Welcome to Mavisbank!

Jul 1, 2014

On Tuesday 1 July Cllr Owen Thompson, Leader of Midlothian Council, formally opened the new path at Mavisbank House, one of Scotland’s most important historic buildings. After many decades there is now an easy way for people to access the grounds at Loanhead in Midlothian.

This work is a key step towards securing the future of Mavisbank House and designed landscape for the public to appreciate and enjoy.

The work has been completed by The Mavisbank Trust with £100,000 of funding from the European Community Tyne Esk LEADER 2007-13 Programme, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Environmental Improvement Funds of five councilors from Midlothian Council’s Bonnyrigg and Midlothian West wards.

For many years there has been no formal or easy way for the public to enter the beautiful, but degraded, designed landscape of one of Scotland’s most important historic buildings.  Mavisbank was designed and built between 1723-36 as a collaboration between Sir John Clerk of Penicuik and his architect William Adam but, following a devastating fire in 1973, the house has since lain in ruin.

The Trust has upgraded the existing riverside path from Polton to Lasswade and created a new path within the grounds linking to the South Drive and House. The works contract was managed by the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust. The funding also supported the provision of signage, an interpretation panel, drainage improvements in the grounds and a number of plans and surveys to further the development work at Mavisbank.

Historic Scotland, owner of the Mavisbank Policies, and Midlothian Council are currently working in partnership with the Trust to develop plans and seek funding to conserve Mavisbank House and open up the grounds.

Cllr. Thompson said “It is fantastic to see this work completed and I am delighted to be opening the Mavisbank Trust pathway, as it will allow greater public access to one of Midlothian’s beautiful historic landmarks. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Historic Scotland and Mavisbank House on this exciting project to conserve this very special area in Loanhead. Improvements like these not only benefit the local community but open up our area to visitors and tourists and that can only be a good thing.”

Willie Macnair, Chair of the Mavisbank Trust said “The opening of the path is a proud moment for the Mavisbank Trust and we continue to work with our partners and the community to open up the grounds for the benefit of all while treasuring its essential character.”

Note: While Historic Scotland welcomes footpath users, visitors should continue to take care and observe safety notices when walking in the grounds as some parts to the north east of the site near the doocot could be unstable due to previous and ongoing landslips. Site surveys are regularly carried out in order to monitor the ground conditions.  These areas are well sign-posted and barriers are in place where there are hidden drops but visitors are asked to be mindful of the situation and follow the instructions on the safety signage.