Cramond Regis, or King's Cramond, is said to have been a royal
hunting seat. In 1316 or 1320 it was given by Robert the Bruce,
along with the neighbouring property of Muirhouse, to Sir William
Oliphant of Aberdalgie, as compensation for lands in Kincardineshire
taken by John Balliol. Oliphant was a loyal supporter of Bruce, and
his son, Sir Walter Oliphant, would later marry Bruce's daughter
From the 14th to the 17th centuries Cramond Regis
passed through the hands of many families, the principle ones being
the Cramonds of Cramond, the Mowbrays of Cammo, the Logans of
Craighouse and the Logies of Logiesland. Some of these families
would have been responsible for substantial building work, as by
1791 Cramond Regis had the appearance of a much-altered L-plan tower
house of the 16th or 17th centuries.
In 1718 John
Douglas-Hamilton, the first Earl of Ruglen, bought King's Cramond,
as it was then known, adding it to his neighbouring property Barnton
and combining them into one estate.
Hamilton was succeeded in
1744 by his daughter, Lady Anne Hamilton, Countess of Ruglen, the
widow of William Douglas, the
2nd Earl of March. King's Cramond and Barnton passed to their
son, William Douglas,
the 4th Duke of Queensberry and 3rd Earl of March, upon his
mother's death in 1748, but he sold it in 1770 to John Campbell,
Viscount Glenorchy, the son of John Campbell, the 3rd Earl of
Campbell died in 1771, and his wife Willielma
lived part time at Barnton before selling the combined estate to
William Ramsay, a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland, in 1785.
Ramsay commissioned Robert Adam to remodel King's Cramond for
his son, George Ramsay. Large extensions were built onto the old
tower, the steeply-pitched roof was replaced with a new lower one,
surrounded by castellations, and a tall round tower was added to the
front of the house.
King's Cramond became the principle
residence on the new combined estate, and as such Barnton House
became surplus to requirements. Barnton House was demolished around
1800, and King's Cramond was renamed Barnton House.
further work was carried out on the new Barnton House, with a porch
added to the round tower by David Hamilton.
But by the end of
the 19th century Barnton was described in estate papers as
"interesting but of no use", and following unsuccessful attempts to
rent it out, it lay empty.
In 1908 it was reported that lead
had been stolen from the roof, and by 1920 it was in such a bad way
that Sir Arthur Steel-Maitland, a Ramsay descendant and the then
owner of the Barnton, Sauchie and Bannockburn estates, proposed
It was demolished around 1920, and possibly at
this time some 17th century carved stones and sundials were moved to
another Steel-Maitland property, Sauchieburn House to the south-west
Nothing now remains of Cramond Regis, although
the golf courses of the Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh
and the Bruntsfield Link Golfing Society occupy the majority of the
former combined Barnton estate policies. The site of the house
itself is under number 31 Barnton Avenue West.
Around the old
estate of Cramond Regis are the street names Cramond Regis, Regis
Court and King's Cramond.
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