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"Wedderburn Castle"

 

   

 

Wedderburn House is a very fine Georgian Mansionhouse dating from 1771 designed by the renowned architects Robert and William Adam.

The Humes of Wedderburn can trace their line back to 1413 when Sir David Hume of Thurston, in East Lothian, second son of Sir Thomas Hume of Hume received a grant from Archibald, Earl Douglass, of the barony of Wedderburn which grant received confirmation from James 1 of Scotland in 1430.

At that time the castle was a simple peel tower and a white stone plaque from this date can still be seen in the present courtyard and it is thought that the haha (ditch with a concealed wall to stop cattle and sheep) surrounding the castle may follow the line of the original castle palisade.

Sir Davidís grandson also Sir David Hume who married Isabella Hoppringle of Smailholm in 1481 was the eldest of seven sons known as ďThe Seven Spears of Wedderburn".

All seven brothers would  appear to have fought at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 when Sir David was killed as also his brother Sir George. Reference is made by Sir Walter Scott to the Seven Spears in his heroic poem ďThe Lay of the Last Minstrel";

"'Vails not to tell what steeds did spurn,
Where the Seven Spears of Wedderburne
Their men in battle-order set"

In 1517 the family was very heavily implicated in the murder of Chevalier de la Bastie effectively at that point Governor of Scotland. His head remained in Hume Castle until 1810 when disposed of by Mrs. Jean Home.

These were indeed troubled and difficult times - during the years 1413 to 1576 every first son was either killed in battle against or as a prisoner of the English. However it was also a period of expansion for the family viz their acquisition by forced marriages of the estates of Blackadder and slightly earlier Marchmont .

The 10th. baron Sir George Home declared for the Jacobite cause at the time of the 1715 uprising and was captured at the Battle of Preston, tried for high treason and his estates forfeit.  However for once being in debt proved to be a lifeline. His estates at this time were bonded to his cousin the Rev. Ninian Home of Billie (for the later murder of the Revís widow see Murder of Lady Billie)and it was decreed in these circumstances the Crown could not foreclose and George was also granted a pardon.

Work on the present building commenced in 1771 by the 13th Baron Patrick, son of the above Ninian  although much the greater part of the building was overseen by Patrick's nephew George while Patrick indulged himself in a Grand Tour of Europe acquiring in the process many great works of Art including perhaps in particular the chimney pieces.

On Wikpedia the house is described as follows;

"Entering the front of the castle through a large porch above which is the Home of Wedderburn coat of arms, there is a double staircase with an iron balustrade leading up to a balcony behind which is a long gallery connecting the drawing room and the dining room. Across the hall and above the front door is a long minstrel gallery again connecting the drawing room and the dining room. On the right of the staircase are the drawing room, and the morning room (previously the smoking room), beyond which is the ballroom. There are several fine chimneypieces, the best being by Piranesi". To the left are the dining room, and a further staircase leading up to the bedrooms. The ground floor has a large kitchen and further bedrooms, originally for servants."

In 1820 the elaborate "porte cochere" or carriage entrance and the two storey stair hall were added probably to a design by James Gillespie-Graham and the old castle pulled down to create the courtyard.

The estate remains in the family and Wedderburn House is today an exclusive-use venue for weddings and special occasions