Dalkeith Country Park

(Dalkeith Estate)

Montagu Bridge, Dalkeith Estate
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Montagu Bridge, Dalkeith Estate

Dalkeith Estate is a 344 ha (850 acre) walled estate, accessible from the eastern end of Dalkeith High Street. Originally part of the lands of the Douglas family of Dalkeith, who became the Earls of Morton. The estate was bought in 1642 by the Buccleuchs, and is now one of four estates in Scotland owned by the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry KT. Although a working estate, the Duke of Buccleuch lives mainly at his residence at Bowhill, near Selkirk, in the Scottish Borders, and thus this estate is open to the public as Dalkeith Country Park, with fine walks and nature trails.

Dalkeith House or palace is a magnificent residence, built in 1701 but incorporating earlier remains of the 12th Century Dalkeith Castle. Other features of the estate are St. Mary's Episcopal Church, by David Bryce and William Burn (1835), a fine stone-built conservatory, by William Burn (1832), the Montagu Bridge by Robert Adam (1792) which is regarded as a fine example of his architecture, and the rather grandiose Fort Douglas Adventure Park on the slope above the River Esk. The distinctive red-rubble and ashlar former stable block by William Adam (1740) has been re-invented as the Restoration Yard which opened in 2016. It provides retail and food outlets together with gallery space and a wellbeing space arranged around a picturesque courtyard. There are also rooms for corporate events, weddings and private dining. This was part of an £8.9 million investment in the park.

Remnants of the Forest of Caledon in the 'Old Wood' form a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

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