The Watch

Mavisbank House

Midlothian, Scotland, United Kingdom

2008 World Monuments Watch

Mavisbank House is recognized as one of the finest examples of Neoclassical architecture in Scotland. As the first Palladian-style villa in that country, the house represents a shift from the prevailing Baroque style of the period. Commissioned by Sir John Clerk of Penicuik and designed by William Adam—Scotland's foremost architect at that time—Mavisbank had a profound influence on Scottish architecture, inspiring a new generation of country houses with symmetrical plans, curving wings, and classical ornamentation. Mavisbank House is Category A listed by Historic Scotland. The house was partially destroyed and left in ruin by a fire in 1973. Roofless and exposed to the elements, the building's shell is in an advanced state of deterioration, with the remaining exterior walls compromised by water ingress and vegetation. It is hoped that listing will expedite the restoration of this architecturally significant structure.

Since the Watch

After years of uncertainty about the ownership of Mavisbank House, in 2012 an agreement was reached for acquiring the house through compulsory purchase, with the support of Midlothian Council. The building will subsequently be restored by the Mavisbank Trust for use as holiday accommodation and as a community facility, for recreational and educational use. The project is estimated to cost £12 million, towards which Historic Scotland, a government agency, has announced a grant of £500,000. Starting in 2010, Historic Scotland developed a much-needed management plan for the grounds surrounding the house, which are owned by the agency and will also be transferred to the Mavisbank Trust. Fundraising from public and private sources is ongoing. January 2014

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