newsnews & featuresharlawhill house
Harlawhill is an L-planned mansion located in the town of Prestonpans, Lothian. A date of 1641 in its roof lead would accord well with its appearance. It rises, unvaulted, through two floors to an attic. Nigel Tranter could state in 1962 that it was "still occupied and in good repair" but a lot has changed since then.
The house has fallen into a severe state of disrepair, so much so that the road outside has been closed to traffic for more than two-and-a-half years. The mansion's south wall collapsed in 1968 but it remained occupied in spite of the damage. It has also become the target of vandals who have smashed several of its windows.
On the 'Buildings at Risk Register', negotiations between the owner of the property and East Lothian Council have dragged on. However, the owner has now departed and the council have announced a grant of £12,000 to make it wind and watertight while its long time future is considered.
The National Trust - who have leased the neighbouring Hamilton House to a tenant who has agreed to take on refurbishment work - have shown no enthusiasm for Harlawhill. A spokesperson for East Lothian Council said: "The council is working with the owner and other parties on a number of options to make the building safe and trying to secure a viable future for it in the longer term."
Are there any of our readers willing to take it on?
Article by SCA member Brian McGarrigle
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