Historic 17th century barracks in East Lothian for sale

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A converted seventeenth century barracks used as quarters during the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion, and which has been owned by the same family since the early 1900s, has gone on sale.

Barracks House, a three bedroom upper flat on Links Road, Port Seton, is on the market for £210,000.

The stone building dates to the early 1600s, where it was a lookout station for merchants, and the building became the barracks for the militia of the Earl of Swinton to protect his coal fields.

During the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion it was used as quarters for General Copes’ Northumberland Army, defeated at the Battle of Prestonpans. Later, from the mid-1800s, the building became a working dairy and farm house.

Owner Isobel Pensom has lived in the family home on and off since 1952 when she was a baby, and her mother and father moved into the downstairs house in 1952.

Members of her family have resided in the upper section of the house since the early 1900s when her great grandfather bought it and the surrounding land. At one time during the early twentieth century it even had tennis courts and a small shop, and served as a holiday cottage, with campers utilising the garden up until the 1960s.

“My brother and I were brought up in the lower house from the 1950s to the 1970s, but both properties have morphed over time as has the area around them,” she says.

“My great grandfather seems to have had a dairy and some fields in Tranent and I think he also had an early haulage or cartering business. The property seems to have been destined for his daughter Mary and her husband as a home and business venture. Mary’s husband died in the early 1950s, and I have happy but vague memories of him. I have no memory of the tennis courts but do remember the shop and the fields around it which later became the bank building and Chinese restaurant.”

“Mary lived in the home until her death in 1973. Up until the early 1960s she let rooms to holiday makers and during the summer part of the back garden had campers who used what is now our downstairs family room as a wash house. That I do remember. I also remember performing horses tethered in the garden one year when the circus was in town.”

When Isobel’s Great Aunt Mary died, her parents moved upstairs and sold the downstairs house. Isobel, her husband and daughter moved in with Isobel’s mother when her father died in 1990 and the family have lived there ever since.

Caroline Young, spokesperson for ESPC, said: “As well as a fascinating history, Barracks House is only a short stroll to the harbour, promenade and beach of Port Seton, and would make a fantastic family home. It is within easy of the best golf courses in Scotland, including at Musselburgh, Muirfield and Gullane which have all hosted Open Championships. Musselburgh race course is only five minutes away by car, and the beautiful beaches of East Lothian are within easy access.

“This unique property, rarely available, would be ideal for those who enjoy a quieter pace of life and would like to live in a home with such a rich history.”