Sunday, June 9, 2013

Art Fund Visit: Mellerstain House

This past weekend was beautiful in Scotland which meant everyone had to take advantage of the sun and go outside.  I ventured to one of the lesser-known stately homes in Britain, Mellerstain, which despite not having the fame of a house like Chatsworth or Goodwood, is absolutely gorgeous and well-worth a visit.

This was the first time I got to put my Art Pass to use which I must gush about because it is such a glorious thing for artsy-fartsy types, history nuts, and everyone in between.  It is put out by the Art Fund, a charity that helps UK museums acquire works of art to add to their collection.  When you get an Art Fund card, you're not only helping a good cause but you are getting into a lot of museum exhibitions and stately homes for free or discounted rates.  So for those connoisseurs of art and history living in the UK, this card saves you a good amount of money and its accompanying guidebook is great for keeping you in-the-know of places and events that you can pop in with the Art Pass - next on my list is an eighteenth-century brewery, I'll keep you updated!

So through the Art pass guide, I was alerted to Mellerstain, which I was unfamiliar with and decided to check out because of its portrait collection and Robert Adam interiors.  Mellerstain is the seat of the Earls of Haddington, and as you walk thought the gorgeous rooms you'll see photographs of the children of the current earl as well as the magazines the family has been reading (I love when you can tell that people still live in these homes).  Almost every room had breathtaking Adam interiors in the neoclassical style and the family portraits by the likes of Allan Ramsay and Thomas Gainsborough are on view.  The top story displays the family's personal items such as Adam's designs for the house,  fans, clothing, toys, and letters from the 18-19th centuries.  One of the best bits of my visit was that all the Mellerstain employees were so incredibly nice and informative; you could tell they loved working in this beautiful house.

But I'll let the pictures speak for me:
The library
Drawing Room ceiling

One of the first bathrooms
Original clothing on display
Back of the house and gardens

The Music Room
 Mellerstain is in the Borders of Scotland.  See here or here for opening times and further information.


  1. Mellerstain House is beyond gorgeous. I loved reading about it since I have never heard of it. Thank you, Heather.

  2. Hi Heather

    So glad you enjoyed your 1st visit to Mellerstain through the Art Fund. As one of the slightly less famous historic houses, your kind words are very much appreciated and will be extended to all staff.

    With best wishes and many thanks. Jane (Mellerstain Trust Administrator)

  3. How perfectly lovely, now how come Jane Austen didn't write about this?

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