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" Langton House"

 

The former Langton House

 


On Langton Estate

 


The burial aisle of the Gavins in old graveyard on Langton Estate.

 


A symbolic stone in the graveyard

The earliest recorded owner of the lands of Langton was one Richard de Ow in the reign of King David 1 of Scotland. In turn they passed to the family of Vipont who held them until 1314 when Sir William Vipont, Lord of Langton was killed at the Battle of Bannockburn. Through marriage they then passed into the hands of the family of Cockburn.

During a dispute in 1517 when the castle was being besieged by one branch of the family against another the French Knight, De la Bastie acting on behalf of the Regent Albany sought to intervene but in the ensuing events was murdered by the Humes, an associated family, at Broomhouse.

In November 1566 on her return from Jedburgh to Edinburgh on her progress through the eastern Borders Mary, Queen of Scots spent the night at Langton. One report states that she was accompanied by 1000 horsemen but this number does seem excessive.

The first Langton House was probably built at the beginning of the 17th. century. Hearth Tax records show the house as having 23 hearths making it the second largest in Berwickshire.

In 1745 the 7th. Baronet of Langton was killed at the Battle of Fontenoy, fighting for the forces of the Duke of Cumberland, the victor at Culloden the following year. Following his death the estate was put on the market and purchased by one David Gavin who had made his money through trade and who immediately set about demolishing and rebuilding the existing house. He later married a daughter of the Earl of Lauderdale and their daughter married the Earl of Breadalbane.

In 1886 a subsequent Earl of Breadalbane set about building a completely new house to the designs of the renowned Architect David Bryde R.S.A.

In Articles of Roup of 1924 a copy of which are in the Society Archive the house is described as;

"Built of stone and slated roof, with mullioned windows and ornamental stone terminals to the gables and stone chimneys in the style of the seventeenth century with more modern additions to the rear containing; Hall, Picture Gallery, 4 Reception Rooms, Billiard Room, Boudoir, Gunroom, 10 principal bedrooms, 6 single bedrooms, 5 dressing rooms, 13 Servants' Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms, 9 W.C.s, 5 Housemaids' Pantries and ample Domestic Offices.

The Policies and Pleasure Gardens are well laid out, and include numerous lawns and walks as well as en-tout-cass Tennis Court. There is also an excellent walled Garden extending to about four acres, divided by yew tree hedges. There is a range of glass houses conveniently heated and arranged for fruit and flowers also potting shed etc.

Outbuilding comprised estate office, gas man's cottage, garage for three cars with loft over, tool house, boiler house, harness room and men's room with fruit room over, 2 loose boxes and two stalled stables, two five stalled stables etc.

Other buildings included Boiler House, Food Store , Byre for 12, Byre for 8, workshop, estate sawmill, piggery, log shed, gas works, cart shed tool houses etc."

In 1876 a Wellingtonia or Giant Redwood was planted by the then prime minister William Ewart Gladstone on a visit to the property. This is on the left hand side of what was the main driveway and survives. In 1990 it was recorded as 119 feet in height.

The house was demolished in 1950.

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The Stairway Langton House The Hall Langton House The last remaining Tower during demolition
The Gates and Wellingtonia tree. " Nothing beside remained"
The site of the former Langton House
Langton Church from the Estate