Scottish Borders | Eyemouth | Mansion | ★★★
Separated from the centre of Eyemouth by - well - the mouth of the Eye Water, this magnificent mansion is completely out of keeping with the rest of this Borders fishing village. Whoever first owned it must have had tremendous wealth... and that man was the local John Nisbet, who in 1753 commissioned one of the finest architects of the period, John Adam, to design the grand residence. On the surface, Nisbet amassed his fortune as a successful merchant, but behind the scenes he was in fact a notorious smuggler, mostly of tea leaves. Throughout the mansion are several intriguing customisations catering to his illicit trade, including secret chutes hidden behind walls, concealed box rooms and huge cellars (behind the brick façade in the photo above). Eventually the law caught up with Nisbet, and Gunsgreen House was sold to pay off his mounting debts. After several further changes in ownership and subsequent decline, it was rescued by a trust in 1998 which set about restoring it. Start with the exhibition area in the old cellars before touring the mansion itself; the latter isn't as luxurious as you might expect from the exterior, but it's still a fascinating place to explore.
|[Centuries of different wall decoration]|
📌 Gunsgreen House ★★★
Location: Gunsgreen Quay, 5-min walk east of Eyemouth village centre, G.R.: NT 947644 ///goodbye.array.snake
Open (2019): Daily, late March to October with a few exceptions - see official website.
Cost (2019): £6.80 (adults), £4.20 (children)
|[Cellars - now museum displays]|