History: Lamb’s House, Leith

Lamb’s House was probably one of the finest merchants’ houses in Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries. It is an impressive four storey A listed building with crow-stepped gables, tall chimneys and massive fireplaces.

Historians are unsure of its exact age, but records show that Mary Queen of Scots visited the house after she sailed into Leith harbour from France in 1561.

The first recorded owner was Andrew Lamb, the Lambs being a prominent land-owning family who had lived in Leith since the 14th century. This extract from the National Trust leaflet tells you more about the house.

Sadly in the 20th century, Lamb’s House fell into disrepair and was in danger of being demolished in the 1930s. Luckily the Marquess of Bute bought the property and spent thousands of pounds on its restoration before generously donating it to the National Trust for Scotland in 1958.

During NTS ownership, the house was used as a day centre for the elderly and as part of their radical cost-cutting exercise, in 2010 the Trust sold Lamb’s House to conservation architect, Nicholas Groves-Raines who plans to transform the run down building into a family home and offices for his architectural practice. Read more about this in The Scotsman article of 24 January 2010.


Photo credit: photo by itmpa via Flickr

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