Morton House

An A-listed mansion overlooking agricultural land to the east of the Fairmilehead district of S Edinburgh, Morton House is situated on Winton Loan, just within the A720 bypass and 3¾ miles (6 km) south of the city centre. Built by the Rigg family c.1707 - a date carved on one of the dormers - the house would seem to be have been constructed around an older building and Blaeu's Atlas of 1654 certainly shows a mansion house on this site. Thomas Rigg, Deputy Sheriff of Edinburgh, improved the policies of the house in 1713 by planting trees, laying out much of the current garden and a bowling green. The original two-storey block was extended to the west in 1806 after the house was acquired by the Trotter family, serving as the dower house for Mortonhall House, which lies a half-mile (1 km) to the northeast. This new entrance-front was in the typically late Georgian style, with a Roman Doric doorpiece and rubble walls which were once harled.

Morton House was rented to the historian John Hill Burton, who died here in 1881. It remained in the hands of the Trotters until the 1950s, and they were responsible for a substantial restoration in 1947. It was home to jurist Lord Elliott until his death in 2008.

The gateway is flanked by a pair of square pavilions with ogee roofs, dating from the early 18th century. One of these served as a doocot. Located on the end of a ridge near to the house is a notable A-listed Belvedere, that dates from the early 18th century. The interior decoration was spoiled while it was being used as an observation post during the First World War. A group of 18th century whitewashed cottages and Morton Mains Farm, with its farm-house dating from the 1840s, lie to the south. The mansion and these other buildings all now lie within the Morton Mains Conservation Area, which was designated in 1993.

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