|Location||Prestfield Road, Edinburgh|
|Number of suites||23|
|Number of restaurants||1|
Prestonfield House is a five-star boutique hotel located in Prestonfield, Edinburgh. It was originally built in 1687 by architect Sir William Bruce, and was once a wealthy rural estate, but in recent decades has come to serve as a hotel. Though it is but a small establishment, having only 23 rooms, Prestonfield House is well renowned by critics.
Situated on extensive grounds at the foot of Arthur's Seat, Prestonfield House also owns a large roundhouse, which was previously used for keeping horses. The now-converted stables are used to host large functions, one example being the Taste of Scotland festival.
Originally known as Priestfield, the site was once a wealthy monastery, founded in 1150 by Henry, Earl of Northumbria. Over the subsequent centuries, the estate changed hands many times, until when newly in the possession of the Catholic Dick family, the monastery was in the 1670s burned down by Protestant students. The Family quickly enlisted William Bruce to design a replacement building, which was renamed Prestonfield.
In 1751 the house was inherited by Sir Alexander Dick from his elder brother William and his eccentric wife Anne Dick. The new estate remained in the family's possession for many generations, who played host to many great thinkers of their times, including David Hume, Benjamin Franklin, Dr Samuel Johnson, and Allan Ramsay. The Dick family continued to modify and improve the estate, adding paintings, a grand new staircase with reception rooms, and a porte-cochère. Most notably, the stable house was built in the 19th century, as designed by James Gillespie Graham. As later generations of the family spent less and less time at the estate, no further remodelling took place, preserving the decor to the modern day.
The estate was converted for use as hotel in the 1960s, and has since played host to Sandie Shaw, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Sean Connery, Elton John, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Oliver Reed. In 2003, the hotel was bought by restaurateur James Thomson, who also maintains the acclaimed The Witchery by the Castle.
Prestonfield House, as viewed from Holyrood Park
- Porter, Darwin; Prince, Danforth (2009), Frommer's Scotland (11 ed.), Frommer's, p. 101, ISBN 978-0-470-47075-6
- Taste of Scotland.
- Dick, Alexander (DNB00). Wikisource.
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