THIS week, Ross McGinn from the Innerleithen Community Trust provides a look back on Glen House...

Alexander Allan founded Alexander Allan & Co., Bankers, in Edinburgh around 1776 and matriculated his Arms at the Court of the Lord Lyon in 1813.

He had a town house in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, and the country estate of 3,500 acres at Glen, Innerleithen, which was purchased from John Plenderleith for £10,500 in 1796 and sold to Charles Tennant, later Sir Charles, family of the Lords Glenconner of Glen, for £33,140 in 1852.

At this time Glen house was a fairly small plain farmhouse.

After his father's death, his son William Allan, J.P., Lord Provost of Edinburgh 1829-31, had Glen House rebuilt to a design by his friend William Henry Playfair and was responsible for enlarging and extending the house.

Also the estate was landscaped but, as a result of large balances owing to Alexander Allan & Co., he moved to Boulogne in France, and despite the sale of Glen to industrialist Charles Tennant, the sum of £12,201 17s 7d was still outstanding in 1854.

Still the house was not deemed fit for an estate owner’s residence and not suited to modern family life.

Present day Glen House, described as a substantial Scottish Baronial mansion, designed by David Bryce with additions, after the fire in 1905, of new interior and terraces by R S Lorimer was built on the site of the original house.

Later, during the time of the second Lord Glenconner, the wife of the writer Somerset Maugham, a family friend undertook more modern interior decoration in the house as it was known his Lordship disliked the Baronial style with a passion.

The Glen was also a favourite with the late Princess Margaret who was a family friend.

Glen House is still having an important place in the community, offering quality accommodation and recreation.