A History of Cringletie

It is said that the word Cringletie derives from the name Crelenge, a landowner who lived in the area in the 13th century.

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 a hotel after Stanley and Aileen Maguire bought it in 1971. 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 the present owners, Jacob and Johanna van Houdt, bought it in 2003.

From 2003 to the Present - Major New Refurbishments

Jacob and Johanna embarked on extensive renovations of the inside of the house, advised by Simpson and Brown architects in Edinburgh. They also started an ambitious programme to improve the grounds, including replanting woodlands, building woodland walks, and restoring the splendour of the historic walled garden.

The result of their work is the luxurious hotel you see today, combining the charm of the house's Victorian heritage with the comfort and convenience of the 21st century.

Note: To honour 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. It was created for us by McKay in 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.

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