Seton Castle, or Seton Palace as it was also known, was built in the 15th century by George Seton, the 4th Lord Seton, although its origins may go back to the 12th century.
In 1424 Sir William de Seton died at the Battle of Verneuil in France. His daughter, Catherine Seton, married Sir Alan Stewart of Darnley, 2nd Lord of Aubigny and Concressault.
In 1449 George Seton, 3rd Lord Seton, granted lands on the east side of Longniddry, where John de Galaway used to live, to Katherine Seton, second wife and widow of John Seton, 2nd Lord Seton, in exchange for the third part of the lands of Lowstoun and Kynwed in Perthshire.
John Stewart, Lord of Dernele and son of Catherine Seton and Sir Alan, wrote to Lord John de Seton in 1456 granting him the lands of Leynefene or Lenfene.
The 3rd Lord Seton’s grandson, George, 4th Lord Seton, sold the lands of Monyvy, Lowstoun and Kynvaid to Robert Vaus, burgess of Edinburgh, in 1493.
By the late 16th century Seton Castle consisted of an L-plan house with a tall square tower projecting from its centre. A range of buildings were enclosed by a courtyard wall, at the corners of which were tall round towers. The entrance consisted of a small doorway flanked by two massive round towers.
When George Seton, the 5th Earl of Winton supported the Jacobites in 1715 he forfeited his estates, including Seton Castle and Winton Castle. The now ruined Seton Castle was sold to the York Buildings Company, who sold it on to Lt Col Alexander Mackenzie of the 21st Dragoons.
Lt Col Mackenzie commissioned Robert Adam to design a new house for him, and in 1789 Seton Castle was demolished to make way for the new building, which was completed the following year.
Some time after the death of Lt Col Mackenzie in 1796 the house passed into the hands of the Earl of Wemyss.
In the mid-19th century it was apparently possible to still see the remains of the castle’s prison to the west of the later house, with a chamber measuring 2.7 metres by 2.1 metres with walls some 1.4 metres thick.
Seton Castle is now a private residence, but several heraldic panels from Seton Castle are now on display in the grounds of the neighbouring Seton Collegiate Church (managed by Historic Scotland).
Alternative names for Seton Castle
Seaton Castle; Seton House; Seton Palace