Hopetoun, West Lothian, Scotland

Gold Bar


Hopetoun is located in West Lothian, and currently is the private residence of the Marquess of Linlithgow. The original design is by Scottish architect Sir William Bruce, and the "Roman Baroque" front by architect William Adam.

From "Scotland's Historic Buildings" by Hubert Fenwick:

"Thus we have a Scotsman with a flair rather than a genius for amassing baroque detail against native backgrounds and convincing well-off patrons that that was what they wanted. This is what happened at Hopetoun, where a completed country mansion, Bruce's most accomplished design for a private client, was masked behind a "Versailles" front, all columns and pilasters, urns and balusters, which turned a gentleman's residence into a Roman palace. One can see where Bruce's house remains, unaltered, the skyline only seeming odd since William Adams "pots and balustrading rise above the original roof."

Abercorn Church

The church at Abercorn, West Lothian, showing the "laird's loft" on the right, designed by Sir William Bruce for the Earl of Hopetoun

From "Scotland's Historic Buildings" by Hubert Fenwick:

"There the Earl and his family spent most of Sunday, the morning in their gaily-decorated gallery in the kirk, taking cold collation in their adjoining suite of panelled rooms that included a privy and squint through wich to see when the afternoon session had begun; and then they went back into the gallery.
The laird's loft is almost a scottish speciality, not really to be compared with the average Squire's pew in England; and in some cases it was a very grand affair indeed. The Hopetoun loft has precedents in the Royal Box in Turin Cathedral and is just a baroque and secular looking as that."

Origin of the Title "Earl of Hopetoun"

The future King James VII and II, at the time Duke of York, was returning from London by ship.

"The ship carrying the royal party ran aground off Yarmouth, when the crew took to the boats and The Duke of Your and his suite would all have perished but for the swift action of some of the Scots gentlemen in his entourage of whom one was Sir James Dick, who survived, and Charles Hope, father of the first Earl of Hopetoun, who drowned, The Duke's gratitude was shown in the posthumous earldom conferred on Charles Hope's two year old son."

Last Updated by Brett Hope on Tuesday, 28 October, 1997 at 10:17 AM.

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