The House of the Binns dates from the early 17th century, and was the home of Tam Dalyell until his death in January 2017.
Perhaps inhabited since prehistoric times, Binns Hill may have been the site of a Pictish fort. Written records begin in 1335. There was certainly a manor house here by 1478. In 1612 the estate was purchased by a wealthy and well-connected Edinburgh burgess, Thomas Dalyell. Between 1621 and 1630, he rebuilt the original house, and parts of the interior still reflect that period; in particular the north-west portion of the present entrance front, and decoration of the High Hall and King's Room (created in the hope of a visit from Charles I, which never came to be). These rooms still contain examples of some of the earliest cornices and mouldings in Scotland. Thomas Dalyell's more famous son, the Royalist General Sir Tam Dalyell continued the development of the house, adding the first of the towers, and the western range.
Today the house principally reflects its extensions of the mid 18th and early 19th century. In the 1740s, Robert Dalyell added the dining-room and a morning room, whilst around 1810, the architect William Burn (1789–1870) adapted the building to the Scottish baronial style, adding further towers and mock battlements. Some of the Gothic exterior decoration was inspired by Walter Scott, who was a friend of the Dalyell family. Today, the building is three-storey at the main north facade, with two-storey wings.
In 1944, the house, its parkland, its contents, and an endowment for its upkeep were given to the National Trust for Scotland by Eleanor Dalyell. The house contains a collection of porcelain, furniture, and portraits which trace the family's lives and interests through the centuries.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.