Over the last few days we’ve been doing some research on Grange House, the home of the Dick-Lauder family until its demolition in 1936. The house stood close to where we live, and after looking at some maps online our curiosity was piqued. Our interest began with a pair of stone wyverns – mythical dragon-like creatures – which stand on Grange Loan.
I read that they had been placed there after being removed from Grange House, and had originally stood either side of the main gateway to the house. So we started trying to figure out where the gateway had been. The National Library of Scotland‘s map site is invaluable for this kind of research.
As well as several town plans made by the Ordnance Survey in the 19th century, there are also estate plans, and as luck would have it, The Grange was one of those covered. The earliest detailed map we could find was the 1849-53 Ordnance Survey map, showing Grange House isolated in the surrounding area.
The next map is the 1876-77 Ordnance Survey map, which shows the surrounding area starting to be built up to the north and east.
By the 1893-94 Ordnance Survey map, to the south has also been developed.
However, we managed to find a feuing plan dated 1864, although by the layout and surrounding developments it appears to be from much earlier. The grounds of Grange House itself are less developed than in later maps, and the main entrance is at the north-east corner of the property, at the junction of Dick Place and Lauder Road.
We believe it is this entrance which was originally flanked by the wyvern gateposts. Looking at the corner today, the original angled gateway is still visible, but filled in with a coal shed and a small access door.
Just down Lauder Road from the old main entrance is Lauder Loan. Now a dead end, originally it was an access road to the estate after the main entrance moved to the south-west corner.
As late as 1962 there were two 17th century buildings along this road, one probably an estate office, and one a stables. However these were demolished in the 1960s or 1970s, and the remaining rubble is piled up in the garden of one of the new houses.
Moving down Lauder Road and turning right into Grange Loan, then right again into Grange Crescent – a new road built after Grange House was knocked down – it becomes apparent that a lot of features from the old estate are still visible. The old house was built on a terrace, and was surrounded by terraced gardens. Behind the new houses are a number of the original garden walls.
Continuing along Grange Loan we reached Lovers’ Loan, an apparently centuries old path through The Grange estate. Now marked by one of the wyverns, it’s clear that the walls are original. Looking over the west wall is the Grange Cricket Club on what was once land belonging to Grange House, and on the far side of the pitch the western boundary wall of the original estate can still be seen.
Lovers’ Loan is a great wee lane, threading its way from Grange Loan almost all the way to The Meadows. It still follows the route marked on the 19th century Ordnance Survey maps, and the walls follow the same curves and corners as all those years ago.
With all these tantalising clues and features hinting at what was here before, it’s a real shame that Grange House didn’t survive.