A former seat of the Earls of Morton, Dalmahoy House lies 1¼ miles (2 km) southeast of Ratho on the western edge of the City of Edinburgh Council Area. This fine baronial mansion was built in 1725 by architect William Adam (1689 - 1748) for George Dalrymple, Lord Dalmahoy (1680 - 1745). It was sold to James Douglas, 14th Earl Morton c. 1750. The house comprises three storeys arranged in seven bays. The east front retains its sandstone details contrasted against harled walls, but the west front was significantly altered in the 19th century. An additional wing was built in 1787 by Alexander Laing (d.1823) and an entrance porch was added to the west front in 1830 by William Burn (1789 - 1870).
It is said to be haunted by the second daughter of the 8th Earl of Morton, Lady Mary Douglas, whose portrait hangs in the hotel(1).
Known as the White Lady, her ghost is said to have been spotted wandering the hotel’s corridors and apparently haunts one room in particular – stay in Lady Mary’s Room if you dare! However, her presence is reported to be calming. Lady Mary Douglas married Sir Donald Macdonald, 10th of Sleat on 24 July 1662 at Perth and in 1684 he was sued as for being unfaithful. Her mother, Elizabeth Villiers, Countess Morton, had as her niece, Barbara Villiers, the mistress of King Charles II.
The house was restored and extended in 1990 as part of its conversion to a luxury hotel, golf and country club. The hotel includes a sport and leisure club, with swimming pool, sauna and gym.
The mansion is set in 405 ha (1000 acres) of wooded parkland in the shadow of the Pentland Hills. It is still owned by the present earl of Morton, but is let on a long lease.
(c) The Gazetteer for Scotland, used with permission.
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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017