Scotland’s most expensive ‘Grand Design’ castle on the market for £8m


The most expensive home in Scotland, built on the ruins of a retreat once favoured by Mary Queen of Scots, has hit the market.

But if you would like to follow in the footsteps of royalty inside this grand design, you will need deep pockets because Seton Castle is being sold for more than £8m.

Located in Longniddry, East Lothian, the castle resides on the former site of Seaton Palace.

This is the third time that it has hit the market since 2003. Prior to this, the 13 bedroomed castle belonged to the Wemyss family for over a hundred years.

Built in 1789, the same year the palace Mary Queen of Scots is confirmed to have stayed in was demolished, the castle was designed by the architect Robert Adam.

The original home, which was built at some point in the 1500s, was left in a state of ruin following 75 years of reported neglect.

The most expensive home ever sold in Scotland was once favoured by its queen. (Savills/BNPS)
The most expensive home ever sold in Scotland was once favoured by its queen. (Savills/BNPS)

Prior to this, the palace was so desirable that Mary Queen of Scots honeymooned there with Lord Darnley in July 1565.

By the time of the 17th century, it was widely considered to be the best palace in Scotland, surpassing the likes of even Edinburgh Castle, which was built in 1103.

But the original palace met its end during the Jacobite Rising of 1715 when it was set alight.

Thankfully, its replacement is as grand as you would expect from any historical castle – and comes with modern amenities like a cinema room and helipad.

For the price of what would be a comparatively small property in London, the prospective buyer will also get to enjoy 13 acres of land.

But there is a gym if you would rather get some indoor exercise.

Other notable features, some of which the buyer might expect from a building of this size and grandeur, include a 10,000-bottle wine cellar, a billiard room, and a stable.

There are even secret staircases.

The castle is not all that the prospective buyer will get in return for Scotland’s most expensive residence, as the estate also includes two three-bedroomed cottages.

The grand residence was modernised in the early 2000s. (Savills/BNPS)
The grand residence was modernised in the early 2000s. (Savills/BNPS)

The home was refurbished in the early 2000s by an Edinburgh businessman after its 2003 sale and initially put on the market for £15 million.

The businessman bought it from the Wemyss family, who had reportedly owned and left the castle relatively untouched architecturally since it came into their possession in the 18th century.

Unfortunately, it did not sell and this price was cut to £5 million, which eventually saw it purchased by online tycoons Steve Leach and his wife Heather Luscombe.

They lived in and further renovated the castle before deciding to sell the castle to move abroad in 2019.

However, it would be a further three years before the property was sold in 2022 to property investor and hospitality entrepreneur David Fam for £8 million.

According to its agent at the time, this was the “highest price ever paid for a residential property in Scotland”.

Describing what the castle was like to live in, Leach once told the BBC: “Even after 12 years there, it still takes our breath away to drive into the courtyard and remember we are retracing the steps of Mary, Queen of Scots.”

The property is being sold by Rettie, Edinburgh and further details about its specifications can be found on Rightmove.