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The house that you see today first began life in 1702 during the time of the Stuart dynasty, built to designs by Sir William Bruce. Sitting close to the banks of the river Forth in the Kingdom of Fife, and set within a working estate of around 2,500 acres, the house was developed as the home and haven of the descendants of Robert the Bruce; the Earls of Elgin and Kincardine and their families. Thirteen generations of Bruces and over 70 children have been born and brought up here.

The original building was remodelled in 1766 by the architect John Adam, In 1796 the whole house was redesigned by Thomas Harrison for the 7th Earl of Elgin in the Greek Revival style, setting a trend that would influence the architecture and decorative arts of an entire generation: it was he who dubbed Edinburgh ‘the Athens of the North’, as much of its public building design began to feature the grand lines and elegant columns of the Greek style which he had popularised. The style even travelled as far as Constantinople (present day Istanbul) when the 7th Earl was appointed ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and built the first purpose-built British embassy using the plans for Broomhall.

The house was finally completed during the reign of Queen Victoria, when the front portico was added in 1865 by Charles Heath Wilson, a founding director of Glasgow School of Art.

A hugely significant building in the history of Scottish architecture and one of Scotland’s grandest houses, Broomhall has been a private family home for over 300 years and continues to be lived in, cherished and cared for by the Bruce family, as it will be for generations to come.


Broomhall houses a privately curated museum which can be seen by special arrangement, presenting an annual cycle of exhibitions featuring photography; prints, plans and drawings; letters and journals; state papers; arms and armour; ceramics and textiles, all documenting the family life and the widespread travels of the Bruce family.

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Robert the Bruce, king and warrior statesman, is a key figure in Scotland’s history, carving out Scottish independence in 1314, when he led his army to victory at the Battle of Bannockburn.

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Renovations & maintenance

Broomhall has undergone significant refurbishment in recent years to ensure that the historic fabric of the building is maintained for future generations, as well as enabling us to install modern day efficiencies that are also considerate of our environment.

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