Descending from the entrance hall, you’ll notice that the basement – or what the Georgians would have called ‘below stairs’ – is dark and cramped compared to the upper floors. This was the working part of the house. Here you can explore the atmospheric kitchen with its large range and rows of shining copper pots and jelly moulds, the well-stocked wine cellar, the butler’s pantry and servant’s room.

The restored service bells, mounted on the wall at the bottom of the stairs, highlight the demand placed on the five to eight servants that were employed by the Lamont family. Each bell sounds slightly different, so that the servants would know which room they were required in from the distinctive pitch alone.

The kitchen may seem surprisingly light and large, but when in use it would also have been very hot, smoky, and extremely busy. The Lamont’s would have installed all the latest 18th-century modern conveniences (for 1796!), including an open fire range and spit, bread oven, and a separate scullery. The spit/range that sits in the kitchen now was actually saved from an Edinburgh skip in the 1970s.

Along the narrow passageway are several storage rooms housing wine, china, plate, and household essentials.

Some of the servants would have slept down here too. The cook, housekeeper and butler very likely had their own rooms while the housemaids and kitchen maid would have shared the room which now serves as the Gift Shop. The butler’s room was a multifunctional space, used as a bedroom, sitting room and office. Facing the street, the large window was the prefect vantage point for overseeing deliveries and the coming and going of the servants, all of which the butler managed.