For three centuries the Hay family have made Duns their home, and it is furnished from the 17th Century onwards with paintings and furniture reflecting the rich tapestry of Scottish life since that time, Dutch, French, English, and native Scottish. Although modernized to be warm and comfortable the timelessness and serenity of its atmosphere is unique. Guests are welcomed into what is a living home.
The area is full of cultural, archeological and leisure interest and conveniently the house is five minutes from the little town of Duns although totally screened from it. Edinburgh is less than one hour away, (including airport) and for tourism and golf, the east coast towns of Berwick-on-Tweed, Eyemouth, North Berwick and Dunbar are within easy reach.
Wedderburn Castle is the historic family seat of the Home of Wedderburn family, cadets of the Home family (today Earls of Home). It was designed and constructed 1771–5 by the famous architect brothers Robert Adam and James Adam, with the work superintendent being James Nisbet, for Patrick Home of Billie, who had already completed Paxton House (using James Adam and Nisbet, with Robert Adam doing the interiors c. 1773). With battlemented three-storey elevations in the typical Adam Castle style, the apparent symmetry of Wedderburn Castle conceals a rectangular courtyard, originally filled by the 17th-century (or earlier) tower house, also known as Wedderburn Castle, of which only a heraldic panel remains. It was demolished in the early 19th century, leaving the courtyard accessed through an archway at the back.
Built for a dashing young Scottish laird, Patrick Home of Billie, in 1758 on a ridge overlooking the majestic River Tweed, Paxton House is one of the finest 18th century Palladian country houses in Britain. On view are 12 period rooms, many boasting interiors by Robert Adam and the finest collections of furniture by Thomas Chippendale including the unique star-backed chairs in the lady's bedroom. There are also exquisite Regency period Scottish furniture, designed by William Trotter of Edinburgh. The House was extended in 1811 by George Home, 16th Laird of Wedderburn, to include the largest purpose built picture gallery in a Scottish Country House, in which are now housed over 70 paintings from the National Galleries of Scotland.
Etal Castle - Northumberland
In 1341, Robert Manners was granted a licence to fortify his home to protect it against the threat of attack from Scottish raiders. In 1513, when an army of 30,000 Scots led by James IV invaded England, Etal Castle fell, but these invaders were then defeated in the bloody battle that ensued on Flodden Hill. An award-winning exhibition tells the story of the Battle of Flodden and of the border warfare that existed here before the union of the English and Scottish crowns in 1603.
Northumberland College - Berwick-upon-Tweed
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