The Haining South Front with Canova Statues

The Haining

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In 2009 the Haining estate was left in trust ‘for the benefit of the people of Selkirkshire and wider’ by Andrew Nimmo Smith. Since 2010, SHBT have supported The Haining Charitable Trust to develop and undertake a phased restoration of the estate and its buildings.


Lee Boyd Architects

Stables Project Completion Date:


Main House Repairs:

In Progress

The Haining viewed from the loch

Graeme Duncan Photography


The Haining’s main house and stables courtyard are both Category A listed. The house is a classical Georgian villa, first built in 1794 and remodelled in 1819, when the stables were created. Immediately to the east of the house is Peel Hill, a scheduled monument known to be the site of a Medieval motte and bailey castle, whilst to the south a sloping terrace with statues by the famed Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1822) leads down to the edges of Haining Loch. These features contribute to The Haining’s grounds being separately designated in Scotland’s Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes.

The Haining is first mentioned as the site of Selkirk Castle in 1119. The castle is known to have been rebuilt by Edward I around 1300, but destroyed by 1334. In 1701, the estate was purchased by the Pringle family. They first renovated an older house (now demolished) before building a new fashionable mansion in 1794. This is thought to have been designed by the architect William Elliot and was commissioned by Mark Pringle, a lawyer and MP for Selkirkshire. Mark Pringle’s son John succeeded to the estate in 1812 and, following a trip to Europe, commissioned the successful Edinburgh architect Archibald Elliot to remodel the house as an Italianate villa in 1819. John Pringle was also responsible for commissioning the new stable block and purchasing and installing the Canova statues.

The Pringle family continued to own and occupy The Haining until 1939, when the estate was put up for sale. It was purchased that year by a Yorkshireman, but then occupied by the military for the entirety of World War II. During this time the house suffered significant damage and the old house, which had been retained alongside the new mansion for use as kitchens and servants quarters, burnt down.

The estate passed through variety of owners during the 1940s and 1950s before being purchased in 1959 by Andrew Nimmo-Smith, a successful lawyer and nephew of the last Pringle owner. It was he who bequeathed the house and estate in trust to ‘the community of Selkirkshire and the wider public’, a gift only discovered after his death in 2009 at the age of 85.

Andrew Nimmo-Smith’s only stipulation in his gift was that the site should be used in a way that was of architectural, cultural or historical benefit to the community. The Haining Charitable Trust was established in 2010 in order to manage the estate and carry out these wishes by developing The Haining as a centre for arts and culture.

The Haining Stables renovated as Artists' Studios

Graeme Duncan Photography

Stables Courtyard Project

SHBT was instrumental in supporting the creation of The Haining Charitable Trust and was heavily involved in the initial Options Appraisal which set out a Masterplan for the estate buildings. SHBT then worked with the Trust throughout Phase 1 of the regeneration project, which focused on the stable courtyard, converting the old coach house and former coach boxes into flexible artists’ studios.

SHBT acted as project manager and fundraiser for the coach house conversion, appointing Lee Boyd Architects as the designers and successfully raising the necessary £750,000. The building’s wide stone arches, some previously in-filled with concrete, were restored and backed with slim line aluminium glazing. This allowed for the creation of a modern internal space whilst retaining aesthetic beauty of the building’s original external profile. Inside, six new workspaces were created within the building’s original divisions. The project was completed in 2013 and was subsequently shortlisted at the 2014 RIAS Awards.

The Haining Today

SHBT continues to support The Haining Charitable Trust in developing the next phase of work, focused on internal and external repairs to the main house. This includes working with the Design Team to develop the capital project and securing funding to enable the work to start on site.

The Haining’s grounds are now freely open to the public all year round and parts of the main house are available to hire as an events venue.