History of Buccleuch House


In December 1896 the 6th Duke of Buccleuch announced a ‘magnificent gift’ was forthcoming for the village of Newcastleton. This was 4 South Hermitage Street, an amenity for working men. It was officially opened by his son, the Earl of Dalkeith, on 19th February 1900.

In 1901, 4 South Hermitage Street became affiliated to the National association of Conservative Clubs and thereafter was called the ‘Unionist Club’. However, there were no hard and fast rules on members’ political affiliations. Women were admitted to membership in 1919


Education and Recreation

Professional (mainly) men came from towns around to read, play billiards, have a bath, and talk politics. The literature which arrived by rail for the Club was considerable in terms of quality and style – Punch – The London Illustrated – The Times, and so on, graced the tables, of the ‘Reading Room’.

Community Asset

In March 1921, the 7th Duke of Buccleuch offered ownership
of the property to the members, and this was agreed for a nominal few pounds. The Club continued to operate in the same way after the building had passed to the members, until regular use dwindled.


Enterprise and Learning

The building was run as a community facility on a room-letting basis to professionals and voluntary groups.

On 6th November 2000 the pioneering ‘Copshaw Computer Centre’ opened. For several years, with the help of dedicated volunteers, students were able to follow courses such as ‘Computer Literacy and Information Technology’(CLaIT) and other informal computer courses. The centre was even a registered assessment Centre with OCR exam board.

Protecting the Legacy

As a listed building, the costs of running and maintaining
‘The Club’ were considerable, and it was no longer sustainable
as a private enterprise. After public opinion was sought, it was decided to seek charitable status, to preserve the building as a community resource and heritage site. In 2001 this charitable status was granted and ‘The Club’ was renamed ‘Buccleuch House’, in honour of its original benefactor.



In 2015, the Trust decided to integrate with the new Newcastleton and District Community Trust (NDCT), which was formed to advance wider community development through the “maintenance or improvement of the physical, social and economic infrastructure”.

After successfully reinstating the community fuel pumps, the NDCT turned its attention to the ailing Buccleuch House.


100 years in the making

In March 2020, after exactly 100 years of community ownership, Newcastleton & District Community Trust was awarded the last tranche of funding needed to commence the upgrade, from the Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grants Fund. Additional funding came from Border Caring Services, BCCF Environmental Scottish Communities Landfill Fund,
Big Lottery Community Assets Fund, Muirhall Energy and Newcastleton & District Community Trust.


In January 2022, the newly refurbished Buccleuch House opens its doors once again, regenerated and upgraded to deliver those original aims of ‘educations and recreation’ within the Enterprise, Learning and Outreach Centre.

The new Bunkhouse on the first floor, commercial laundry to the rear, and use of renewable energy sources, ensure the building will provide a sustainable asset, fit for the next 100 years…