The Scottish Borders can often get overlooked as people travel north to the Highlands but this is an area with much to offer including Mellerstain House. This is one of Scotland’s most magnificent stately homes situated in the Borders near to the market town of Kelso. Built between 1725 and 1778, the east and west wings were initially designed by William Adam, a Scottish architect, mason, and entrepreneur.
It took a further 45 years from the initial building before the rest of the house was completed by Robert Adam, the son of William – a neoclassical architect and interior and furniture designer.
The house was originally designed for and commissioned by Scottish politician George Baillie, who lived there with his wife Lady Grisell.
Mellerstain House is believed to be the only ‘complete’ building still in existence designed by Robert Adam. The impeccable interior includes a sitting room, a double cube designed library, a music room and the main drawing room with its original silk wall hangings. These make up just some of the treasures this wonderful Scottish house has to offer. Original hand printed wallpaper from the 18th and 19th centuries can be seen in the bedrooms.
This estate covers 80 hectares of parkland with an Italianate styled terraced garden at the rear and extensive lawns leading down to the lake.
The land at Mellerstain dates back to the late 12th century when it belonged to the de Haitley family, after which it changed hands many times. Many of its owners through the centuries were no strangers to trouble and turmoil.
The estate also caters for holidays in their self-catering cottages. Located in the courtyard, visitors can book either of two cottages which are just a short distance from the house. There is also an 18th century stone cottage with a private garden. This is an unusual and unique experience for anyone wishing to stay in this truly wonderful location.
Both house and gardens are open seasonally. Access is good and the courtyard coffee shop provides light refreshment.
Lady Grisell, is said to ‘haunt’ the house and she is reputed to often be seen wandering around especially in the ‘Rose Bedroom’ where she has been seen dressed in grey and has been mistaken by staff for a lone visitor wandering away from the official tour group.
Lord Haddington, the 13th Earl, and a believer in the paranormal who was also a former president of a Crop Circle group, is quoted as saying: “The place has several ghosts. I never saw them but I often heard them. It wasn’t uncommon to hear footsteps in an empty room. But they were friendly spirits and I never found them scary.”
Camping and Caravanning Club Site
Elliot Park, (Off Edinburgh Road), Jedburgh
Borders, Scotland, TD8 6EF
+44 (0)1835 863 393
- Address: 1 Mellerstain White Cottages, Gordon, Scottish Borders TD3 6LG, UK
- GPS: 55.643242991864696,-2.5605617883301192
- Phone: 0044 (0)1573 410 225
- Part of UK: Scotland
- Sat Nav Postcode: TD3 6LG
- Entrance Fees: Charges Apply
- Disabled Access: Fair (lower floors only)
- Visibility from Road: Good (from a distance)
- Image Credits: Gail Johnson