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Addistoun House was made the Dower House of the Dalmahoy estate in the mid-18th century. The gardens comprise a courtyard, orchards and informal woodland gardens.

The following is from the Historic Scotland Gardens and Designed Landscapes Inventory. The site was removed from the Inventory on 07/09/2015.

Type of Site

A garden established in the late 1930s incorporating lawn, shrub and herbaceous borders, terraces, orchard and wild and woodland garden within remnants of the former policies of the Dalmahoy estate.

Location and Setting

Addistoun House is built on the site of the former dower house of Dalmahoy House and lies some 9.5 miles (15km) west of Edinburgh city centre and some 3.5 miles (6km) east of the New Town of Livingstone. The A71, once described as 'the most southerly of the three great coach roads between the capital and Glasgow', forms the northern boundary of the designed landscape. The Gogar Burn flows in a meandering west/east direction to the south of the site in a steep valley which is clothed with woodland. There are walks through this woodland from Dalmahoy House. To the north, the drive from the A71 to the house is flanked by fields which are cropped. Addistoun doocot, which stands to the west of this drive, is a significant feature in the landscape and can be viewed from the A71.

The garden of Addistoun is sheltered by the walls which enclose it and screened from view from the road. Soil conditions are light, non-acid, loam. Views south to the Pentlands are gained from the garden.

Addistoun House is set within the garden which extends over approximately 3 acres (1.2ha). The southern side of the garden is built up as a terrace from which seventy steps descend at either end down to the walk along the Gogar Burn.

Landscape Components

Architectural Features

Addistoun House was built in 1939 to the design of Charles Soutar of Dundee. Part of the original garden walls were incorporated into the new two-storey house. Addistoun Lodge stands at the head of the entrance drive from the A71. The Doocot dates from the 18th century. It is of rubble construction, oblong on plan, with a lean-to slated roof. The interior has two chambers which house some 828 nest holes. The Garden Walls were constructed to enclose the garden of the original house. It is thought that the west wall of the orchard may date from the 17th century whilst the walls to the south-west of the house are thought to date from the 19th century. The remaining walls were restored at the time of the house construction in 1939. A Garden House was built into the Garden Wall to the north-west of the house. A Sundial in the garden was made from a balustrade from Edinburgh University.

The Gardens

The gardens are divided into four main areas: the entrance courtyard, the main garden, an old orchard to the east of the courtyard, and a new orchard and wild garden which extends from the north side of the terraced garden and opens out into the west of the courtyard.

The entrance courtyard is arrived at through an avenue of cherry trees which line the drive to the north of the house. It is largely lawn ornamented by two large lime trees which date from the mid-19th century and an old well, mentioned in the New Statistical Account as slightly medicinal.

The main garden lies to the south side of the house and extends to the terrace wall. At each end of the terrace wall are seventy steps which lead down to a lower terrace which is indicated on the early OS maps. Beyond is the woodland on the banks of the Gogar Burn. The main garden is largely lawn with shrub borders around the perimeter. Directly south of the house, the lawn is terraced and the changes of level are planted up with low-growing plants and some taller specimen shrubs. In the south-west corner of the garden are two old apple trees which are remnants of the old orchard trees which once grew on the site. North of these trees, running north- west/south-east are two fine, well-stocked herbaceous borders, separated by a box- edged path. The north side of the borders is backed by a clipped beech hedge. North of this is the vegetable garden and another border by the north wall of the main garden. Beyond the wall, a new apple orchard was planted to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. Beyond it, to the west, is a wild garden which was acquired later and planted with trees and mixed rhododendrons. A gate leads from the wild garden to paths past the Garden House to the entrance courtyard. To the east of the entrance courtyard is another enclosed garden, the Orchard, which contains some old fruit trees. Just before World War II it was ploughed and new fruit trees were planted. Beehives are sited on the north side of the Orchard. This area is now in rough grass. There are vegetables and flower borders and two small unheated greenhouses.


The following is from the Historic Scotland Gardens and Designed Landscapes Inventory. The site was removed from the Inventory on 07/09/2015.

Reason for Inclusion

An attractive garden of historical interest containing courtyard, orchards, woodland style shrub gardens and wild gardens. The garden is a remnant of the Dalmahoy designed landscape.

Main Phases of Landscape Development

17th-18th century, late 18th century, from 1937.

Site History

The early history of Addistoun is uncertain. The earliest documentary map information is provided by Roy's map of c.1750. It shows a small enclosed estate with a strong central avenue leading NNW from the site of the house. It was incorporated into the policies of the Dalmahoy estate in the latter half of the 18th century in the course of major improvements carried out on the designed landscape by the 14th Earl of Morton. By that time, Addistoun was the Dower House of the Dalmahoy estate. The 1st edition OS map shows how Addistoun House and gardens were incorporated within the woodland belt which was planted up along the banks of the Gogar Water. The 2nd edition OS map of c.1900 provides little indication of any substantial changes to the garden having been made in the latter half of the 19th century.

By 1937, the original house was demolished and the gardens were derelict. The property was purchased by Miss A. & Miss J.M. Smith. They built the present house and laid out the garden in its present form.

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • Historic Environment Scotland An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland

Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential





Open to the public




  • Historic Scotland