House is a large 16th century mansion, but almost certainly
incorporates earlier work.
The barony of Calder was possessed
by the Douglas family until the first half of the 14th century when,
upon the marriage of Eleanor Douglas (who married five times),
daughter of Sir Archibald Douglas, to Sir James de Sandilands.
Eleanor's brother, William Douglas,
the 1st Earl of Douglas, gave the barony of Calder to Sandilands
in 1348 as a wedding gift.
Much of the present Calder House
dates to the mid-16th century, and is L-plan in form. The massively
thick walls, up to 2.4 metres in places, suggests that this
Renaissance mansion incorporates part of an earlier castle.
In the 17th century the north-west wing was extended twice, first
with the addition of a new scale and platt staircase, then later
with more work. Further additions were made around 1780, and around
1820 a semi-circular two storey entrance porch was added to the east
side of the north-west wing. In 1880 the north-west wing was further
extended to the west.
The Sandilands, who still own Calder
House, were historically an influential family, and James Sandilands
was Preceptor of the Knights Hospitaller of the Order of St John of
Jerusalem from 1550 until the Order's suppression in 1554. In 1564
he was created the 1st Lord Torphichen by Mary Queen of Scots, a
title the family continue to hold.
Calder House has played
host to numerous important figures over the centuries, including
John Knox, who celebrated the first Protestant communion there in
1556, and Frédéric Chopin who stayed there on his visit to Scotland
Any contributions will be
Errors and Omissions
We are looking for your help to improve the accuracy of The Douglas
If you spot errors, or omissions, then
please do let us know
If you have met a brick wall
with your research, then posting a notice in the Douglas Archives
Forum may be the answer. Or, it may help you find the answer!
You may also be able to help others answer their queries.
Douglas Archives Forum.
||We try to keep everyone up to date with new entries, via our
What's New section on the
We also use
Network to keep researchers abreast of developments in the