Valleyfield Woodland Park

Valleyfield Wood
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Valleyfield Wood

Opened in 1990, Valleyfield Woodland Park in W Fife lies to the northeast of Culross. It is traversed by the Bluther Burn and forms part of a designed landscape created in 1802 for Sir Robert Preston of Valleyfield House. It was the only commission of its kind in Scotland to be carried out by Humphrey Repton (1752 - 1818) the famous English landscape gardener. Although Repton never visited, he sent his sons to conduct a survey. As a result of this survey, Repton prepared plans and presented Preston with one of his famous red books, which contained illustrations of his intentions along with explanatory text. The resulting landscape, which is known to have been painted by Alexander Nasmyth (1758 - 1840), is still regarded as of outstanding historical importance.

Between 1817 and 1820, the noted plant-hunter David Douglas (1799 - 1834) was a gardener at Valleyfield, helping maintain Repton's work. While here, he was able to use Preston's extensive library to further his botanical education.

Although the mansion was demolished and much of Repton's landscape was lost after the estate was taken over by the East Fife Coal Co. in 1907, there are still remains of the walled flower garden, ice-house, ornamental pond, beech avenue and ha-ha. Now owned and managed by Fife Council, the park is entered from the south by the Bluther Burn at Newmills, and from the north near Shiresmill.

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