Gunsgreen was designed by James Adam around 1755. James Adam was
the younger brother of the more celebrated Robert Adam, and a partner in the family
architects firm. Born two years after Robert, James lived all his life in the
shadow of his brother- even having his journal of his tour of Italy wrongly attributed
to Robert when published after their deaths.
The most common way the Adam
brothers worked, was that Robert came up with the ideas and James operated as
his assistant, so in this respect Gunsgreen is unusual in being solely the work
of the younger Adam. It is also unusual in having been designed five years before
James's formative trip to Italy - thereby showing the early influences on him
as an architect.
|Gunsgreen House - smuggling centre.|
However, Gunsgreen is not only notable as a work of architecture, it
was also the centre of a lucrative trade I 18th Century Eyemouth - smuggling!
Eyemouth was a particular centre for smugglers, being the closest Scottish port
to the continent, and throughout the town there were hidden stores and secret
passages - it was even said that more of Eyemouth existed below the ground than
Gunsgreen itself was alleged to have its roofspace full of illicit
tea, and hiding places built into the walls between certain rooms and most inventively,
a fireplace which swung open revealing hiding space behind it.
Happily, the citizens of Eyemouth are a bit more lawfully minded today,
and Gunsgreen House stands as a pleasant reminder of a past which was
more sinister in nature.
Directions: Start by crossing from the town side of the harbour using
the walkway, which is right under Gunsgreen House.