The Family

Without doubt, one of the most important families in Scotland’s intellectual, cultural and scientific history, the story of the Clerk Family and Penicuik Estate dates back to 1654, when John Clerk, a merchant with an emporium in Paris specialising in fine art, bought Penicuik Estate with the original Newbiggin House.

Sir John Clerk, created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1679

Sir John Clerk, created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1679

After his death in 1674, his son, Sir John Clerk, who was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1679, inherited the Estate and, during a tour of the continent in 1676, acquired a number of items for Newbiggin and developed ambitious plans for the improvement of both house and lands.

Sir John Clerk, 2nd Baronet of Penicuik, and his son Sir James Clerk, 3rd Baronet, were instrumental in creating first the Designed Landscape and then Penicuik House as we know it today.

The Clerk Family, headed today by Sir Robert Clerk, 11th Baronet, now manage Penicuik Estate and, in partnership with PHPT, oversee the running of the conserved ruin of Penicuik House and the restoration of the Designed Landscape, maintaining both for the benefit of the local community and numerous visitors every year.