Amisfield (also known as New Mills)7158

Haddington, Scotland

Brief Description

The remains of the mid-18th-century Amisfield Park lie immediately east of the town of Haddington. The house was demolished in 1924 and the parkland is now occupied by Haddington Golf Club. The walled garden is currently undergoing restoration.

History

The first known house on the site was Newmills, built in 1681 together with a mill on the River Tyne. The name was changed to Amisfield in 1713 and extensive planting undertaken. Amisfield House was built in 1755 and the landscape extensively remodelled. The house was requisitioned in World War 1 and much of the tree planting felled. The house was demolished in 1924. Much of the parkland has been used intermittently as a golf course since 1865.

Terrain

Gently sloping north towards River Tyne.

Detailed Description

Formerly known as Newmills, Amisfield Park is an 85 hectare landscaped estate lying to the north-east of Haddington. The landscape structure which survives today dates back to the mid-18th century when an existing layout was remodelled as the setting for the ‘new' Palladian Amisfield House built for Francis Charteris, later the 7th Earl of Wemyss. The house was demolished in 1928 and the site is now occupied by Haddington Golf Club's clubhouse. However many other architectural features on the estate have survived and are now statutorily listed, although some are in a poor state of repair. These include the stable block, ice house, walled garden and gate piers. The principal approach to the house, and now the clubhouse, is from the west across the former parkland, which has been used as a golf course since 1865 and along which some of the original tree planting survives. Much of the woodland planting on the estate was felled during World War 1, and the balance of the parkland to the north of the River Tyne is now arable farmland. Of particular note is the late-18th-century walled garden, with its four neo-classical stone pavilions, which Amisfield Preservation Trust has started to restore and open to the public.

Further details about Amisfield are available on the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland website: http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/320215/details/amisfield+park/

REFERENCES

1. MAPPED SOURCES

Unless otherwise stated all maps referenced are from the online National Library of Scotland Map Collection: http://maps.nls.uk

East Lothian (1682) - Johanne Adair

A Map of East Lothian (circa 1736) - J Adair

Military Survey of Scotland: Lowlands (circa 1755) - William Roy

Map of Haddingtonshire (1799) - William Forrest

Map of the Southern Part of Scotland (1821) – John Ainslie

Haddington (1822) – John Thomson

Map of the County of Haddington (1824) – T. Sharp, C. Greenwood & W. Fowler

Map of the County of Haddington (1844) – T. Sharp, C. Greenwood & W. Fowler

Ordnance Survey First Edition Inches to 1 mile Sheet 10 Surveyed 1853 Published 1855

Ordnance Survey Second Edition 25 Inches to 1 mile Sheet X.3 Surveyed 1893 Published 1894

Ordnance Survey Second Edition 25 Inches to 1 mile Sheet X.7 Surveyed 1893 Published 1894

Ordnance Survey Second Edition Six Inches to One Mile Sheet X.NE Surveyed 1893 Published 1895

Ordnance Survey Six Inches to One Mile 1906 Edition Sheet X.NE Revised 1906 Published 1908

Ordnance Survey 25 Inches to One Mile 1906 Edition Sheet X.3 Revised circa 1906 Published 1907

Ordnance Survey 25 Inches to One Mile 1906 Edition Sheet X.7 Revised circa 1906 Published 1907

Ordnance Survey Six Inches to One Mile 1946 Edition Sheet X.NE Revised 1946 Probably Published circa 1950

2. PRIMARY & DOCUMENTARY SOURCES

Circa 1750 ‘Plan of Lands of Amisfield Crofts, Nunside and Sprotlands’ – original at Gosford Huse, copy at National Records of Scotland NRS RHP 8769nd)

Cashbooks held at Gosford House:

Cashbook 2 1756-1763

Cashbook 3 1764-1773

Cashbook 4 1773-May 1798

Cashbook 5 1798 -14 August 1808

1783 ‘A Plan of Intended Improvements of the Gardens of the Honourable Francis Charteris esq. at his Seat at Amiesfield’ James Shiells RCAHMS ELD/29/6

Plans of various hothouses possibly 1785 held at Gosford House

Various receipts for seeds, peach house frames, building works

1797 Plan ‘Amisfield Pleasure Grounds’ possibly John Ainslie – original at Gosford House, slightly different version at RCAHMS ELD/29/8

