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Whittingehame Attractions

East Lothian

Whittingehame House

East Lothian

Balfour Family

Whittingehame Estate near Haddington East Lothian was purchased by James Balfour in 1817 when he had Whittingehame House built. He also had the village moved as it obstructed his view from his new house.

James Balfour’s grandson Arthur Balfour, who was born in Whittingehame House served as Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905. As Foreign Secretary during the First World War he issued the “Balfour Declaration” which later led to the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Viscount Traprain (Earl of Balfour) change Whittingehame House into a school between 1939 and 1941 for Jewish refugee children. Circa 200 children attended the school over the period. It then returned to a family home and then in 1950 for circa 10 years it was used as a school once again before being renovated into separate apartments.


Parish Church East Lothian

Whittingehame is a small village between Haddington and Dunbar just south of East Linton. The first church in the area was established by St Cuthbert circa 660, near Luggate (no remains of the church can be seen). In 1225 a new church at Whittingehame was built dedicated by the Bishop of St Andrews on 7 May 1245. After time the church needed replaced and in 1722 a new church was built. In 1820 James Balfour rebuilt the church which can be seen today. Whittingehame most famous resident was Arthur Balfour (Prime Minister of Britain) who is buried in the family aisle in the church. 

Whittingehame Church East Lothian



In 1372 George de Dunbar, 10th Earl of March, gave to James Douglas of Dalkeith, (2nd Earl of Douglas and Mar) the manor of Whittingehame. The Douglas family remained owners over the next 300 years as the property transferred on marriage. Elizabeth (1632–1668) daughter of Sir Arthur Douglas married Alexander Seton in 1652 and their daughter also Elizabeth married William Hay of Duns in 1695. They in turn sold the lands and property to James Balfour 1817.



Whittingehame arboretum has many different varieties of tree, The oldest is over 700 years old a Yew tree that radius is enormous. Other trees are the Blue Gum one of the earliest trees planted in 1846. There is a Monkey Puzzle tree, beech trees, Acer pseudoplatanus 'Variegatum' and Lebanese Cedar.


Yew Tree

The Whittingehame Yew tree over 700 years old and 60 foot (19 mtrs) high. One of a few Yew trees that can be seen in the Lothians others are in Colinton where Robert Louis Stevenson would play on a swing in the churchyard. Ormiston Yew probably the


Walled Garden

The walled garden was maintained by Miss Alice Balfour while living at Whittingehame here husband, Lord 1905 Lord Arthur James Balfour (1st Earl of Balfour) had a Temple built outside the garden wall in 1905.

He also installed Large gates to the walled garden.

 Lady Eleanor's Cottage, a 19th century Gothic cottage There is also a wellhead in the garden of the Tower and the Balfour palm tree crest appears on the garden gate dated 1956. 


Gothic Cottage

 Lady Eleanor's Cottage, was built in 1833 after the village had been moved by her husband. There is also a wellhead in the garden of the Tower and the Balfour palm tree crest appears on the garden gate dated 1956. 

Whittingehame War Memorial

East Lothian

The 1st World War memorial stands opposite the driveway to the Whittingehame Parish Church to commemorate the lives lost in the 1st World War. The Whittingehame War Memorial was unveiled by Arthur Balfour, Prime Minister, 1st earl of Balfour of Whittingehame and Viscount Traprain was born July 25, 1848 in Whittingehame House in 1920. The fallen named are;

George Burgess, George Calder, James Gray, David Jarvis, James Jarvis, Peter Jarvis,

William Keiller, William McLachlan, James Robertson, Charles Russell, David Stoddart

Whittingehame War Memorial East Lothian

Balfour Monument

East Lothian

The Obelisk stands on a high point over looking Whittingehame erected by the Yeoman Cavalry in 1858

Erected to the memory of James Maitland Balfour of Whittingehame, Major Commandant of the East Lothian Yeomanry Cavalry by the officers and non-commissioned officers of that Corps in testimony of their great respect and esteem of him as a Commanding Officer, of their affectionate regard for him as an amiable and able country gentleman and of their deep and lasting regret for his premature removal from among them.


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