Places to Visit in Scotland
- House of Binns, West Lothian
The House of Binns is on the A904 road, half way between Edinburgh> and Falkirk>. It was rebuilt by Thomas Dalyell, an Edinburgh butter merchant who had made his fortune at the court of King James VI> in London when he purchased the property in 1612. His son, the Royalist Sir Thomas Dalyell, (better known as "Sir Tam") defeated the Covenanters> at the Battle of Rullion Green in the Pentland Hills in 1666. He also raised the Royal Scots Greys regiment at the House of Binns in 1681. The House of Binns is still occupied by the same family - Sir Tam Dalyell is a Member of Parliament at Westminster.
The House of Binns (or 'bens' or mountains), is an imposing mansion house, illustrating the change from defensible castles to a more spacious style. It was extended considerably in the 18th century and the crenellated towers were added in the 19th century. Inside there are moulded plaster ceilings and cornices which were amongst the earliest ever made in Scotland. The furniture on display dates from the 18th and 19th centuries and peacocks strut around in the grounds.
There are woodland walks and a panoramic viewpoint over the Firth of Forth and the Rail and Road bridges. The property became the very first to be taken over by the National Trust for Scotland in 1944. The house is only open to guided tours.
The Bo'ness & Kinneil Steam Railway> is further up the Firth of Forth from House of the Binns and Linlithgow> and its Palace is near at hand also. Blackness Castle>, is not far away on the shores of the Firth of Forth.
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