The Burn

(Burn House)

Burn House, by Edzell
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Burn House, by Edzell

A substantial B-listed house in Fettercairn Parish, Aberdeenshire, The Burn was built on the left bank of the River North Esk in 1791 by Lord Adam Gordon, second son of the Duke of Gordon. Set within 77 ha (190 acres) of parkland in Glen Esk, 2 miles (3 km) north of Edzell (Angus), it is used today as a conference retreat by universities, colleges and schools. The house comprises a two storey main-block with a stable courtyard to the north. The entrance front, with its Roman Doric porte-cochère, faces west towards the river, while a pair of single-storey bay windows face south. The house was extended c.1805, then again later in the 19th C. for the McInroy family who entertained Queen Victoria here in 1861. The house was bought in 1921 by wealthy industrialist George Herbert Russell (1894 - 1953), whose family had made their money in the coal-mines of Lanarkshire. Russell and his wife Marjorie remodelled and modernised the house in 1936. The house was used as a convalescent home for wounded servicemen during World War II but gifted by the Russells to the Dominion Students' Hall Trust in memory of their son, James, who was killed in action in 1944. Inside is a fine double-height hall with an Adam-style ceiling.

The parkland around the house - which once lay at the centre of a much larger estate - includes several fine specimen trees including Wellingtonia, an Araucaria (monkey-puzzle), yews and a rare split-leaf beech. Unique in Scotland is a 75-m / 246-foot cattle tunnel that allowed the movement of beasts between upper and lower fields without inconveniencing the family and their guests.

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