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Winton House, Pencaitland.
Winton House, by George Seton, 3rd Earl of Winton,1635, © 2005

While the centerpiece of the Seton Family was the Palace of Seton, Winton House, or the earlier Winton Castle, was the private family retreat and was a residence originally established by the de Quincy Family. 

The Seton's obtained the lands both through marriage and after the de Quincy forfeiture in 1152, and it was Philip de Seton who obtained a Royal Charter confirming the lands of Winton to the family in 1169.  The original house was a rectangular tower which was rebuilt by subsequent generations.

Winton Castle was the first in a series built on the current spot which consisted of a tower house of four stories, with various out-buildings and a defensive curtain wall. The castle was burnt by the English Earl of Hertford during the "Rough Wooing" in 1544, and largely destroyed as a result, written as:

One of the greatest patrons of the ornamental arts, connected with the laying out of grounds and the creation of rural seats, was George 6th Lord Seton. This accomplished nobleman, after having rebuilt Winton House, of whose splendour no traces now remain, added to it a garden, which contemporary historians describe as the wonder of the times; " erecting," in the words of a MS. history of the family of Winton, "about the knots of flowers five score torres of timber, of 2 cubits high, with two knops on their heads, the one above the other, each of them as great as a rouch bouell, overgilt with gold, and their shanks painted with divers oiled colours." Ms: Hist. of Family of Winton. See Pinkerton, vol. II.

The same Nobleman possessed another fair seat, called Castle Seton, which was destroyed in an incursion of the English. "The same nycht," says a laconic old historian, " we encampit at a toun of the Lord Seton's, where we brent and raised his cheif castll, called Seton, which was rycht fayre, and destroyed his orchards and gardens, which were the fayrest and best in order that we saw in all that countrye." Late Expeditioune in Scotland in 1541.

Winton House was rebuilt by the 1st Earl of Winton, using the remains of the older castle, and rebuilt again by the 3rd Earl of Winton in the early 17th century who created the house as it is now and added the embellishments that Winton House is known for. Email: info@wintonhouse.co.uk

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