1872 Plan of Amisfield RCAHMS ELD/29/7

3. HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATIONS & PICTORIAL SOURCES

1768 Drawing of north elevation, Amisfield House RCAHMS B41933

1906 Post card of Amiesfield Gardens showing greenhouses in walled garden

Undated photograph of south view of Amisfield House RCAHMS EL/2136

Undated photograph of Amisfield Stables RCAHMS EL/6139

Undated photograph of north view of Amisfield House RCAHMS EL/2135

1947 Aerial Photograph RCAHMS Sortie CPE/Scot/UK205

1975 Photograph of Summerhouse RCAHMS EL/6132

Circa 2012 Google and Bing Maps Satellite Imagery

4. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PUBLISHED SOURCES

A Tour Through Scotland – R Pococke (1760)

Statistical Account of Haddington in The Statistical Account of Scotland ed. Sir John Sinclair (1791-99) vol 6 pp535-554

The Parish of Haddington in The New Statistical Account of Scotland, Rev R Lorimer & Rev J Cook (1834-35) vol 2 pp1-17

Amisfield Park: Discovering a Hidden Landscape - Amisfield Woodland Group (2001)

Amisfield Walled Garden Historic Survey & Development Plan – Peter McGowan Associates (2006)

Features

Style

  • Classical Landscape
  • Gate Piers
  • Description: East Gate.
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  • Icehouse
  • Description: Ice-house or force-pump.
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  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: Amisfield Park Gates with Amisfield Cottage and West Lodge.
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  • Doocot
  • Description: Gothic Garden House or Old Doocot possibly by Robert Mylne (1733-1811).
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  • Summerhouse
  • Description: Temple or summerhouse, probably by Isaac Ware.
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  • Pavilion
  • Description: Walled garden with four corner pavilions by John Henderson
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  • Ha-ha
  • Description: Constructed in 1783 but with later alterations.
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  • Gate Lodge
  • Description: Gothic lodge.
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  • Boundary Wall
  • Description: Extensive boundary wall enclosing the policies of the former Amisfield House.
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  • Cascade
  • Description: Weir or cascade on the river Tyne.
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  • Well Head
  • Description: Wellhead in semi-ruinous condition.
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Access & Directions

Directions

Located immediately east of the town of Haddington on the south side of the River Tyne. Access is via Nungate, Whittingehame Drive.
Authorities

Electoral Ward

  • Haddington East/Athelstaneford
History

Detailed History

In the 12th century the estate formed part of the lands belonging to the Abbey of Haddington. In the 1560s the land was sold to William Maitland of Lethington (Lennoxlove). It was sold again in 1681 to Colonel James Stanfield, who established a large woolen mill by the River Tyne and built New Mills House. In 1713 the estate was bought by Colonel Francis Charteris who changed its name to Amisfield after his ancestral home in Dumfriesshire. Extensive tree planting was carried out including avenues and perimeter plantations.

Amisfield House was built in in 1755 for Francis Charteris (later 7th Earl of Wemyss) by John Baxter to designs by Isaac Ware and the landscape remodeled to create sweeping parkland. The course of the River Tyne was altered and the cascade and force pump constructed, various pavilions and summerhouses set in the landscape, ornamental gardens created to the south of the house, perimeter plantations extended and a kitchen garden laid out to the north-east of the house. A new walled garden was built by John Henderson in 1783 to the east of the house, replacing the kitchen garden, He also undertook alterations to Amisfield House and built the Stable courtyard.

In 1865 the parkland began to be used as a golf course. The army requisitioned Amisfield House in World War 1 and much of the woodland was felled, Amisfield House being demolished in 1924. In 1944 Amisfield Park was used as a prisoner of war camp and later as a displaced persons camp. The walled garden was ploughed and used to grow grain, and was later used as a market garden. Amisfield Park was sold to Haddington Town Council in 1969. The parkland continued to be used as a golf course and the town sewage works were built on the banks of the River Tyne. During the 1980s the walled garden was planted as a tree nursery and in 1999 Amisfield Preservation Trust was established with the objective of preserving and restoring Amisfield Park and its buildings for public benefit.

Associated People

People associated to Amisfield

Contact

Telephone

0131 668 8600

Official Website

Click Here

Owners

  • Scottish Water

  • East Lothian Council

References

Contributors

  • East Lothian Landscape and Garden Recording Project

  • The Garden History Society in Scotland

  • Kate Rycroft