John Muir House

(East Lothian Council Headquarters)

East Lothian Council Buildings, Haddington
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

East Lothian Council Buildings, Haddington

The East Lothian Council Headquarters are situated in the centre of Haddington on Court Street. Built as the County Buildings in 1832, in the Tudor style, by William Burn (1789 - 1870) on the site of the palace of King William I (1143 - 1214). It was in this palace which King Alexander II was born in 1192. However, the desirability of a palace in Haddington declined as incursions by the English Army increased; Edinburgh had a more defensible situation. The palace was finally burned to the ground in 1242 by William de Bisset, to hide his murder of Patrick, 6th Earl of Atholl. The last remnants were not removed until the time the county buildings were constructed.

The buildings were sympathetically extended in 1931 and 1956. The county buildings were the headquarters of the East Lothian County Council until 1974, the succeeding District Council, part of Lothian Regional Council, until 1996 and subsequently the unitary East Lothian Council. They are now named John Muir House after the noted conservationist.

Behind lies the house in which Jane Welsh Carlyle (1801-66) was born.

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