Highclere Castle is a country house in Hampshire, best-known today as the set for the drama 'Downtown Abbey'. In 1838, the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon commissioned architect Charles Barry (who was also working on the Houses of Parliament at the time) to transform the Georgian House he had inherited at Highclere into a spectacular Italianate Castle. The work was carried out during the 1840s.
However, there is also a 'Highclere' in Lundin Links at 25 Hillhead Lane. The story of how this house got its distinctive name starts with Andrew Peebles, who was born in Lundin Mill in 1836 to James Peebles and Mary Grieve. Like most of their Emsdorf Street neighbours, the whole family were linen hand loom weavers. In the census of 1851, 14-year-old Andrew was described as a weaver, as were his two older sisters and his 12-year-old brother - just like their father.
However, hand loom weaving was on the decline and before long all the Peebles children had found alternative employment. Andrew - described as a "strapping youth" - found employment with the factor's office of the Largo Estate. This was in the days of Lady Dundas (Lillias Calderwood Durham, wife of Robert Dundas). By the 1861 census, Andrew was working as a forester on the Arniston estate in Midlothian which was also owned by Lady Dundas. The move to Arniston was one made by several Largo folk including gardener Colin McTaggart and William Tivendale who was also a forester, a former weaver and a cousin of Andrew Peebles.
Andrew quickly became active in local life ranging from golf, to the local brass band, to local politics. However, by 1911 Andrew's health began to fail and in the summer of 1912 he travelled to St Alban's to visit family and for a change of air. While there he passed away, surrounded by his wife and several of his children, aged 75. His funeral, held in St Alban's, was conducted by son-in-law Rev. Algernon Samuel Farnfield. A century later, the name of Highclere lives on in Lundin Links.