Blair’s Castle was an old house in Haddington which may have been fortified but which was demolished long ago.
The building was described in the 19th century as a “very old house” standing next to the “Courier Office”, which used to be at 21 Market Street on the corner with Newton Port. It stood to the east of the Courier Office and projected into the street. Interestingly the current 19th century building at 18-20 Market Street projects further into the street than its neighbout at number 20.
The ground floor of the old house seems to have been elevated above street level as there were “a good many steps up” to it, under which was access to the basement which contained large vaulted cellars.
There was an old tradition that an underground passage linked Blair’s Castle with Lennoxlove but given the distance of 1.9km between the two this seems highly unlikely. It is interesting however as there are many examples of traditions of tunnels linking two castles.
Blair’s Castle doesn’t appear on any maps that I have found. The earliest map to show the area in any detail is an early 17th century map by Hendrik Hondius, based on Timothy Pont’s late 16th century work, and it only depicts various unnamed towers or buildings representing Hadtyntoun.
From 1770 to 1785 the house was owned and occupied by Provost McClaren and then by his son, David. Later it was owned by James Johnstone, master of the grammar school until 1800. In 1832 the property was rebuilt by Robert Richardson. It was later occupied by William Dods who ran a seed shop, and from 1836 an office of the Western Bank of Scotland, in the building.
William later seems to have moved his residence next door to the mansion at 42 to 46 Court Street which was built for Henry Davidson in 1802 and later became a branch of the Bank of Scotland.
The site of Blair’s Castle is now occupied by a shop.
Alternative names for Blair's Castle
Where is Blair's Castle?
Blair's Castle is in the parish of Haddington and the county of East Lothian.
Grid reference:NT 51285 73886
Lat / long:55.955912,-2.776654