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3 bedroom flat for sale
Apartment 3, Whittingehame House, Haddington, East Lothian
- Magnificent first floor flat
- In listed Georgian Mansion
- Stunning parkland setting
- Reception hall
- 3 fine reception rooms
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, both in Dunbar and Haddington. Haddington in particular is a most attractive town with a supermarket, a range of high street shops, banks, professional services, hotels and restaurants. There are good local nursery, primary and secondary schools in the area. Haddington has a private primary school, The Compass, while Loretto is nearby at Musselburgh and Belhaven Hill in Dunbar is considered to be one of Scotland's best private prep schools. All the fee paying schools of Edinburgh are within easy reach.
The surrounding countryside is attractive and the coastal villages of East Lothian are close by. The area is famous for its golf courses with Muirfield, Gullane, Luffness and North Berwick all within easy reach. The John Muir Country Park, a haven for wildlife, is only a short distance away. The expansive beaches of East Lothian are numerous and easily accessible. The Lammermuir Hills to the south provide lovely walks, together with sporting opportunities including fishing, shooting, mountain biking and riding.
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) to build him a grand country residence in 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. The present designed landscape was laid out to the designs of W.S. Gilpin.
James Balfour's grandson, A J Balfour (1848-1930), was British Prime Minister from 1902-1905. He was born at Whittingehame and succeeded to the family estate in 1856, at the age of seven. On his elevation to the peerage in 1922, he took the title Viscount Traprain of Whittingehame, Earl of Balfour.
Balfour regarded Whittingehame as his home and lived there during the summer and parliamentary recess. Following the death of his mother in 1872, he took over the running of the house and the estate and breathed new life into it. The public rooms re-emerged from their dust sheets and played host to a remarkable range of intellectuals - prominent among them H G Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, Sidney and Beatrice Webb and the group known as The Souls - and politicians. Early political visitors included Lord Salisbury (Balfour's uncle) and William Gladstone, then later Winston Churchill, Lloyd George, Andrew Bonar Law, Joseph Chamberlain, Lloyd George and Herbert Asquith. During Balfour's premiership King Edward VII visited Whittingehame and planted a commemorative oak tree.
Balfour regarded his home county as the 'paradise of golfers' and, despite the pressures of his political career, he returned every year to relax on North Berwick's links, staying in an hotel there during the week and returning to Whittingehame at weekends. For many years he kept a yacht at Dunbar Harbour.
By the time of his death in 1930, Lord Balfour's fortune was greatly diminished. Punitive death duties forced the mothballing of the house in 1935, and many of the contents were put up for sale. Whittingehame House together with some land was let to a farm training centre for Jewish refugee children and from 1942 to 1953 it housed Dr Guthrie's Institution for Boys. It then lay empty for some years, apart from briefly housing refugees of the 1956 Hungarian revolution. In 1963, the Belfour's sold the house and 45 acres to the Holt School for Boys from Lockerbie. The school closed in 1980 and the property was bought by an Arab Sheikh, with plans to turn it into a private hospital. In October 1986 the house passed to Charles Skilton, who kept the principal rooms - those that now form the Principal Apartment - for his own use and made five further apartments within the house.
The property comprises a magnificent first floor apartment in this historic 'A' Listed house. The apartment has extensive, elegant accommodation with beautifully proportioned rooms, extending to approximately 5,748 square feet. The quality of finish internally is exceptional. Clive Christian fitted the kitchen, library furniture, and the fitted furniture in the master bedroom and its en suite bathroom and dressing room. There are superb cornices in many of the rooms and wonderful views over the surrounding parkland.
The accommodation is approached from the magnificent staircase hall which leads into an inner hall. From the inner hall, doors lead to the master bedroom suite, the study and the main reception hall. The study is fitted with Clive Christian oak shelves and cabinets which include a bar and a television cupboard. The focal point of the room is an open fireplace with a sandstone hearth and surround and a club fender. From the study steps lead up to a glazed door which leads directly out onto a balcony, with westerly views over the grounds.
The master bedroom suite is also accessed from the inner hall. The bedroom is a magnificent room with a splendid view directly down the lime avenue. It has an open fireplace with a marble hearth and surround. From here a door leads into the en suite bathroom. This has a bath in marble surround, two basins, a shower, wc and ample fitted storage space. From here a door leads into the dressing room, which has an extensive range of fitted wardrobes and drawers and incorporates a dressing table. On the opposite wall is a fireplace and there is a central bench with further drawer space.
From the inner hall, mirrored double doors lead into the reception hall, lit by a large window at the far end. Off this hall are a substantial store cupboard and a door leading to a secondary staircase. The drawing room is a superb room. It has an open fireplace with a magnificent mantelpiece and club fender. There is a spectacular chandelier which hangs from an ornate ceiling rose. From here a false door leads into bedroom three. The guest bedroom (marked bedroom two on the floor plan) is accessed from the reception hall and is serviced by an en suite bathroom with a roll top bath. It has a corner fireplace, raised on a marble plinth, with a decorative gold surround. The dining room also benefits from views looking down the lime avenue and has an open fireplace with a marble hearth and surround and a wonderful chandelier hanging from the ceiling rose.
The kitchen has a magnificent range of Clive Christian wall and floor units. These incorporate a double Belfast sink, a Rangemaster electric cooker with four rings, a griddle pan and warming hob, together with two main ovens and a grill and a plate warmer. There is an integrated fridge with two freezer drawers below.
The accommodation is completed by a shower room and a separate pantry/utility room with fitted wall and floor units incorporating a wine cooler and ice machine.
Gardens and Grounds
The 16 acres of policies at Whittingehame are owned by the Principal Apartment. However, all the proprietors have access to these grounds, with the exception of the lime avenue to the north of the house and the formal garden within the balustrade on the south of the house, which are private to the Principal Apartment. The large tarmac parking and turning area at the front door is shared with the other proprietors
See floor plans
From Edinburgh, follow the A1, signed for Berwick-Upon-Tweed. At Haddington, leave the dual carriageway, taking the old A1, now the A199, towards East Linton. Just after East Linton take the turning on the right, signposted for Traprain and Whittingehame. Turn right at the T junction and follow this road for about 1Â½ miles, turning sharp right then sharp left. Follow the road down the hill and go straight on at the next junction. After a short distance, the gates to Whittingehame House will be seen on the right hand side.