The Haining

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The Haining
Haining Loch - - 693968.jpg
The Haining across the loch
Grid reference: NT46892802
Location: 55°32’35"N, 2°50’35"W
Built 1790s
country house
Owned by: The Haining Charitable Trust

The Haining is a country house and estate in Selkirk the county town of Selkirkshire, a Georgian marvel surrounded by landscaped gardens.

The present house dates from the 1790s, and was a property of the prominent Pringle family. In 2009, the house and grounds were bequeathed to the people of Selkirkshire and the wider public, and a charitable trust is now working on developing the building as a centre for exhibitions and events, highlighting art, culture and history. The ground floor of the House has been refurbished and is now let out for various events and functions. The Old Coach House and Stable outbuildings have been refurbished and now offers 6 brand new artists studios. A two-bedroom holiday apartment has been made available for holiday lets within the ground.

The house is protected as a Category A listed building,[1] and the grounds are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.[2]


A motte to the north-east of the present house is the site of Selkirk Castle, first recorded in 1119. It was rebuilt by King Edward I of England in 1301, during the wars of the Scottish succession, and King Edward put Sir Alexander de Balliol of Cavers in command. It was taken by the Scots the following year, but recaptured by the English before 1311. By 1334 the castle had been demolished.[3]

The Haining is recorded in the 15th century as a property of the Scott family. In 1625 Lawrence Scott sold it to Andrew Riddell, of Riddell, who built up the estate in the 17th century.[4] In 1701 the estate was bought by Andrew Pringle of Clifton for his second son John Pringle, a lawyer. The "old" house may have been commissioned by John Pringle, or it may have already been in place when he arrived. The designed landscape was begun by John, and extended during the 18th and 19th centuries, with extensive tree planting carried out.[5]

In 1754 the house and estate were passed by Andrew Pringle's elder son to John Pringle, merchant in Madeira, a younger brother of Andrew. It was passed in 1792 to the merchant's great nephew Mark Pringle. In 1794, Mark began construction of a new classical-style house, adjacent to the older house on the north shore of the loch. This new building has been attributed to William Elliot, an architect and builder based in Kelso.[6] Mark died in 1812 and around 1820, his son John Pringle, who had inherited, remodelled the new house with an Ionic portico and loggia,[5] to designs by architect Archibald Elliot.[1] Further extensions were planned to replace the old house, but these were never carried out.[7] Marble statues were installed on the garden terrace at this time, and several estate buildings including the stables were erected. Capt. John Pringle kept a menagerie on the estate, including a bear, wolf and monkey, whose cages still stand.[5]

On John's death in 1831, the estate passed to his brother Robert, also a soldier, then their sister Margaret. Her daughter Anne Pringle-Pattison left The Haining to a relative, Andrew Seth (1856–1931), a philosopher at the University of Edinburgh, who subsequently took the name Pringle-Pattison.[8] During these years the house was leased, until 1939, when the estate was split up and sold.

The house was requisitioned by the military during the Second World War, and was occupied by Free Polish soldiers, including their mascot, Wojtek the bear.[8] The old house burnt down in 1944, and was demolished in the late 1950s.[9]

In 1959 The Haining was bought by Elina Pringle-Pattison, daughter of Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison, and her husband Francis Nimmo-Smith.[10] Their son Andrew Nimmo-Smith lived in the house until his death in 2009, when he left The Haining, including 160 acres of grounds, "for the benefit of the community of Selkirkshire and the wider public."[10] Ownership of the house passed to the Haining Charitable Trust, who outlined their vision for the site in 2010, including an art gallery in the main house, artisan studios in the old coach house, a restaurant, and garden structures.[11] New public walking paths in the grounds were laid out in 2011.[12]

On 26 September 2012,[13] the house featured on the BBC Two program Antiques to the Rescue.[14]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about The Haining)


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Haining: Listed Building Report (Historic Scotland)
  2. The Haining - Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland
  3. CANMORE (RCAHMS) record of Selkirk Castle
  4. The Haining - Haining Charitable Trust
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 The Haining: Site History - Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes
  6. "The New House". The Haining, Selkirkshire. Haining Charitable Trust. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  7. "The House". The Haining, Selkirkshire. Haining Charitable Trust. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 "Other Structures". The Haining, Selkirkshire. Haining Charitable Trust. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  9. "The Haining". CANMORE. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Altruistic millionaire leaves his historic mansion for the benefit of the community". The Southern Reporter. 6 August 2009. 
  11. "The Haining vision". Selkirk Weekend Advertiser. 23 September 2010. 
  12. "Open day for the Haining in Selkirk". Explore the Borders. 13 September 2011. 
  13. "The Haining". BBC. 26 September 2012. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  14. "Antiques to the Rescue THE HAINING". Radio Times. Retrieved 26 September 2012.