Live in secluded Baronial splendour
“It was a time when we really should have been thinking about downsizing,” smiles Charles.
Charles and Susan Young bought the West Lothian property 13 years ago, just as their youngest daughter was leaving to start university.
“But we saw Ormiston, and thought it would be an interesting project. We liked it immediately but it needed a lot of love and attention.”
In fact, the house had been run as a small hotel, and the Youngs were keen to restore it to its former glory as a family home.
“There were fire exit signs everywhere and automatically-closing doors, so we wanted to get rid of all that and return it to what it was originally – a beautiful, Scottish country house.”
Ormiston House, near Kirknewton, is an impressive B-listed property built in 1851. It stands on land which was formerly part of the Ormiston Hill Estate owned by key Scottish Enlightenment figure William Cullen.
Built for Archibald Wilkie, after whose family the nearby village of Wilkieston is named, the house still has the Wilkie family crest over the front door.
In Wilkie’s time, there used to be a private rail stop across the field for Ormiston House.
Ormiston House was built to designs drawn up by well-known Scottish architect David Bryce whose works include the former Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, Fettes College and extensions to the Bank of Scotland head office building on The Mound in Edinburgh.
Charles and Susan painstakingly refurbished the seven-bedroom home, maintaining and restoring a wealth of period details such as Corbie-step gables, turrets with conical roofs, parquet floors, exquisite cornicing and marble fireplace surrounds.
The couple also changed the layout, installing a Clive Christian kitchen and putting in new bathrooms, adding contemporary style and luxury to the traditional charm and period features.
“We upgraded the heating system, too, adding woodburning stoves to one of the drawing rooms and the hall,” says Charles.
“It is a warm and cosy house in the winter. We opened up the kitchen area, to make it the real heart of the home and that open plan feel has been fantastic – especially when our children descend upon us with crowds of friends, or we are hosting family gatherings.”
The ground floor includes a magnificent