THE son and daughter-in-law of oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood are believed to have bought one of Scotland's most expensive properties.

According to reports, Gareth and Nicola Wood, a former Miss Scotland, have purchased Yester House, near Gifford, East Lothian, one time labelled the country's most expensive house, for an undisclosed sum.

The property was put on the market for £15 million in 2008, but with little interest in the A-listed, 14-bedroom mansion, the asking price was almost halved to £8 million two years later.

It emerged this week the couple had donated £250,000 towards medical equipment at Wishaw General Hospital, are understood to be working with East Lothian Council and Historic Scotland on plans to develop the estate.

A spokesman for estate agents Knight Frank refused to confirm Mr and Mrs Wood had bought the property, but reports on a local website claimed they had taken over Yester House, which has previously been described as "the best house in Scotland".

The property was built between 1699 and 1728, to the design of James Smith and Alexander McGill.

In 1699, the second Marquis of Tweeddale commissioned Smith and McGill to design the house. Progress was slow, and the fourth marquis carried it forward in the 1720s, transforming a restrained baroque design into a rococo masterpiece.

In 1729 William Adam modernised the exterior and more than 50 years later, his son Robert redesigned the north and south fronts to a new neoclassical scheme, although only the north front was executed.

The father and son also worked on the interior of the house. The main staircase and the dining room, with its exuberant plasterwork by Joseph Ensor, are the work of William Adam. The grounds of the house were first laid out in the 17th century, with formal gardens and extensive tree planting.

The estate was later bought by Italian-American composer Gian Carlo Menotti in the 1970s and was still owned by his family until its sale to the Woods.

Announcing their £250,000 hospital donation this week, Mr and Mrs Wood told of their heartache at losing their premature triplet daughters at Wishaw General Hospital in North Lanarkshire as they unveiled a state-of-the-art system to detecting infections in premature babies.

It will fund the life-saving HeRO machine at the hospital in the hope that it might spare other parents the heartache of losing their children.

Mrs Wood said: "We know this system will save lots of other babies. We used to see parents leaving with their balloons and flowers and their babies in car seats and we prayed 'please let that be us'. But it wasn't to be. This technology means that more parents will go home with their babies in their car seats.

"We wanted the girls to make their mark on the world and for their short lives to have had an impact. In our hearts our girls will be heroes."