Andrew Spratt contributes:
To the west of the East Lothian village of Longniddry
stands the grand looking ruin of Redhouse castle. The first long oblong
plan tower with barmkin courtyard wall was built shortly before 1600 by
John Laing, the Keeper of the Signet. It is very likely that he used
rubble from the nearby Longniddry castle which was slighted in 1548 by the
Scots, because its owner 'Hugh Douglas of Londniddry' had sided with the
English during the wars of the 'Rough Wooing' when the English used fire
and sword throughout the Lothians to try and force the marriage of the
infant Mary Queen of Scots (1542-1567/87) to the English Prince Edward.
Redhouse soon passed to the Hamilton family and was
later remodelled by Sir John Hamilton which gives the ruin its grand
appearance today. He extended the oblong plan keep into almost an L-plan
with ornate conical roofed long bartizans and crowstepped gables. A
lectern type Doo'cot was added alongside the original Barmkin gateway and
gable markings on the east facing side of the original tower trace a great
lean-to blockhouse. Beyond the barmkin are several gun-loops built into a
long low set outerwall protecting today's modern garden.
After the 1746 Jacobite rebellion the Hamiltons
forfeited the estate of Redhouse and the castle fell into decay. But
unlike other castles in the Lothians it didn't become the local quarry and
has remained surprisingly intact, since all that is missing is the roof
and floors and the lean-to buildings in the courtyard. The castle would be
ideal for any would-be reconstruction builder.