km) southwest of Prestonpans and 2 miles (3 km) east northeast of Musselburgh in East Lothian, Drummore House was built c.1753 for lawyer Sir Hew Dalrymple (1690 - 1755). Dalrymple had bought the Westpans Estate some years previously, renamed it and built a modest house there. Desiring a more commodious property he then built the house we see today, comprising three storeys, composed into three bays, with a pedimented centre topped by three vases. A two-storey wing was added to the west in the 19th century. The southern pediment is inscribed with words written by James Thomson (1700-48), author of The Seasons, who is said to have been a friend of Dalrymple:

DEO PATRIÆ AMICUS
SEISE THE PLOW AND GREATLY
INDEPENDENT LIVE

Similarly, the northern pediment is inscribed:

ALL IS THE GIFT OF INDUSTRY,
WHATE'ER EXALTS, EMBELISHES OR RENDERS LIFE
DELIGHTFUL, PENSIVE WINTER CHEERED BY HIM
SlTS AT THE SOCIAL FlRE, AND HAPPY HEARS
THE EXCLUDED TEMPEST IDLY RAVE ALONG.

Over the original main doorway there was another inscription:

HOME IS THE RESORT OF LOVE,
OF JOY, OF PEACE, OF PLENTY,
WHERE SUPPORTING AND SUPPORTED,
POLISH'D FRIENDS AND DEAR RELATIONS,
MINGLE INTO BLISS.

This stone is now built into the garden wall but the inscription has been repeated in the 19th century porch which now covers the original door. Thomson is said to have written his Castle of Indolence in the house and also influenced the beautiful frescos which adorn the grand drawing room. The arts and sciences are depicted on the walls and the four ages of man on the ceiling; childhood, youth, middle and old age. This room also features a fine Rococo chimney-piece.

On Dalrymple's death, the house and estate became the property of the Finlay family and were then sold to the Aitchisons in 1808.


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