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.



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Founded: 1621-1630
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Stewart Grak (5 months ago)
Was a lovely day went for a walk through the wee forest and up the hill to the tower. Stunning scener and view in all directions, lots of sheep and poo but don't let that put you off. The house was closed due to Corona buy out side was lovely. You will most likely see peacocks
MrChrisP (5 months ago)
Lovely grounds with great views over the forth and of Blackness castle. Kids love to come and see the Peacocks.
Sophie Pollock (6 months ago)
Fantastic, house closed due to covid but visit the grounds with peacocks and sheep. Kids love it! Free to visit the grounds
Sam Gorski (7 months ago)
Hidden gem. Well worth visit. Place full of history. Kids loved the park and the animals. Great views across firth of forth.
Adam Knauz (7 months ago)
Nice place just outside of Edinburgh. The building itself was closed due to covid but there is still a nice walk up to the tower. If you are lucky you can spot the peacock near the buildings.
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