Lennoxlove House – A Wealth of History and Culture
Set in ancient woodlands just south of Haddington in East Lothian, Lennoxlove House has been the family home of the Dukes of Hamilton since 1946. Visitors to this beautifully preserved historic building can arrange for guided tours between Easter and the end of September each year, where an experienced tour guide will reveal the history of the building and its previous occupants, as well as detailing interesting information relating to the various artifacts on display.
The first buildings, which were later extended to become Lennoxlove House as it is seen today, were constructed in the mid to late 1300s and consisted of a three storey house and the L-shaped Lethington Tower. The tower was damaged in the mid-1540s by English forces during Henry VIII’s historic pursuit of Mary Queen of Scots, but was later repaired and today forms the southwest corner of Lennoxlove House. The first floor level of Lethington Tower includes the Great Hall with its 11 foot thick walls and enormous fireplace. The ante-room alongside the Great Hall also forms part of the tower and has a number of very interesting displays, including the silver casket said to contain the letters proving a plot against Elizabeth I of England by Mary Queen of Scots, resulting in her execution. The displays also include the incredibly detailed death mask of Mary Queen of Scots.
With Lennoxlove House being hired out as an exclusive use venue, the vaulted chapel provides a lovely setting for weddings. The original castle well, which supplied water in the event of a siege, is located at the far end of the chapel. Over the years various changes and additions were made by the successive owners of Lennoxlove House, until it was bought by Douglas Douglas-Hamilton in 1946 following the demolition of Hamilton Palace in 1921 to make way for mining activities. Historic items on display include the piano from Hamilton Palace that Chopin is said to have played on, and a collection of expertly crafted tapestries. The Douglas-Hamilton family’s memorabilia and art collection, added to the historic setting of Lennoxlove House, created a family home that continues to be cherished.