Monday, May 23, 2011

House of the Week

Hopetoun House, Scotland

photos taken by my husband on his cell phone

A couple of weeks ago my DH went to Edinburgh, Scotland on a business trip. While there he attended a dinner at this amazing house. Can you believe I didn't go with him? It would have been a nice romantic getaway (and who doesn't need that after 22 years of marriage and living with a bunch of teens!). And I would have gotten to see this historic house - which happens to have a great story. When he called to tell me he was back here safely, one of the first things he told me was that he had a House of the Week for me. And he took pictures. Now that is true love!


Hopetoun House was designed by Sir William Bruce for Charles Hope, later the first Earl of Hopetoun. It was started in 1699 and was largely complete by 1707. William Adam was asked to enlarge the house in 1721. So this house had two of the most important architects of the 17th Century work on it - both were from Scotland. The East facade and the wings with colonnades are Adam's and the West garden facade is Bruce's. Adam died before the project was complete and his sons John, James and Robert completed the interiors.

aerial view

East facade, by William Adam

West facade, by Sir William Bruce, image from the Hopetoun House website

One of the Colonnades by William Adam

East facade

West facade

Last four images from the Hopetoun House website.

Isn't it fascinating to see the work of two great architects on one building? The East and West facades each have an entirely different feel. Which do you prefer?

Click on any image to enlarge.


  1. That is mind blowing incredible!! It must have been such a treat......hope there will be a next time and that you will be there with him:)

  2. An interesting building, somewhat austere and heavy. There is not the usual grace and fluidity necessary to balance the size of the building with its its visual presence. A great treat to see, had never heard of this place before. Thank you.

  3. Adam had the advantage of working in the more developed style. The curved walls are brilliant manipulations of strict classicism. What a magnificent house.

  4. "TDC" says it best! Thanks for sharing, and thanks to DH for snapping this grand house for you to post. You're a lucky gal to have a clever and supportive spouse.

  5. I rather prefer Bruce's work, although I agree with the commenter who said it was a very heavy building overall. The West facade just looks like more of a Scottish mansion to me. The top of the East facade is a little too wedding cake and Italianate (imo) for such a heavy building. The size of this thing is unbelievable, which is why I presume it needs to be rented out for functions!