The focus of this week’s #ScotlandSnap is the magnificent Dumfries House in Ayrshire. The Palladian-style country house and gardens are set on 2,000 acres and dates to the 18th century. William Crichton-Dalrymple, Knight of the Order of the Thistle and Earl of Dumfries resigned his commission in 1743 and set out to make plans to build a large house on his ancestral estate. It wasn’t until 1754 that plans were drawn up for the house by renowned Scottish architect, Robert Adams. The house was completed five years later. The Earl set out to furnish the home by drawing on the exterior’s rococo style, both English and Scottish, and went about creating one of the most treasured interiors of the Scottish Enlightenment. The house eventually passed on to successive nephews coming under the ownership of the 5th Earl of Dumfries, Patrick McDouall-Crichton. The 5th Earl’s daughter, Lady Elisabeth, eventually lived at the Estate after marrying John, Lord Mount Stuart – thereby uniting two of Scotland’s leading families – the Crichtons and the Stuarts. In 2007, His Royal Highness, Prince Charles, and his charitable foundation secured a deal to purchase the house and its collection of rare, original Thomas Chippendale furniture. The Prince’s charitable trust has meticulously restored the interiors of the estate home and adjacent gardens and woodlands. The intention of the Prince’s Trust was to renovate the estate to become self-sufficient, and to preserve and regenerate the local economy. We arrived too late the day I visited to take a tour of the interior of the home – laden with priceless original Thomas Chippendale style furniture. However, a roam around the estate gardens and woodlands is well worth the trip, if that is all you have time to do. The day I visited, it was misty and a bit damp, but the spring flowers were in full bloom and were picture perfect against the sides and front of this distinguished home. Both the house and the gardens at Dumfries House are listed as significant aspects of Scottish heritage and is widely known as one of The UK’s most stately and historic homes as well as one of Scotland’s best kept heritage secrets.
A highlight of my time in Scotland has been a trip to Rosslyn Chapel (of Da Vinci Code fame). Just outside Edinburgh, it’s a beautiful place both inside and out. I loved all the layers of history. 💛
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Join us as we gape in awe at the sheer beauty and stature of Dunfermline Abbey where some of the nation’s greatest medieval monarchs have been laid to rest – including Robert the Bruce.
It is thanks to David I, son of Malcolm III and Margaret (later canonised as St Margaret) that we have such a treasure! This site first hosted a small priory founded by Margaret in 1070, but it was David I who raised its status to that of an abbey in 1128, the timing of which is reflected in its #Romanesque architecture (a prerequisite of Gothic architecture). It is no surprise that Dunfermline Abbey is strikingly similar to Durham Cathedral as David I had brought the stone masons who had worked there to Dunfermline.
Unfortunately #DunfermlineAbbey was badly damaged in 1303 by Edward I but Robert I (Robert the Bruce) gave the capital needed to rebuild it to its former glory. It can be argued that this was an outward sign of confidence, that following the Wars of Independence with England, that the kingdom of Scotland was again affluent. .
During the Protestant #Reformation in 1560, however, the old choir was allowed to decay and the nave of the Cathedral was converted into a parish kirk (church) for the local population. You too can visit this sacred place and can learn more on our #HistoricEnvironmentScotland website (link in bio). Make sure that you tag us into your photographs on social media using our @historicscotland handle or #HistoricScotland hashtag.