NTS End of Season Meeting at Hopetoun House

Hopetoun House on the Firth of Forth
Hopetoun House https://hopetoun.co.uk

Some of you will remember this estate as Sandringham’s home in the series Outlander (and indeed it was this film location). In real life however this amazing house containing in the excess of 100 rooms -47 of them bedrooms- is still the family home of the Hope family who back in their heydays owned pretty much anything from Cupar to Haddington.

I volunteer once a week for a few hours at Kellie Castle which is owned and maintained by the National Trust Scotland. Once a year all volunteers are invited to a day out at another property, which this year was Hopetoun House .

Hopetoun House ready for Christmas

Hopetoun House is open to the public during the summer and because it is run by a private trust it prospers on many other activities, such as weddings, carriage driving or as film location. When we arrived it was just getting ready for the filming of a winter scene:

Winter scene at Hopetoun House

In summer you can follow the foot steps of Jamie and Claire from the series of Outlander when visiting the property.

We as NTS volunteers had the amazing opportunity of an extended tour through the house and some very educational insights into restoring tapestries.

The original Hopetoun House (which is still there but has been extended excessively) was build by an architect of the name Sir William Bruce, who also built Holyrood Palace (one of the current Queen’s residencies in Scotland). The construction took two years and was concluded in 1701. Only twenty years later William Adam was assigned to extend the house to what is now. It took him until he dies in 1748.

So let me share some of the less common knowledge items of Hopetoun:

Wedding at Hopetoun
The Riding House

Above you see the ballroom of today’s Hopetoun House which is frequently used for weddings and business functions. However its original purpose was a covered area for training Hopetoun horses. Opposite you can still see the stables which now serve as tea room – amidst those building is a water tower. The horses had running water before the humans did. Hopetoun also was one of the first properties to have electricity back in 1890

Marble selecting table

The above table was originally intended to give you a flavour of different types of marble you could choose from. However they were so much liked that they ended up being furniture in their own right.

Marquis of Hopetoun House

If you look at crowns in a property you can count balls, five and the owner is a Marquis, three if it is an Earl and a Duke did not have any balls

Does Hopetoun House have the oldest dictionary?

If you love books you could possible spend days if not weeks here.

A Dutch Clock with a mind of its own
Original paintings rediscovered

The above paintings were covered with several coats of white paint for many, many years. Meanwhile in the 1960ties another artist repainting the tower of which these are a ceiling and not knowing of the ceiling paintings he did keep the style…and theme

The most uncomfortable bed

This bed was created in case the king decided to visit. Unfortunately it dates back to a time when people slept in a seated position because they feared the devil would snap up their soul should the lie down…


Finally a picture of one of the many tapestries of Hopetoun House.

Apart from the house, the amazing grounds and views the estate also contains Midhope Castle which is a ruin and was in Outlander Lallybroch.

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