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Melville Castle

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Melville Castle, the seat of Viscount Melville, in Lasswade parish, Edinburghshire, on the North Esk's left bank, 1 mile NNE of Lasswade village and 1¼ W by N of Eskbank station near Dalkeith. Built in 1786 from designs by John Playfair, it is a castellated three-story edifice of fair white stone, with round corner towers and two-story wings. The grounds are of great beauty. 'Melville's beechy grove' is celebrated in Sir Walter Scott's Grey Brother; and 11 of its beeches, 9 of its oaks, are described in Trans. Highl. and Ag. Soc. for 1881 as among the 'old and remarkable trees of Scotland.' Melville barony, originally called Male-ville, from Male, an Anglo-Norman baron, who was governor of Edinburgh Castle in the reign of Malcolm IV., remained in possession of his family till the time of Robert II., when it passed by marriage to Sir John Ross of Hawkhead. With his descendants, the Lords Ross, it continued till 1705; and, being afterwards purchased by David Rennie, it passed, by his daughter's marriage, to the eminent statesman Henry Dundas (1742-1811), who was created Viscount Melville in 1802. His grandson, Robert Dundas, fourth Viscount (b. 1803; suc. 1876), holds 1158 acres in Midlothian, valued at £3618 per annum.—Ord. Sur., sh. 32, 1857. See Lasswade, and John Small's Castles and Mansions of the Lothians (Edinb. 1883).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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