Dunnichen House 8724

Forfar, Scotland

Brief Description

Dunnichen House is a landscaped estate and private garden originally laid out in the late-18th century. A new house replaces the 18th-century mansion demolished in 1966.

History

Dunnichen House was built in the first quarter of the 18th century and was demolished in 1966. The estate was extensively improved in the second half of the 18th century.

Detailed Description

Dunnichen House was built between 1700 and 1729 and was demolished in 1966 despite an outstanding request for a preservation order. A new house was built after the mansion was demolished and now sits in the original garden. The lodge and walled garden survive.

Further details about Dunnichen House are available on the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Scotland website:

http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/193884/details/dunnichen+dunnichen+house/

http://orapweb.rcahms.gov.uk/wp/00/WP000791.pdf

REFERENCES

1. MAPPED SOURCES

Unless otherwise stated all maps referenced are from the online National Library of Scotland Map Collection

http://maps.nls.uk

1583-96 Timothy Pont: Lower Angus and Perthshire East of the Tay shows Duniechin K

1745 Herman Moll: The Shire of Angus or Forfar

1747 Roy’s Military Survey shows Denichen Kirk but not the house

1750 James Dorret: A general map of Scotland shows Dunichen

1751 James Dorret: A correct map of Scotland shows Dunichen

1761 James Dorret: An accurate map of Scotland shows Dunichin

1773 Thomas Kitchin: A new and complete map of Scotland shows Dunichen

1789 John Ainslie: Scotland drawn from a series of angles and astronomical observations shows Dunnichen H

1790 Robert Campbell: A new and correct map of Scotland shows Dannichen

1794 Robert Campbell: A new and correct map of Scotland shows Dunichin

1801 John Cary: A new map of Scotland shows Dunnichan

1820 John Thomson’s Atlas of Scotland shows Dunnichan

1846 James Wyld: Scotland with its Islands shows Dunnichen

1850 James Knox: Map of the basin of the Tay

1859 Ordnance Survey 1st edition 6” to mile XXXIX surveyed 1859 published 1865

1859 Ordnance Survey 1st edition 25” to mile XXXIX.10 surveyed 1859 published 1865

1862 Black’s New Large Map of Scotland

1863 Edward Weller: Weekly Despatch Atlas

1873 Alexander Keith Johnston: Scotland

1875 John Arrowsmith: Scotland

1879 Alexander Keith Johnston: Library or Travelling Map of Scotland

1882 Edward Stanford: Stanford’s Map of Scotland

1892 John G Bartholomew: Tourist’s Map of Scotland

1893 John G Bartholomew: Naturalist’s Map of Scotland

1901 Ordnance Survey 2nd edition 6” to mile XXXIX.SW revised 1901 published 1903

1901 Ordnance Survey 2nd edition 25” to mile sheet 039.10 revised 1901 published 1902

1922 Ordnance Survey 3rd edition 6” to mile XXXIX.SW revised 1922 published 1927

1922 Ordnance Survey 3rd edition 25” to mile sheet 039.10 revised 1922 published 1923

2002 Ordnance Survey Explorer series No 389 at 2½ inches to 1 mile

2012 Bing maps shows house, lodge and walled garden

2. PRIMARY & DOCUMENTARY SOURCES

1919-1975 Extracts from Valuation Rolls for Dunnichen show that the house disappears after 1966.

Forfar Despatch 7 October 1920. Page 2 column 3. The old mansion house of Dunnichen and two of the farms on the estate have been sold by Col. Hall-Dempster.

1966 The Scotsman 19th January 1966 – advertisement for sale of Dunnichen House. This mentions Garden; Well laid out lawns; Policy grass parks; Wooded policies; Walled garden with glass house etc; Fully modernised lodge and service cottage. In 2012, the lodge is still in place at Ordnance Survey grid reference NO 508 488.

1966 Sales brochure for Dunnichen. Copy held by a member of Dunnichen Heritage Society.

2006 Angus Council Report 1192/06 – Dunnichen Pictish Stone

2011 Dunnichen Heritage Society web sites. Trees surveyed.

http://lethamangus.btck.co.uk/DunnichenHeritageSociety (Last viewed June 2012)

3. HISTORICAL ILLUSTRATIONS & PICTORIAL SOURCES

Photographs from Letham Feuars Archives held at Angus Archives:-

15A Retreat, Loch Fithie, designed by Rose Dempster 1791

H6 Dunnichen House

H8 Dunnichen House from drive

H14 George Dempster, sister & friends at Dunnichen

I1A Dunnichen House garden

I2A Dunnichen House greenhouses

I3A Pictish stone in garden of Dunnichen House

I6A Dunnichen House

I8A Dunnichen House

IOA Dunnichen House

J6 Dunnichen House greenhouses

J31 Gertrude & Friends at Dunnichen

Undated RCAHMS AND 13/1 P Copy of drawings showing plans

1925 RCAHMS D73284 Copy of historic photograph showing view from E.

1925 RCAHMS D73284 Copy of historic photograph showing view from E.

1965 RCAHMS 270C1-3 House at Castlehill. View from NW.

1965 RCAHMS 270C1-6 House at Castlehill. View from NW.

1965 RCAHMS 270C1-8 House at Castlehill. View from S.

1965 RCAHMS 270C2-9 House at Castlehill. View from SE.

1965 RCAHMS 270C2-10 House at Castlehill. View from N.

1965 RCAHMS 270C2-11 House at Castlehill. View from SE.

1965 RCAHMS 270C2-12 Kirkton Cottages. View from E.

1965 RCAHMS 270C2-14 Kirkton Cottages. View from S.

1965 RCAHMS 270C2-15 Kirkton Cottages. View from S.

1965 RCAHMS 270C3-13 Kirkton Cottages. View from E.

1965 RCAHMS 270C3-16 Kirkton Cottages. View from SW.

1965 RCAHMS 270C3-18 Kirkton Cottages. View from W.

1966 RCAHMS G 90999 NC collection date 19/1/1966. Newscutting from The Scotsman 19/1/1966. Refer B2 Primary & Documentary Sources.

