East Lothian stately home plans to turn laundry into a romantic wedding venue

A stately home with a tragic past is planning to turn its former laundry rooms into a new wedding venue.

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Gilmerton House at Athelstaneford, East Lothian, has applied for planning permission to turn the disused outbuilding into an event space for up to 100 people.

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The historic mansion is a popular wedding venue but relies on a marquee in its grounds.

Laundry plan: Gilmerton House

And it includes its tragic past on its website promoting the estate as it reveals one of the family was among the first to escape the gallows using the insanity defence in a court in Scotland.

The house, which has been in the Kinloch family since Georgian times is currently owned by Sir David Kinloch.

His ancestor Archibald Kinloch shot his elder brother Sir Francis in the chest in the house in 1795 after a night of revelry.

It is said that Archibald had returned from serving in St Lucia with deteriorating health which had affected his sanity. At his trial his lawyers successfully pleaded temporary insanity in one of the earliest recorded defences of this kind.

He escaped the gallows and was instead sentenced to house arrest under the care of his family dying a few years later at home.

The historic mansion is a Category A Listed building.

Architects for the owners of the estate said that while the former laundry rooms were not mentioned in the house listing they had approached the design for the new venue as if the outbuilding was included.

They said of the plans: “We feel that the proposed works will not negativelyaffect the Listed building or its setting.

“The outbuilding is currently outwith the ‘Front of House’ areas and the workswill open a new area of the site to the public.”

Putting forward the plans to convert the building they added: “The intention is to convert the use of this building to an event space, capable of accommodating up to 100 guests, to reduce the requirement for the marquee on the Estate and offer an alternative space for guests.”

The plans are currently being considered by planning officers and are available to view on the council’s website.

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