Seton sits in 15 private acres of wooded parkland just 10 miles east of Edinburgh with clear views to Arthurs Seat and the City to the West, the hills of East Lothian to the South, the Firth of Forth and the Fife coastline to the North and Seton Collegiate Chapel and the fields of East Lothian to the East.
Seton is surrounded by numerous prestigious golf courses – including Muirfield; one of the oldest courses in the world and host of the 2013 Open Championship.
As well as the resident highland cows – Flora, Karen, Hazel and Iona, Seton is abundant in charming wildlife including foxes, pheasants, partridge, grouse, rabbits and deer. The grounds surrounding Seton are protected by a 15th century wall with several bastion towers, all around 10 feet high, as well as the old Seton Bridge leading from the grounds used frequently by the Royal family for private golf excursions, such as that famed by Queen Mary and further to the Firth of Forth less than a mile away. To the East of the castle lies the old bridge crossing the stream between Palace and Church.
Seton’s sweeping driveway, controlled by electronic gates ends in an imposing parking and turning area where double wrought iron gates under a royal crest give access to the magnificent courtyard with its architecturally important arched surround and 2000+ black tulips. Spurs lead to the east wing and to the west wing, the latter also providing access via the fully restored 15th century carriage bridge, which stands majestic over the famous Seton Burn to the former carriage driveway to the north, the scene of many a royal carriage procession. Here also are the ruins of the flint mill fringed by many magnificent hardwood trees, many pre-dating Adam’s rebuilding of Seton. The parkland, laid to grass, falls gently to the north and is bisected by the Seton burn. This provides privacy and protection to the immediate outlook from Seton as well as considerable amenity to the house. A delightful carriage drive running inside the former boundary wall, whilst the parkland to the north has been laid to grass and is watered by a natural burn.
The prison (jail) of the palace remains to this day – to the west of the castle, with a chamber measuring 2.7 metres by 2.1 metres with walls some 1.4 metres thick. It was used only the most noble of detainees, such as the notable Archbishop Sharpe. These days it plays host to wonderful hide-and-seek games for the children of the house.
To the South, and forming the entrance to the main castle through the inner cast-iron gates which sit under the Seton crest lies the sheltered formal par-terre courtyard, abloom with black tulips in the Spring and enclosed by curving arcades, a truly magnificent and archetypally Robert Adam design and a breathtaking approach to the principal entrance.
At the North of the property, a sun terrace is reached directly from the kitchen and makes the most of the elevated outlook. Elsewhere the landscaping is deliberately simple to show off Adam’s architecture to best effect. Wide lawns surround the house and provide private access, and a visual link to the neighbouring Seton Collegiate Church, itself steeped in history and still owned by the Wemyss family.
Seton’s gardens and grounds amount to approximately 14.8 acres (5.93 hectares).
Adjacent to Seton Castle is Seton Collegiate Church dating back to the 12th century – a church of great Scottish historical importance – in particular with reference to Mary Queen of Scots and the Wemyss family.