1966 RCAHMS AN 357 View from SE.

1966 RCAHMS AN 358 East elevation

1966 RCAHMS AN 359 East elevation, front entrance.

1966 RCAHMS AN 360 View from NE.

1966 RCAHMS AN 361 View from SW.

1966 RCAHMS AN 363 Interior. View of door from vestibule to hall.

1966 RCAHMS AN 364 Interior. View of hall.

1966 RCAHMS AN 365 Interior. View of hall.

1966 RCAHMS AN 366 Interior. View of hall.

1966 RCAHMS AN 367 Interior. View of drawing room.

1966 RCAHMS AN 368 Interior. View of drawing room.

1966 RCAHMS AN 369 Interior. View of library.

1966 RCAHMS AN 370 Interior. View of library.

1966 RCAHMS AN 371 Interior. Detail of drawing room ceiling.

1966 RCAHMS AN 372 Detail of pictish standing stone in walled garden.

1966 RCAHMS AN 373 Detail of pictish standing stone in walled garden

1966 RCAHMS AN 374 Detail of pictish standing stone in walled garden.

1966 RCAHMS AN 375 Detail of pictish standing stone in walled garden.

1966 RCAHMS AN 376 Detail of pictish standing stone in walled garden.

1966 RCAHMS AN 377 Detail of pictish standing stone in walled garden.

1966 RCAHMS AN 378 Detail of incised standing stone.

1966 RCAHMS AN 379 Detail of incised standing stone.

1975 RCAHMS Dunnichen House – W gate & Lodge

2008 RCAHMS DP045034-DP045053 Dunnichen Church. http://canmore.rcahms.gov.uk/en/site/193882/digital_images/dunnichen+church/ (Last viewed June 2012).

2011 Dunnichen Pictish stone – a copy now sits outside Dunnichen church

4. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PUBLISHED SOURCES

Angus Council, Report No 1192/06. History of Pictish Stone previously held in the walled garden at Dunnichen.

Dempster, G.? The Old Statistical Account of Scotland, Dunnichen, On-line edition, Vol 1, 434. (There is no author shown against this report; it is considered likely that it was written by the owner, George Dempster).

Evans, J. 2005 The Gentleman Usher: the Life and Times of George Dempster (1732-1818), Member of Parliament and Laird of Dunnichen and Skibo

Fergusson, James 1934 Letters of George Dempster to Sir Adam Fergusson 1756-1813

Forfar & District Historical Society 1969 Account of the Shire of Forfar circa 1682 by John Ochterlony of the Guynd, Oliver McPherson Ltd, P 13

Groome, F.H. 1896 Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, On-line edition edited by Mike Spathaky, 440

Headrick, the Rev. J 1834-1845 The New Statistical Account of Scotland, Dunnichen, On-line edition, Vol. 11, 142

Lang, A.M. 1998 A Life of George Dempster, Scottish m.p. of Dunnichen (1732-1818)

RCAHMS August 2001 Canmore ID 193884 (S.A.G)

Warden, A.J. 1884 Angus or Forfarshire the Land and People Vol I, Charles Alexander & Co, 21,25,148

Warden, A.J. 1884 Angus or Forfarshire the Land and People Vol III, Charles Alexander & Co, 201

Warden, A.J. 1884 Angus or Forfarshire the Land and People Vol V, Charles Alexander & Co, 242

Access & Directions

Directions

Dunnichen lies approximately 1.5 miles west of Letham on an unnumbered road off the B9128
Authorities

Electoral Ward

  • Letham and Friockheim
History

Detailed History

  • around 1682 There is no house on the estate which is owned by Southesk (Ochterlony)
  • around 1700 The estate bought by Webster, a merchant in Dundee (Groome's)
  • By 1729 Webster (elder), built a house (Lang: A Life of George Dempster)
  • 1754-1818 George Dempster (b.1735), M.P. for Dundee improves the estate
  • George Dempster inherited the estate in 1754 and began improvements in 1761, he retired in 1790 when he did most of the improvements. (Lang: A Life of George Dempster)
  • 1859-1901 Second walled garden built in this period
  • In 1859 - a walled garden is shown north-east of the house. A second walled garden is not shown in the 1st edition Ordnance Survey map at 25" to mile but is shown in the 2nd edition. The road had been removed so that the walled garden was near to the house on the west with no intervening public route. This shows glasshouses within the garden and a slip garden outside on the south-west. In 1922, the slip garden is no longer shown.
  • 1920 House sold
  • By 1938 house sold
  • 1966 House sold
  • 1966-67 House demolished and land developed
  • 2011 Trees surveyed by Dunnichen Heritage Society

Period

  • Late 18th Century
References

Contributors

  • Alice Bremner, Angus Landscape Survey Group under the auspices of the Garden History Society in Scotland