It was pouring with rain today and rather misty, but we still wanted to get out of the house, so we drove out of Edinburgh to Penicuik House.
Built on the site of the old castle of Newbiggin, it was completed around 1769 for Sir James Clerk who owned the Penicuik estates.
But in 1899 it burned down, and unable to afford the cost of rebuilding, the Clerk family converted the former stables nearby and moved there.
Penicuik House has remained roofless and empty ever since. It is now undergoing a program of maintenance, repair, restoration and preservation thanks to the Penicuik House Preservation Trust.
Penicuik House sits in extensive grounds stretching along the North Esk. Crossing the Centurion’s Bridge (18th century, despite its name and appearance) took us into woodland on the south bank of the river.
On this side of the river a path leads to the ruins of Ravensneuk Castle, standing on a ridge.
Built in the 16th century, it was robbed of much of its stonework in the 18th century to provide walls for the lands around Penicuik House, so now only the north wall and a section of the north-west corner survive.
There was no view to speak of thanks to the mist, so we soon headed back down through the forest and into the field below Penicuik House where Greylag geese were mingling with the sheep.
After another walk around the ruined shell of Penicuik House we made our way, rather damp, back up the driveway to the car.