VANDALS caused "destruction" at historic Newhailes Estate at Musselburgh at the weekend.

Disused storage buildings in the area of the old flower garden, which is closed off and secured, have been "considerably damaged", with whole roofs caved in and event props destroyed.

Newhailes, which is run by the National Trust for Scotland, has notices asking for these areas not to be entered as they are "unsafe".

Newhailes said via social media: "We do have security measures in place that are being reviewed. This causes us to stretch our limited resources further and is also dangerous for those entering and our staff that must now clear it all."

An NTS spokesperson said: "Our team at Newhailes are dealing with regular instances of vandalism and destructive behaviour, and it is very distressing to see such a beautiful place treated in this way.

"Our charity’s resources have been very stretched by the impact of the pandemic and the costs of cleaning up after these incidents are adding to that, as well as diverting staff time away from caring for all that makes Newhailes one of East Lothian’s heritage treasures.

"We would please ask anyone with any information about these incidents to please contact the local police."

In 1709, the estate was purchased by the powerful and influential Dalrymple dynasty in the form of Sir David, 1st Baronet of Hailes, who served as Scotland’s Solicitor General and Lord Advocate.

In the decades that followed, Newhailes came to be seen as one of Scotland’s most beautiful Palladian-style country houses, set among extensive, landscaped grounds.

The NTS launched a £2.4 million Newhailes revival project in 2017/18 to breathe new life into the house and its general landscape.

This involved restoration of parts of the estate, including developing the walled garden into a community garden, and the creation of Weehailes playpark.

The trust spokesperson said: "The area affected is not part of the revival project. It is an area that’s not suitable for public access and has been closed off for safety reasons."