Tour of House - First Floor

Detail of the Canopied Bed

High Drawing Room The High Drawing Room

When this room was completed in the late 1500’s it was more a medieval great hall in style. The ceiling was decorated with painted beams and behind the wood paneling traces of the original murals still exist.  A part of the ceiling was restored in the 1950’s which you can see now. The room was then remodeled by the 5th Earl in the mid 1700’s and very much reflects the classical influences that were popular at the time. The wood paneling includes classical Greek columns and the painted overdoors represent the “liberal arts” music, drama and architecture.


Harpsichord dated 1651 Harpsichord

This rare early harpsichord is dated 1651 and was made by Andreas Ruckers, one of the few instruments that can be attributed to this grandson of Hans Ruckers who founded a family tradition of Harpsichord making in Antwerp that lasted from 1580 – 1680. It is remarkable because is so well preserved with the original decoration of painted marbling but also because the present action work is a rare possibly unique survival of Scottish instrument of about 1700.  The original keyboard (51 notes) the music that can be played is limited to its perioed.  A recital by Gerald Gifford can be heard in the house and a CD is available from the shop or online.

Kings Room The Kings Room

This was the main room of the original tower house – the oldest part of Traquair. The kings and queens of Scotland stayed here when they came on hunting trips, climbing the small winding stair behind the door in the corner. This was the only entrance until the tower was extended in the 1500’s.  Mary Queen of Scots stayed here with her husband, Darnley and their baby James, who was to become King James VI of Scotland. He slept in the cradle at the foot of the bed. The bed itself had an interesting history as at some point the in the 1700’s it was used as a “mourning bed” and all the hangings were dyed black.  The 19th Laird restored it to its original colour.