About Us

13 July 2021

Mavisbank House and Landscape

An update on Mavisbank House and Landscape

aerial view of Mavisbank House with scaffolding surrounding it

Joint statement on behalf of HES and the Landmark Trust - July 2021
Unsuccessful funding bid to NLHF Heritage Horizon Awards

It is with disappointment that we confirm our application for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) to redevelop Mavisbank House and Policies in Midlothian, has been unsuccessful.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and the Landmark Trust, with the support of Midlothian Council, worked with several partner organisations to develop the proposal to restore the category A-listed building and realise a transformation of the surrounding landscape. Despite the outcome, we are reassured our proposal was of a very high standard.

NLHF Heritage Horizons Awards was very competitive, with 12 projects from across the UK competing for a share of £50 million. We will receive more detailed feedback from NHLF in due course.

The historic landscape surrounding Mavisbank House remains a property in care of Scottish Ministers and HES will continue to look after it for the benefit of all.

The partners will now reflect on the outcome of the funding application and consider next steps.

Alison Turnbull, Director of Development and Partnership, Historic Environment Scotland

Anna Keay, Director, The Landmark Trust

Update: March 2021

We are working with The Landmark Trust on a proposal to enhance the landscape and restore Mavisbank House and have submitted an application for funding to the Heritage Horizon Awards.

Our proposal aims to unlock the considerable potential of the site. Through this, not only would a significant heritage site be restored and managed for the future, but an activity programme would be developed to deliver a range of benefits to the local community and visitors.

The proposal is dependent on securing appropriate funding for the project with the Heritage Horizons Awards a key element. We expect the outcome of our application to be known during Summer 2021.

Mavisbank Conservation Management Plan - December 2020

Our updated Conservation Management Plan for Mavisbank Policies has provided the opportunity to incorporate further historical and archaeological research whilst also updating tree and ecological surveys. It sets out the significance of the landscape and how we can manage it over the coming years.

Mavisbank Community Survey - October 2020

We continue to work with The Landmark Trust to develop a new approach to enhancing the landscape and restoring the buildings at Mavisbank to bring the whole site back to life.

As part of this we are undertaking an online survey of the local community to best understand how people use Mavisbank today, and what they would like to see in the future. Every response received will help us plan for the future of the site. The survey is now closed.

Find out more about Mavisbank: 

We are really interested in hearing your views on Mavisbank. To get in touch, please email us at developmentandcommunity@hes.scot

Update: February 2020

Following an expression of interest to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, we are delighted that we, alongside The Landmark Trust, have been invited to submit an application for funding to the Heritage Horizon Awards.

Our proposal aims to unlock the full potential of the Mavisbank landscape, rather than focussing solely on the restoration of Mavisbank House. Not only would a significant heritage site be restored and managed for the future, but an activity programme would be developed to deliver social benefits to the local community and visitors. This would include built and natural heritage skills training, outdoor learning, community growing and more. In addition to these activity programmes, we would improve access to Mavisbank through paths, a small car park and interpretation.

We will be working with The Landmark Trust to develop our proposal for Mavisbank House and landscape before submitting our application to the Heritage Horizon Awards, and over the next few months we will be consulting with the local community. This proposal is dependent on securing funding for the project and the outcome of the Heritage Horizons Award should be announced in early 2021.

Update: December 2019

We are working with The Landmark Trust, a charity which focuses on restoring historic buildings, and the local Midlothian community to explore options for Mavisbank, an 18th century country house which is now derelict, and its landscape.

Our aim is to look at opportunities to further increase the safety and access of Mavisbank and its landscape and make it possible for more people to enjoy this unique heritage site.

The local community will be at the heart of our plans and we will be engaging with members of the public throughout the process.

June 2014

The significant on-going landslip that started on the north-east side of Mavisbank Policies in November 2012 now extends further round the banking and there is a drop of up to three metres in the ground level at one point.

The vertical face of exposed earth adjacent to the dovecote as previously reported continues to be potentially unstable. Tension cracks in the lower slopes continue to develop with new faces opening up.

Historic Environment Scotland continues to survey the area at regular intervals in order to monitor the ground conditions. Barriers remain where there is a danger of a hidden drop and warning signs have been erected to discourage access to the areas currently known to be at risk. All users are asked to observe the warning signage and avoid sections that have been closed off and to be aware of the risks.

All visitors to the site should make themselves familiar with the attached Risk Assessment and Zoning Plan so they know about the nature and extent of hazards, the risk control measures in place, and the precautions that they should take.

Mavisbank Policies site plan [PDF, 205KB]

Zoning plan [PDF, 619KB]

Picture comparison: January 2016 with May 2015 [PDF, 1.24MB]

This page was updated on 31 August, 2023, to remove out of date risk assessments.