Bankton Doocot

Visitor site dedicated to Bankton House’s most famous resident, Colonel James Gardiner (1688-1745).

Open to the public 10am-6pm; Entrance on the east wall.

Bankton House is a restored late 17th century house, built in a Dutch style, which stands in the south-western part of Prestonpans Battlefield. Formerly known as Olivestob (from Holy Stop), Bankton was once the home of Colonel James Gardiner (1688-1745). Gardiner was an experienced soldier with an illustrious and colourful career, modelling himself in later life on the ideal of the Christian Soldier. By September 1745 Gardiner was commanding the 13th Regiment of Dragoons, which by fate was part of the Sir John Cope’s army at the Battle of Prestonpans.

After his regiment broke, Gardiner tried to stem the flow of the rout but was mortally wounded beneath a hawthorn tree. A servant took him to Tranent manse, where the colonel died a few hours later. His house was taken over to serve as the main field hospital for the wounded of both sides.

In the 20th Century a series of fires left Bankton House in ruins until it was restored to its former appearance in the 1990s. As part of the restoration, the doocot (dovecote) was turned into an interpretation space. Sadly this then fell into disuse until 2017, when the Battle of Prestonpans (1745) Heritage Trust renovated the doocot and re-opened it.

Inside the Doocot today you will meet “Old Archie”, who will tell you the story of Colonel Gardiner’s life and death through an audio-visual presentation.

banktoon docootThere is a padlock on the door, along with instructions on how to enter. Please be aware that there are two old stone steps down from the doorway. For those unable to visit, you can view the specially-commisioned animated short film below.

Access to the doocot is via the wooded footpath from close to the Colonel Gardiner Monument – there is no public parking at doocot. The orange-harled doocot can be seen from the end of the footpath; the entrance is around the corner on the east-facing wall.   

Please respect local residents of Bankton Estate during your visit. Bankton House is not open to the public and should only be viewed from the fence lines.

Tour operators wishing to visit the Doocot must do so by arrangement: