Winton was built by the Setons following a grant of land by David I to Phillip de Sayton in 1150. Phillip’s grandson married the sister of King Robert ‘The Bruce’ of Scotland. In the sixteenth century, Henry VIII had Winton burnt in an effort to impress Mary Queen of Scots, and Mary Seton was later her Lady-in-Waiting.
The Seton’s tenure lasted until 1715 when they backed the Jacobites and the Earl of Winton was taken to the Tower of London.
The Earl’s capture ended an era when Kings were entertained and master craftsmen were engaged fresh from Edinburgh Castle to embellish Winton Castle in the style of the Scottish Renaissance. In the absence of the Earl but in his name, Winton was requisitioned by Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1745 when his rebel army camped on Winton Estate.
The Hamilton Nisbets, who bought the Castle and Estate in 1779, linked it to one of the greatest inheritances of the 18th and 19th centuries. The furnishings came from all over Europe and the Turkish Empire and the impressive estates covered some of the country’s best farmland. Golf was not just a pastime but was carried out on estate land, which, at that time, included Muirfield and Gullane Links.
For over a century, Winton has hosted musical evenings and private functions.
Today Winton is the family home of Sir Francis and Lady Ogilvy. The castle is now successfully used for business events and private parties, conferences and meetings, product launches and weddings. Activities and team building events take place in the grounds.
The History of Winton, researched with the help of Stephen Bunyan, is told by Sir Francis through the text and photographs. You can also click here to see the full text on Winton’s history.