Places to Visit in Scotland
- Hopetoun House, West Lothian
This mansion house near Edinburgh was started in 1699 by the 1st Earl of Hoptoun, Charles Hope. It was designed by Sir William Bruce but enlargements were made in 1721 by William Adam. It was Adam who introduced the sweeping curves and extra apartments. Interior decoration was not completed until 1767 and much of that survives to this day. It is also still the home of the same family - though now elevated to Marquess of Linlithgow.
The interior of Hopetoun House is full of furniture, paintings, tapestry and decorations which can only be described as "jaw dropping". There is ornately carved woodwork, ceilings embellished and painted and a bewildering array of tapestries and furnishings. Unfortunately, as with so many of these fine buildings, photography inside is not allowed. However, the illustrations in the guide to the House are probably superior to anything that most tourists would be able to achieve.
In addition to the furnished apartments, there is a a family museum and an exhibition on the building of Hopetoun House. There are extensive grounds which stretch to the banks of the river Forth - the road and rail bridges can be seen in the distance. There is also a deer park, an ornamental pond and a garden centre.
The Hope family have lived around Edinburgh for over 500 years. John Hope was a Burgess of Edinburgh during the reign of James IV> in the late 15th century. The family were merchants and at the end of the 16th century Henry Hope was a Burgess of both Dieppe and Edinburgh. The present lands of Hopetoun House were purchased by John Hope (1650-1682). His son was made Earl of Hopetoun in 1703. He married the sister of the 2nd Marquess of Annandale and on his death a collection of art came to Hopetoun and that has helped to add to the sumptuous apartments.
In 1822, King George IV visited Hopetoun House as part of his visit to Scotland. While there, he knighted Captain Adam Ferguson and Henry Raeburn>. He was so impressed with the guard of honour of a Company of Archers that he gave them the title "King's Bodyguard in Scotland" a function (and mode of dress) which they carry to this day.
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