Penicuik House, Midlothian, Scotland was the Ranken country home from 1890 to 1899 and was rented from the Clerk Family.

This property has been described as ‘the finest and most influential example of Palladian architecture surviving in Scotland’. It was designed by Sir James Clerk, an amateur architect, and was built between 1761 and 1769. This immensely grand house caught fire on 16 June 1899 whilst the Ranken Family were in residence. Fortunately, there were no casualties and many of the contents of the house were saved through the efforts of local people. The property has remained a rather magnificent ruin ever since. The Clerk Family subsequently converted its grand stable block into their home. However, the house itself is now the subject of an ambitious restoration programme by the Penicuik Preservation Trust, costing many millions of pounds. The photograph above, from a Ranken Family photograph album, is dated April 1899 and probably the last photograph of it taken prior to the disastrous fire.

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