Open doors in Midlothian

One of Midlothian's most historic buildings was reopened by The Countess of Rosslyn, following the completion of a programme of conservation and repair. Collegehill House, adjacent to Rosslyn Chapel, dates back to 1660  and was used as an inn until  1863. The building is now in the care of Rosslyn Chapel Trust and available for self-catering holiday accommodation through a partnership with the Landmark Trust.'Photo: Rob McDougall
One of Midlothian's most historic buildings was reopened by The Countess of Rosslyn, following the completion of a programme of conservation and repair. Collegehill House, adjacent to Rosslyn Chapel, dates back to 1660 and was used as an inn until 1863. The building is now in the care of Rosslyn Chapel Trust and available for self-catering holiday accommodation through a partnership with the Landmark Trust.'Photo: Rob McDougall

Midlothian Doors Open Day this year will see more than 30 venues open up to the public, free of charge, on September 8 and 9.

Attractions include historic properties such as Old Penicuik House, Arniston House and Mavisbank House. New for this year is Collegehill House at Roslin, once the stopping point for such illustrious travellers as Robert Burns, James Boswell and William Wordsworth.

Historic churches also feature, including St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Dalkeith, Glencorse Kirk and Newbattle, Crichton Collegiate, Lasswade and Rosewell Parish Churches all taking part. The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints in Dalkeith will also open, with visitors able to access the church’s large database to start tracing their family tree.

Midlothian’s rural and industrial heritage is celebrated at the National Mining Museum Scotland, with its undercroft tours, and at Cousland Smiddy and Heritage Hub, which offers blacksmithing demonstrations and activities to try out.

The annual event will also see the doors open at Soutra Aisle, Penicuik Papermaking Heritage Centre, Dalkeith and Loanhead masonic lodges, Penicuik Town Hall, the Lost Garden of Penicuik and Midlothian Snowsports Centre.

You can visit the burial vault at Soutra Aisle, dating from 1686. The living museum that is the Penicuik Papermaking Heritage Centre will also be open, and there’s a chance to see inside one of the oldest masonic lodges in existence at Dalkeith, as well as the Lodge at Loanhead, which has been active since 1876.

Penicuik Town Hall will also host a display on the town’s fascinating history, or why not see the progress being made to return The Lost Garden of Penicuik to its former glory. Meanwhile, Gorebridge is the place to be for guided walks of the proposed wildflower meadow, Newbyres Castle site and the Heritage Trail.

There’s family fun to be had at a special open day to celebrate the opening of the new Newbattle community campus, while Midlothian Snowsports Centre is offering free half hour tubing sessions. Thistle Modelmakers in Mayfield will also be displaying their model railway layouts from around the world, or why not call in on Midlothian Camera Club in Lasswade to see their fascinating photography exhibition.

Midlothian Council’s cabinet member for communities, Councillor Russell Imrie, said: “This is a great opportunity for locals and visitors alike to learn more about the area’s proud heritage, stunning landscape and numerous attractions.”

Go to - www.midlothian.gov.uk/doorsopenday.