Portrait painting of man and cover of book

Carrying on up the Nile – 250 years on

Featuring an epic African journey, Return to the Nile is a National Geographic commissioned biopic marking the 50th anniversary of Sir Ranulph Fiennes’s 1969 pan-African odyssey. The film follows the Fiennes cousins, Ranulph and Joseph, as they pursue the former’s footsteps. At Broomhall House memories of a much earlier – and just as ambitious – Nile journey can be found …

antique clock

The clock which was 100 years too early

A marine chronometer developed by Alexander Bruce, 2nd Earl of Kincardine (1629-1680), has just been acquired by the National Museums of Scotland. A world first, Alexander’s sea-going pendulum clock was commissioned from the leading Dutch instrument maker, Severyn Osterwijck (1637-1694) in 1662. Seeking to improve navigation and promote international trade, Alexander collaborated with the Dutch mathematician, Christian Huygens (1629-95), to …

Eat Outside Day in Japanese style

Celebrate Eat Outside Day with this jubako or picnic set bought as souvenir by James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin during the first British diplomatic mission to the Empire of Japan in 1858 – perhaps to remind him of Japanese banquets, with their individual sets of dishes and delicacies. Picnicking has long been popular in Japan, with origins in the 16th …

Broomhall House and the world’s most prominent motoring icon

A visit from a spectacular array of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars to Broomhall House has further emphasised the incredible connection between the Bruce family and world motoring history. At the request of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Edinburgh – as part of The Leven Car Company – Broomhall hosted the full Rolls-Royce model range.

David II and St Monan’s – in the footsteps of King Arthur?

The sword of King Robert the Bruce was paraded at the Sea Queen Festival at St Monans in Fife. Opening the festival, Lord Bruce acknowledged the role of David II – son and successor to King Robert – who consecrated a church at St Monans in 1365. Several years earlier, the childless King David ensured the continuity of the Bruce …

The Broomhall House Collection: Indian photographs  

This is a wonderful photograph of Princess Jahan the Nawab Sultan Kaikhusrau Jahan Begum (1858-1930) as a child, who ruled as Begum of Bhopal (1901-1926). The Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal , was one of the few Princely States of India which was ruled by a female dynasty. This matriarchal period of rule began in 1819 on the succession …

English Lessons from Scottish Writers

In the library at Broomhall House, are some important books written by eighteenth century Scottish writers: Hugh Blair’s Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettresand Tobias Smollet’s Expedition of Humphry Clinker. Hugh Blair (1718-1800) was the first academic to teach English Literature as a stand-alone subject. For Scots seeking to take advantage of the Act of Union (1707) to travel and …

The Bruce Family and Britain’s armed forces

Over several centuries prominent members of the Bruce Family have served the British armed forces in a variety of roles. Raising a regiment In 1794 Britain was plunged into war with revolutionary France. Landowners responded to the emergency by raising regiments. Thomas Bruce (7th Earl of Elgin) raised a Fencible regiment of 300 men. They were garrisoned in Ireland where …