Baberton House

Baberton House is a fine, characterful and historical residence set within 4.4 ha (10.8 acres) of policies outside the Edinburgh Bypass, a half-mile (0.8 km) northwest of Juniper Green and a mile (1.5 km) northeast of Currie. It represents a traditional Scottish mansion of its time built in 1622 for Sir James Murray (d. 1634), who served as Master of Works to King James VI (1566 - 1625) and then King Charles I (1600-49). Constructed of rubble, it comprises three-storeys and an attic. It originally had the form of a double L-plan, but the gap between the wings was filled with a semi-octagonal block in 1765. There is also a two-storey service block attached to the west. Unusually, there have been no further external alterations and the property is now A-listed. Inside, beyond a roll-moulded entrance, are some fine wood-panelled public rooms, nine bedrooms and an iron staircase.

The lands here were originally known as Kilbaberton and are first mentioned in records of 1320. Notable owners have included the Forresters of Corstorphine who gained the property in the early 15th C. The Wardlaws of Riccarton bought Kilbaberton in 1492 and sold the land and a previous house to James Murray in 1612. Murray's son sold the property in 1657 to Alexander Brand, a wealthy merchant tailor in Edinburgh, who added Baberton to his extensive land-ownings in the southwest of the city. In the mid-18th C. Baberton House and estate were acquired by the Christie family, who had gained their fortune by winning a lottery! By the 1820s their money was much depleted and the house was let for a time to King Charles X of France, who was living in exile having abdicating in 1830. Charles moved to Baberton from the grander surroundings of Holyrood Palace to escape an outbreak of cholera but returned for rest and recreation. The Christies had re-occupied their house by 1841 but in 1862 sold the property to their neighbours, the Gibson-Craigs of Riccarton. Later tenants included the medical scientist Professor Sir Byrom Bramwell (1847 - 1931) and Sir William Whyte (1878 - 1945), who was head of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Between 1980 and 2019, the house was used as the exclusive headquarters of a small investment company.

The grounds are largely wooded with the area in front of the house laid to grass. There is a B-listed sundial and a C-listed walled garden, together with the Baberton sycamore, a noted heritage tree. Baberton golf courses abuts the ground on two sides.

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