From 1600 to 1861 - Sir Alexander of Black Barony
More information appears in the history books and archives around 1600. Sir Alexander Murray of Black Barony obtained a Crown charter of the lands of Cringletie in 1666, and had a house built for his second eldest son. This house is the first Cringletie House.
From 1861 to 1971 - The Wolfe Murrays & The Sutherlands
Three centuries later, the house was in a sorry state of disrepair, and its owner, James Wolfe Murray, decided to replace it with the present house.
A new house was designed by the then famous Scottish architect David Bryce. Bryce has many stately homes and mansions to his name. It was completed in 1861 and the Wolfe Murray family took possession of it. Cringletie has many features typical of Bryce's work, such as the distinctive, small towers at the corners of the top floor.
In 1904 a new family name appears - The Sutherlands. Elizabeth, one of Wolfe Murray's daughters, married Sir George Henry Sutherland. To commemorate the marriage an artist was commissioned to paint the ceiling in the drawing room. It is based on an Italian painting and personalised to include the monograms of the couple G E S.
In 1921, James Wolfe Murray's grandson (Captain George Wolfe Murray) leased Cringletie to his brother-in-law, Sir George Sutherland. Sir George modernized the house - enlarging rooms, adding bedrooms and bathrooms, and transforming it from a Victorian family house to a much grander country house.
Other improvements made by Sir George and his son, Lt-Col. Arthur Sutherland, included planting trees and thousands of daffodil bulbs around the grounds.
From 1971 to 2003 - From Country House to Country House Hotel
In 1971 Historic Scotland recognized the architectural importance of Cringletie House when they granted it grade B listed status. In later years the Walled Garden and the dovecote were also listed.
Cringletie House first became an hotel after Edinburgh dentist Dr George Lewis acquired the property in 1971. Shortly after ownership passed to Stanley and Aileen Maguire. Over the next 27 years, the Maguires developed Cringletie into a popular and highly acclaimed country house hotel. Aileen was the head chef, famous for her Sunday lunches. Their head gardener Nick Cross developed the Walled Garden into a spectacular vegetable and herbaceous paradise, well known throughout the Borders.
The Maguires retired in 1997 and sold Cringletie. Sadly, the house and grounds were neglected by the new owners and the hotel’s reputation declined until its sale to Jacob and Johanna van Houdt in 2003.
From 2003 to 2019 – Major New Refurbishments
Extensive renovations were undertaken by the van Houdts from 2003, advised by Edinburgh heritage architects, Simpson & Brown. Improvements to the grounds also started at this time, including replanting woodlands, building woodland walks and restoring the historic Walled Garden.
The result is a luxurious hotel combining the charm of the house’s Victorian heritage with the comfort and convenience of today.
From 2019 to the Present –
Cringletie was acquired by Cross Hotels Limited in February 2019 and the intention of the new owner is to continue the progressive development of the estate.
The appointment of Mark Bain as head gardener has seen significant improvements to the grounds and internal works refreshing guest room décor have been undertaken.
A recently completed project (originally started by the van Houdts) is the Nature/Historical Trail. This was developed in association with the Eddleston Primary School, assisted by renowned horticulturist Jim McKay and with sponsor support. The Nature/Historical Trail was officially opened by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Tweeddale, Professor Sir Hew Strachan FBA FRSE in October 2019.
Further restoration and renovation works are ongoing across the estate.
Note: To honor the history of the House and its inhabitants, the current tartan in the hall and staircase is a mixture of the Murray and the Sutherland tartans. Created by McKay of Durham the check is taken from the Murray tartan, the red line made a little softer and the blues and greens are derived from the Sutherland tartan.