Lennoxlove House Hotel, set among East Lothian woodlands a mile south of Haddington with a fine outlook to the Lammermuir Hills, is a house with a threefold interest - its historic architecture, the association of successive owners with the Royal Stewarts and its contents, especially it's paintings.
The earliest parts of the House were built well before 1400. In those days it consisted of a rectangular keep with walls up to eleven feet thick. It was called Lethington and belonged to the Maitland family. Prominent members of the family included Sir Richard the blind poet and his sons, William, who was Secretary of State to Mary Queen of Scots and John Maitland who became Lord Chancellor of Scotland in the reign of James VI and the first Lord Thirlestane. Sir John's descendants became the Earls and later Duke of Lauderdale.
On the Duke's death in 1682, Lethington passed to his stepson, Lord Huntingtower who, owned other properties and decided to sell it. It was purchased by the trustees of Frances Theresa Stewart, Duchess of Lennox and Richmond ( "La Belle Stewart"). She had left fifty thousand pounds for the purchase of a house for her nephew Alexander Stewart, Lord Blantyre, on condition that it be called "Lennox's Love to Blantyre." In time the name was shortened to Lennoxlove. It remained in the ownership of the Blantyre Stewarts for almost two centuries.
Successive owners raised large families, improved the estate, sometimes sat in parliament and often pursued distinguished military careers. When the 12th Lord Blantyre died in 1900, he left no male heir and the property passed to daughter Ellen Stewart and her husband Sir David Baird of Newbyth.
It was their son Major William Baird who in 1912 commissioned the famous Scottish architect Sir Robert Lorimer to refurbish the House. Extensive restoration was undertaken including the Entrance Hall, the Great Hall and the Oak Room.
The 14th Duke of Hamilton acquired the house in 1946 and later undertook an extensive programme of redecoration with the help of the noted interior decorator John Fowler. Fowler's achievement was to conceive a scheme of decoration as a background to one of Scotland's most important collections of family portraits and to bring colour and warmth to rooms in a land where the autumn and winter seasons are prolonged. Fowler later helped the Duke and Duchess with their apartments in the Royal Palace of Holyrood House.
Lennoxlove Hotel is situated in 600 acres of parkland just 20 miles Southeast of Edinburgh and 1 mile from the historic market town of Haddington. To get there follow signs for Lennoxlove from the A1 dual-carriageway near Haddington.
East Lothian EH41 4NZ
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