Ever since childhood I have been fascinated by shells. A Shell House has always been a dream and it was only having seen the one at the Edinburgh Botanic Garden in memory of the Queen Mother that we thought we might build one. We approached Lachlan Stewart, the architect for the Queen Mothers, who gave us a lot of encouragement and drew plans.
Having obtained Planning Permission, we started building in July 2013, but it was not until December 2013 that we were ready for the shells. Five Art Students arrived with boxes of scallops (from fish merchants), limpets and mussels and together we worked out a design. We had also collected shells with the family and there was no shortage of mussels and cockles on the beach at Musselburgh. The shells are stuck on using tile cement and it is a painstaking process.
The ceiling will eventually be painted with icons from Fraser family history in the style of old Scottish painted ceilings. The four windows will each have a different flower in stained glass. We hope all will be complete in time for our summer openings.
Ancient Shell Houses dating from 18th century already exist in East Lothian at Newhailes, Gosford and Cockenzie House.