Whittingehame Tower Phase 1

Improvements to the 15th C tower with new services, kitchen bathroom and atrium.


The site is rural with Policies comprising a former Deer Park and mixed woodland, classified as a Designed Landscape in the local Plan, with views of the Lammermuir Hills to the South. The Tower is of cultural interest as the plot to assassinate Darnley was put to the Regent Morton by Bothwell in 1581 in the grounds and, by association, with the Balfour Declaration and the founding of the State of Israel. Parts of the Tower were used as a local museum from Alice Balfour’s 1890’s renovation until 1963.

The Tower has a typical “L” plan with crenelated parapet and Cap House served by a stone Turnpike Stair. Windows are small and a gabled two storey harled extension was added to the south in 1964 to provide modern Bedroom and Kitchen accommodation.

The brief was to replace all 1960’s services and to link the Kitchen to the Garden. The Turnpike stair was badly lit, with worn treads and improved safety was a priority. Stone walls were Lime painted warm white, to replace plaster removed in the 1890’s. Optical lighting fibres were installed in the continuous steel tube handrail to illuminate each stone tread. A new oil fired boiler was installed with underfloor heating, this has been replaced by a woodchip boiler. The flat roofed Atrium provides maintenance access to first floor windows and shade in summer and reads as a discrete modern addition.


Client                              Executors of the 4th Earl of Balfour

Listing                            Category A

Location                         Whittingehame, East Lothian

Start on site                   April 2004

Completion                    July 2011

Cost                                 £350.000


Project architect           Ian Parsons IPA

Lighting Design             Lighting Design Partnership, Edinburgh

Quantity surveyor         Allen Angus, Angus Chartered Surveyors

Structural engineer       David Narro Associates

Main contractor             Campbell and Smith Construction Group, Ormiston

Sub-contractors             Melville and Whitson, Dalkeith: Heating and Leadwork.

                                        UFO: Universal Fibre Optics, fibre optic lighting.

                                        Andrew Turner Blacksmith: Turnpike Stair handrail.



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