Seton Castle

Romance, History & Drama


Seton Architecture

Robert Adam

From reclaimed stones of the ruined Seton Palace, celebrated neoclassical architect Robert Adam built Seton Castle – an 18,000 sq ft Georgian country seat just ten miles to the East of Edinburgh. Seton Castle is one of the last Scottish houses to be built before Adam’s sudden death in 1792 indeed Robert Adam himself is documented as having dined at Seton with Seton’s owner Alexander McKenzie on 11th June 1789.

Seton Skecth

Adam created the building in his Neo-Classical style with three blocks around a courtyard. The main castle is connected to the wings by two curved corridors. The wings originally designed to house servants and livestock, with a stableyard, cow and chicken house and a dairy.

Seton Gates

Adam designed the interior of Seton Castle in his ‘Castle Style’ with all castle style elements such as cross shaped arrow-slit windows, and turrets sympathetically disguised or hidden from within, in turrets and subsidiary room such as cupboards or en-suites whilst the side pavilions are designed to look like fortresses.


Robert Adam created many of the most beautiful and historically important buildings in Scotland and England and was commissioned to design Seton Castle in 1789 and completed its build in 1791. A remarkable feat to complete a project of this size in 2 years, it was said that over 500 men worked on the site hand carving the stone from original sandstone palace blocks. Robert Adam is known to have overseen even the finest detailing at Seton including the design of all plasterwork, fireplaces, turrets, stables and fittings and the result is magnificent.

Seton Courtyard

When designing Seton, Adam retained the still-standing portion of the old Palace – a charming vaulted-ceiling chapel that remains in the basement of the Castle, and now forms a delightful playroom.


Robert Adam FRSE FRS FSA FRSA was a Scottish neoclassical architect, interior designer and furniture designer. He was the son of William Adam, the country's foremost architect of the time, and trained under him.

Seton Postcards External

In 1754 he left for Rome, spending nearly five years on the continent studying architecture under Charles-Louis Clérisseau and Giovanni Battista Piranesi. It was here that he was inspired to bring "movement" into architecture and became one of the most successful and fashionable architects in the country. Adam held the post of Architect of the King's Works from 1761 to 1769.

View more photos of the castle in the gallery.