Built in 1840, there is relatively little known about Norton House until it was bought in 1883 by John Usher of the famous Scottish brewing family. The first estate he acquired, it was probably purchased because of its close proximity to Edinburgh .
The elaborate Renaissance porch on the outside of the house is the only external sign of the Usher family’s ownership. Inside, the house displays some highly eclectic tastes from liver coloured marble pillars to the oak-panelled staircase hall with its gallery on the half landing.
Details throughout the ground floor of the main house range from Jacobean to neo Adam. In the Garden Room, which was originally the dining room, there is an oak dado and en-suite chimneypiece and William de Morgan tiles.
The connected drawing room has a delicately mounted ceiling that is still painted in its original green and gold.
A man of strict integrity and strong religious views, John Usher was devoted to the Unionist cause and in 1899 was created the 1st Baronet of Norton and Wells. In 1901 his eldest son Robert, who was to become the 2nd Baronet upon the sudden death of his father in 1904, bought Rathboyes and enlarged the estate.
Norton House was to become the favourite residence of the Colonel Sir John Usher, the 3rd Baronet. A keen rugby player, who was the mainstay of Edinburgh Wanderers rugby club, he was said to be an eccentric nobleman who always carried a shepherd’s crook and wore a monocle.
Upon his death in 1951, the house was sold and became a hotel although the farms were retained by the family.
Throughout its history, Norton House has been a warm and welcoming home. It provided a luxurious retreat for the generations that lived there.
It was built for pleasure. And now, as a Hand Picked Hotel, its understated luxury and beautiful surroundings create the ideal place for you to relax and indulge yourself.