Scotsman Obituaries: Hugo Burge, visionary behind the restoration of historic Marchmont House

Hugo Burge restored Marchmont HouseHugo Burge restored Marchmont House
Hugo Burge restored Marchmont House
Hugo Burge, entrepreneur. Born: 6 April 1972 in London. Died: 10 May 2023, aged 51

An entrepreneur who painstakingly restored a mansion in the Borders and transformed it into a “home for makers and creators” has died at the age of 51.

A statement issued by Marchmont House, which lies to the east of the village of Greenlaw in the Scottish Borders, said he died suddenly at home on Wednesday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It said: “Hugo’s kindness, intelligence, curiosity and belief in a better world made him an inspiration to us all. He was a beloved son and a great friend. We will miss him terribly.”

Mr Burge, who was born in London, invested in the flight website Cheapflights in 2000 and became chief executive of the business in 2011, following a successful career in the travel industry.

Following this, he and his father Oliver Burge undertook the restoration of Marchmont House, for which they were awarded the 2018 Historic Houses Sotheby’s Restoration Award and the Georgian Group 2017 Architectural Award for Best Restoration of a Georgian interior.

They emphasised employing local craftspeople and filled the house, near Duns, with an “eclectic” collection of art and antiques.

Hugo Burge was determined to give Marchmont House a larger and cultural purpose and regularly held events and concerts at the mansion, as well as providing workspaces for painters, printmakers, stone-carvers, chairmakers and silversmiths.

He continued his business activities through Marchmont Ventures, with a focus on scaling consumer-facing and sustainability businesses.

In 2019 he established a new charity, Marchmont Makers Foundation, to fund writer and artist residencies as well as supporting nearby schools and charities.

He is survived by his father.


If you would like to submit an obituary (800-1000 words preferred, with jpeg image), or have a suggestion for a subject, contact [email protected]