• 4 BEDROOMS
1 Whittingehame House is the largest apartment in this magnificent, Grade A listed, neoclassical mansion and is laid out over the ground floor. The accommodation, which extends to approximately 9,020 sq ft, is quite exceptional and has been comprehensively renovated, providing what must be one of the finest examples of its kind. It combines the best of modern convenience with period elegance, exceptional contemporary fittings in the bathrooms and kitchens complementing the magnificent proportions of the three state rooms, which together with the dining room have plasterwork of the finest quality.
The property is approached through double doors, leading into the hall which spans most of the length of the apartment. The 3 state rooms, the drawing room, music room and library, face southeast and overlook the wooded grounds. The drawing room has a parquet floor, 3 full-height picture windows, a magnificent open fireplace with marble hearth and surround. The ceiling has delicate, decorative plasterwork. The music room enjoys the same ceiling plasterwork, also has a parquet floor and has a bow window, which opens up outside onto the central staircase on the southeast facing façade. There is an open fire with a marble surround and hearth. From the music room, double doors lead into the library. At one end there is a fireplace with a black, marble surround. There are 4 large, picture windows overlooking the grounds. On 3 of the 4 walls, there are faux bookshelves and a fitted bookshelf on the 4th. There is a billiard table, which could be purchased subject to separate negotiation. A secret door leads from here to the terrace and garden. The dining room is a truly magnificent room with magnificent plasterwork. The walls are panelled up to picture rail height and there is an open fire, white and black marble surround and fluted columns either side. There are 3 windows which overlook the driveway. From the dining room, a door leads into the kitchen. This has an exceptional range of wall and floor units incorporating a 4-oven, electric Aga, a fridge freezer, 2 wine coolers, twin Belfast sinks and a dishwasher. There is an island unit with stainless steel, circular sink, ample space for eating, an electric oven and a marble worktop. There are extensive window seats with cupboard space below. The kitchen links back into the outer hall.
The master bedroom suite is accessed directly off the central corridor through a superb, wrought iron gate. The bedroom has large, fitted cupboards, a decorative plasterwork on the ceiling and 3 windows overlooking the driveway. The adjacent bathroom has been created from the former orangery and has a free-standing, roll-top bath, with large shower head over, twin sinks in a marble surround and a separate WC. Adjacent to the bathroom is a separate shower room and a utility room/laundry room, which has a Belfast sink, space and plumbing for a washing machine, tumble drier and ample cupboard space.
The other bedrooms are at the far other end of the property. The principal guest suite has a fireplace, magnificent plasterwork ceiling, a timber floor and an exceptional en suite bathroom. This has an oval, free-standing bath with plasma screen adjacent, a large shower cubicle, fire place, twin basin with marble surround and cupboard space below and a separate WC. Adjacent to this, is a further double bedroom with an open fire with black marble surround and ample cupboard space. The accommodation is completed by a further bedroom suite with a large bedroom with an open fire. This opens up into another superb en suite bathroom with a bath, separate shower cubicle, twin sinks and a window seat.
The property is approached by a shared driveway, which leads to a parking and turning area to the front of the house. The grounds of Whittingehame House are owned exclusively by the owners of Apartment 1, although the other owners have a right of access throughout the grounds, with the exception of the lime avenue to the north of the house and the area contained within the balustrade to the south of the house. The current owners have built an extensive garage block, which has 6 garages, and the central clock tower with a room on the first floor. 4 of the garages are currently let out. There are some wonderful wooded policies contained within the grounds. Within this there is an excellent tennis court, with an all-weather surface. This is fully fenced on all sides.
To the south of the house, there is a terraced garden contained within a balustrade. This is laid to lawn and in the western corner, there is a paved terrace, ideal for outdoor entertaining and an area contained within a columned portico providing shelter.
Whittingehame House was built by James Balfour (1773-1845) who made his fortune in India. He bought Whittingehame Estate and about 10,000 acres in East Lothian and engaged Sir Robert Smirke (1780-1867 who was responsible for a number of fine neoclassical buildings including Royal Mint Court at Tower Hill and the British Museum in London) to build him a grand country residence in the classical style. On its completion, it was considered to be one of the grandest houses in Scotland, massive in effect and carefully set in its own parkland. William Burn was commissioned to make alterations and additions to the house in 1827. The New Statistical Account called it a "splendid mansion of Grecian architecture" and to this day it is regarded as one of the finest neo-classical country houses.
James Balfour's grandson, A J Balfour (1848-1930), was Prime Minister from 1902-1905. He was born at Whittingehame and succeeded to the estate in 1856, aged 7. He lived at Whittingehame during the summer and parliamentary recess, playing golf at North Berwick and sailing from Dunbar. He regarded East Lothian as a 'paradise for golfers'.
The public rooms at Whittingehame played host to a remarkable roll-call of well-known public figures, including H G Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, William Gladstone, Winston Churchill, Lloyd George and Joseph Chamberlain to name but a few. During Balfour's premiership, King Edward VII visited Whittingehame and planted a commemorative oak tree.
The Balfour family sold Whittingehame House in 1963, when it became Holt School for Boys. The school closed in 1980, after which it was split into apartments.
Whittingehame House is situated in wonderful East Lothian countryside, about 3 miles south of East Linton. Although Whittingehame House is a secluded country residence, it is exceptionally well placed for the commuter. The A1, which is now dual carriageway from Dunbar to Edinburgh, provides a fast link to the city centre. There are train links into Edinburgh from Drem and from Dunbar, the latter station being on the main line from Edinburgh to London. Edinburgh Airport is about 35 miles away, providing regular domestic and international flights.
The area has excellent services. The nearby conservation village of Stenton has a convenient post office and a primary school, while the neighbouring village of East Linton has a broader offering of services including a hotel, deli, an excellent butcher, small supermarket, Post Office, bank and two pubs. Slightly further afield, both Dunbar and Haddington supplement this offering with supermarkets and a range of high street shops, banks, professional services, hotels and restaurants. There are good local nursery, primary and secondary schools throughout the area and three well regarded independent schools, which are The Compass in Haddington (primary), Belhaven Hill in Dunbar (preparatory) and Loretto in Musselburgh. Edinburgh also has a number of good independent schools, many of which have direct bus services from East Lothian.
The surrounding countryside is very attractive and there are numerous expansive sandy beaches along the coast. The area is famous for its links golf courses with Muirfield, Gullane, Luffness, North Berwick, Archerfield and The Renaissance, all within easy reach. The John Muir Country Park, a haven for wildlife, is only a short distance away and the Lammermuir Hills to the south provide lovely walks, together with sporting opportunities including fishing, shooting, mountain biking and riding.
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