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REVIEW of ATTRACTION 2001
Until 1944, when the last female heir gifted the property to the National Trust, this property was the home of the Dalyells (pronounced D,L), who still live in the property. In addition it has, of course, its fair share of ghostly tales and historical connections.
You enter the house via the Laigh (or lower) hall. This room contains many interesting artefacts including the table at which General Tam Dalyell (died 1685), who founded the Royal Scots Greys, was reputed to have played cards with the devil. As with all these folk tales, there is an interesting supplementary story to accompany the main tale giving "credence" to the tale. Other interesting exhibits in this room include paintings, a presentation sword and a horses tail (honestly!).
Leaving this room to your left you will enter the Blue Room, having passed the secret passageway, which has a collection of blue porcelain plates from a variety of sources from around the world including the world famous Delft. The tour continues around the house passing through rooms such as the Business Room, Telephone Room and the Smoking Room, the last of which contains some very interesting nineteenth century cartoons.
The Generals kitchen is the final room on the ground floor which contains, unsurprisingly, a variety of exhibits pertaining to the kitchen. One of the interesting facts that the guide will provide you with, is that legend has it that the General roasted his enemies alive in the ovens (which are certainly big enough) in this former Bakehouse.
On the first floor you will see the High Hall, the Stairway itself leading to the first floor and the King's Room. This room was specially decorated by the family for the anticipated visit of Charles the First, who ironically rode straight past onto Linlithgow Palace, which contains many interesting curios relating to this. After touring these rooms you will return to the ground floor where you can see the dining room and the morning room, which again hold a variety of exhibits, paintings and souvenirs.
The House of Binns is certainly worth a visit. I suppose the true test of an attraction is whether I would visit again and to be fair I probably would, but not until the whole attraction was free of foot and mouth restrictions.