Paxton House is one of Britain’s finest Palladian houses. Between 1758 and 1795, Patrick Home and his cousin, Ninian Home, commissioned its building and interior design from the finest architects and craftsmen of the Georgian era. In 1988, their descendant, John Home Robertson, established a charity so that everyone can enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of this remarkable house with its extensive grounds and gardens.

About Paxton

The House

Paxton House is an exceptional example of 18th century design and taste. It took fifty years and the inspiration of three owners bringing together some of the most talented designers of the day to complete it.  Built for a woman who never came, the house then became the home of an expatriate plantation owner and later an Edinburgh lawyer; their stories and the story of its creation are enthralling.

about paxton house

The Family

As you stand in the hall at Paxton House, the most important member of the family was Patrick Home of Billie, who built the house from 1758. Patrick was the second son of an up-and-coming man who had bought a small estate near Berwick-upon-Tweed and then married the young heiress to the Paxton Estate. Patrick was a member of a prominent Border family whose members were caught up in the history of the nation and of the region.

Well worth booking onto the house tour to view the fine house, rooms and furniture.

David R, England
about Paxton house


At Paxton House, you will see the possessions and taste of the Home family, acquired over several centuries from the 1750s to the 1980s. The height of their fortune was in the Georgian period before 1820 and so the house allows us a remarkable view into the life and taste of a wealthy Georgian family living on the Border of Scotland and England. Significant art collections loaned by the National Galleries of Scotland and from Paxton’s collection as well as Nationally Important furniture collections are on display throughout.  The intriguing and stunning clothing collection, found packed in a trunk, includes immaculately preserved costume from Patrick Home’s Grand Tour of the mid 18th century. Kids will enjoy the Teddy Trail, seeking out a different bear hidden in each room.

History of Slavery and Paxton House

From its foundation in 1988, the Paxton Trust has acknowledged Paxton House’s links with slavery.  It was among many properties and institutions in the UK that profited financially from the exploitation of enslaved people.  The trustees are committed to being honest about every aspect of this chapter in the House’s story. It is their responsibility to manage the heritage property at Paxton for the benefit of everyone – including the descendants of the victims of slavery.  Going forward, we will continue to work with the Grenadian people and their diaspora to make this possible.

Caribbean Connections

In succession, three early owners of Paxton House possessed two estates on the Caribbean island of Grenada.

Ninian Home (1732-95) acquired the estates of Waltham and Paraclete, which were worked by hundreds of enslaved African people. Ninian became the Governor of the island and he was killed in a French-inspired slave uprising. The estates then passed to George Home (1735-1820), followed by William Foreman Home (1782-1852), who received £6,226 (equivalent to over £800,000 today) in compensation for the emancipation of 247 slaves at Waltham in 1835. Ninian had bought Paxton House in 1773, and he purchased most of its Chippendale furniture.

Ninian spent much of his life in Grenada, so he saw slavery in action. There is some evidence that he was influenced by ideas from the Scottish Enlightenment – he wrote in a letter that slaves were; “so dependent upon the white people, and so much in their power, that wantonly to use that power is the height of cruelty…… They are human beings as well as ourselves. I will not keep any overseer that ill treats the negroes in any way.” So Ninian may have been less cruel than other slave owners, but he invested heavily in his sugar estates and so profited from the forced labour of enslaved people.