Seton Castle for Sale: A Robert Adam House Linked to Mary, Queen of Scots

Seton Castle, an 18th-century Georgian castle located in East Lothian, Scotland, has recently been listed for sale. This historic residence, which stands as Robert Adam’s final architectural project in Scotland, offers a unique blend of history, luxury, and architectural brilliance.

A Rich Historical Background

Seton Castle was built in the late 1700s on the ruins of Seton Palace, a site steeped in Scottish history. The original Seton Palace, demolished in 1789, was situated near Longniddry on the Firth of Forth and once belonged to the Earls of Winton.

This palace, located near Edinburgh, was a favorite retreat for Mary, Queen of Scots, who sought solace there after the murder of her second husband, Lord Darnley. The royal couple had also spent their honeymoon at Seton Palace.

See also: Mary, Queen of Scots Castles

The original Seton Palace, whose exact construction date remains uncertain, stood on the lands of Seton and Winton. During the 17th century, it was renowned as the most magnificent palace in Scotland, hosting Kings James VI and Charles I.

However, its grandeur was not to last; it suffered significant damage and was set ablaze by the English army in May 1544 following the burning of Edinburgh. Later, the palace was damaged during the 1715 Jacobite Rising and fell into ruins by 1780.

The Birth of Seton Castle

In the summer of 1789, Lt Col Alexander Mackenzie of the 21st Dragoons, the eldest son of Alexander Mackenzie of Portmore, Peebleshire, commissioned the famed architect Robert Adam to design a new mansion on the site of the old palace. By 1790, the remains of the palace had been cleared, except for its vaulted ground floor, and the new Seton Castle began to rise, using stones from the original palace.

Alexander Mackenzie died in 1796, leading to the estate’s acquisition by the Earl of Wemyss. The Wemyss family maintained ownership for over two centuries, during which time the castle was occasionally rented out, including a period when it was leased to the Stevenson family of Prestonfield House.

Restoration and Modern Grandeur

By the early 21st century, Seton Castle had fallen into a state of disrepair. However, entrepreneur Stephen Leach undertook a meticulous restoration, reviving the castle’s historic splendor and transforming it into a stunning family home and an exceptional space for entertaining.

Today, Seton Castle is a Robert Adam masterpiece, reflecting its Georgian roots with beautifully restored interiors, designer materials, and fittings. The four-story mansion is linked to U-shaped wings, creating an expansive and elegant residence that honors its historic past while offering modern comforts.

A Unique Opportunity

Seton Castle’s listing presents a rare opportunity to own a piece of Scottish heritage. As the site of Mary, Queen of Scots’ favored residence and a place that has witnessed centuries of romance, history, and drama, the castle offers more than just a home—it provides a connection to Scotland’s storied past. The beautifully restored interiors and the castle’s grand architecture make it a perfect blend of history and luxury.

Seton Castle is listed for £8,000,000 at Rettie via Rightmove.

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