Development of the designed landscape

  • Built between 1740-42 the house and policy was constructed for Lord Alexander Garlies, later 6th Earl of Galloway.  Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, uncle of Lord Garlies and author of a manuscript essay in rhyme ‘The Country Seat’, provided design advice.  Clerk became an arbiter of taste in Scotland and championed the new informal landscape design.  The ideal setting for a country house relaxed the old formal tradition without abandoning the rules and is still evident in the structure of the woodland garden today.
  • Lord John Garlies, later 7th Earl of Galloway, was greatly influenced by the works of Capability Brown.  The political ambitions of the 7th Earl ensured that the policy was developed in the English Landscape park style however, it also led to financial difficulties.
  • George, 8th Earl of Galloway, inherited the title and debt in 1806 but continued to develop the policy including many of the existing walls and ’sunk fences’ or hahas.
  • Randolph, 9th Earl of Galloway, initially resisted expenditure but by the early 1840’s embarked on considerable improvements including lodges, viewing tower, drives and planting typical of the picturesque style of the time.
  • Alan, 10th Earl of Galloway and later his brother Randolph, 11th Earl of Galloway, appeared to make few changes to the layout of the policies, however, it was at this time that the garden achieved a reputation for fruit culture.
  • Sold to Hon. Malcolm McEachran and inherited by Capt. Neil McEachran the garden was developed to hold a collection of tender trees and shrubs mainly from the Southern Hemisphere.
  • From 1930 to the present day the exotic planting has continued. Edward Strutt retained the character of the gardens and established the existing Trust to maintain the woodland and walled gardens.

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