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29 October 2014
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COAST
Gunsgreen House
Gunsgreen House
Dominating the town of Eyemouth from its position above the harbour, Gunsgreen house, a beautiful 18th Century merchant's villa, hides some dark secrets within its walls.

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
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 above it.

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.

 

 

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