House of the Binns

(The Binns)

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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Binns, a mansion in the W of Abercorn parish, Linlithgowshire, 4 miles WNW of Linlithgow. A castellated structure, built in 1623, and enlarged about 1820, it stands amid fine old trees, ¾ mile distant from the Firth of Forth, on the western grassy slope of Binns Hill (200 feet), whose top is crowned by a conspicuous tower. Within are beautiful plaster ceilings, curious old furniture, and a collection of family and royal portraits, the latter said to have been saved from the burning of Linlithgow Palace in 1746. For more than three centuries the seat of a branch of the Dalyells, Binns was the birthplace of Sir Thomas Dalyell (1599-1685), the bearded Muscovy general, who routed the Covenanters at Rullion Green in 1666; who, in old age, adorned this mansion with ` avenues, large parks, and fine gardens, pleasing himself with the culture of curious flowers and plants; ' and who, in 1681, embodied here the Scots Greys regiment. In 1685 his son received a baronetcy, whose sixth holder, Sir John Graham Dalyell (1776-1851), was an eminent antiquary, and author of 17 works. The present and eighth baronet, Sir Robert Alexander Osborne Dalyell (b. 1821; suc. 1865), is twentieth in lineal descent from Walter, Earl of Menteith, and owner of 820 acres in the shire, of an annual value of £1795, 15s.

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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