The house occupies an elevated position above the River Earn on the well wooded Dupplin estate. The terrace by William Burn survives on the south and east sides of the house and is laid out with formal rose beds. Steps lead down from the terrace to the Den Garden which is laid out with Rhododendrons and Azaleas and includes yews and Japanese maples. To the south beyond the Den Garden is a formal avenue of Lawson's cypress. The main area of parkland known as Lawn Park lies on rising ground to the north-east of the house. It contains a good mix of deciduous species and some specimen conifers.
Type of Site
A large, formal 18th-century landscape overlaid in the 19th and 20th centuries
Location and Setting
Dupplin is situated south of the A9 south-west of Perth. The B9112 bounds the site to the south and the River Earn lies beyond. The house occupies an elevated position above the River Earn on the well wooded Dupplin estate. There are views south over the Earn Valley to the Ochil Hills.
The landscape shown on General Roy's Military Survey c.1750 was expanded considerably by the time of the 1st edition OS, 1859. The present landscape boundaries have remained generally consistent since that date.
Dupplin Castle, designed by William Burn and built between 1828 and 1832, was destroyed by fire in 1934. It was replaced in 1969 by the new two-storey, H-plan Dupplin House designed by Schomberg Scott. The Garden Terrace, by William Burn, lies on the south side of the house and has stone balustrading. A stone coat of arms has been set into the base of the terrace wall, possibly from the former William Burn castle. A multi-face Sundial on the terrace may be 17th-century. The single-storey North Lodge and Gates are Gothic c.1820. The L-plan Tudoresque East Lodge and elaborate wrought-iron Gates are by James Miller c.1930. The single-storey South Lodge, c.1830 is L-plan with Gothic detailing. To the north-east of the house lie the Stables, comprising an open stone-built single-storey courtyard, c.1820 with pyramidal roofed end pavilions. The Dairy Block is stylistically similar to the Stables and was designed by William Burn in 1831. The Walled Garden to the south-east of the house is marked on the 1796 Estate Plan as the 'New Garden' and may date from that time. The walls are rubble-built and lined with brick. There are brick cross walls and several surviving old glass-houses. Square stone piers with finials flank the garden entrance. A Stone Cross in Octagon Wood is worn and difficult to date. There is a rubble-built ha-ha which runs around the field to the southeast of the house.
Drives and Approaches
The picturesquely curving main approach to Dupplin is from the south, partly cutting across the 18th-century double lime avenue. The drive curves up the steep hillside towards the house and swings around the west side of the house to the north front. In the 19th century an east approach was made using one of the central rides of The Octagon. The 18th-century north avenue is still extant but was extended in the 19th century into an avenue of white firs (Abies alba). A secondary drive enters from the north-east corner of the estate, following the eastern perimeter then turning to link with the east drive. A lesser drive via Whittock Lodge on the west side of the estate approaches the house via the beech avenue.
The main area of parkland known as Lawn Park lies on rising ground to the north-east of the house. It contains a good mix of deciduous species and some specimen conifers. Of particular note are the mature oaks and sycamores. The parkland to the west of the house is more agricultural in character with very few specimen trees. The beech roundel and avenue is an important feature of the Dupplin Castle designed landscape. The avenue runs southeast of the house, terminating in a very large roundel which is open in the centre. This roundel was formerly beech but has recently been replanted with oak trees.
There are large woodland blocks throughout the Dupplin policies. To the east of the house is part of the planted feature referred to as The Octagon, a 'wilderness' of mixed woodland containing sweet chestnuts and 19th-century specimen conifers. The area north of Lawn Park is mixed deciduous woodland and beyond this is a conifer plantation. Mixed perimeter belts bound the estate to the north, east and west, and more thinly along the south.
The terrace by William Burn survives on the south and east sides of the house and is laid out with formal rose beds. Steps lead down from the terrace to the Den Garden which is laid out with Rhododendrons and Azaleas and includes yews and Japanese maples. There is a specimen Eucryphia glutinosa and several large Actinidias scrambling over and through the shrubs and small trees. Other trees in the Den Garden area include Monkey puzzle and Nootka cypress (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis).
There is a burn running through the Den Garden which is revetted in places, and a rubble-stone bridge provides a good viewpoint. Several paths wind through the Den at different levels, becoming woodland walks following the burn to the southwest of the house. Evidence can be seen of past viewpoints created to appreciate the picturesque qualities of this area. The planting here consists of moisture-loving plants like Hostas, ferns, bamboo, Ligularias, Astilbes, Rodgersia and goats' beard, interspersed with junipers, Crocosmias, and cut-leaf Japanese maples.
To the south beyond the Den Garden is a formal avenue of Lawson's cypress. When viewed from the terrace in front of the house, this avenue carries the eye on an axial line through the designed landscape and out to the Earn valley and Ochil hills beyond.
The walled garden lies to the south-east of the house.
The Pinetum is situated to the north-west of the house near the dairy. this was laid out by the 11th Earl. Trees in this area include Grand fir (Abies grandis, Caucasian fir (Abies nordmanniana), Oriental spruce (Picea orientalis), Bishop pine (Pinus muricata), and Western yellow pine (Pinus ponderosa), to name a few.
- Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts
The following is from the Historic Environment Scotland Gardens and Designed Landscapes Inventory. For the most up-to-date Inventory entry, please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website:
Reason for Inclusion
The substantial remains of the formal 18th-century landscape together with a quality 19th-century overlay make this an important site. There is an outstanding tree collection from both periods.
Main Phases of Landscape Development
18th, 19th and 20th centuries
The earliest recorded owner of Dupplin Castle is Sir William Oliphant who lived at the end of the 13th century. This castle was destroyed in 1461 but rebuilt shortly after.
The Earls of Kinnoul have had connections with the Dupplin estate from the 17th century when Sir George Hay of Melginche was Gentleman of the Bedchamber to James VI, who granted him the Charter House of Perth and a seat in Parliament. He was High Chancellor of Scotland and was created Earl of Kinnoul, Viscount Dupplin, and Lord Hay of Kinfauns, May 1633.
Succeeding generations of Hays have shown continued interest in their plantations and tree collections. The lime avenue south of the house probably dates to the time of Baron Hay, 8th Earl of Kinnoul (1689-1758), who was Ambassador at Constantinople 1729-34.
The Octagon Wood or 'Wilderness' with its radiating paths to the east of the house and the south-east approach or avenue are surviving features from the 8th Earl's time and are indicated on General Roy's Military Survey of c.1750. The north oak and south lime avenues terminate in roundels which are still partly extant, but appear to be later and possibly the work of the 9th or 10th Earls. These features appear on a 1780 Estate Plan which also shows twin lodges at the end of the south avenue, the walled garden, or New Gardens, and the den to the south-east of the house with a hermitage overlooking the burn. Other wilderness plantations shown on Roy's plan and the aforementioned twin lodges were swept away in the early 19th-century informalisation of the landscape. The west beech avenue and roundel may be part of these early 19th-century changes as they do not feature on the Estate Plan of 1780.
In 1828 Thomas Robert, 11th Earl of Kinnoul was responsible for a new house designed by William Burn on the site of the late 17th-century Dupplin House. The surviving balustraded terrace on the south front of the present 20th-century house is part of the William Burn scheme which brought further changes and additions to the landscape. Elements of the formal 18th-century landscape were retained but plantations enlarged with an enormous programme of planting, and adjustments made to the parkland. The south drive was probably altered at this date to provide a more romantic and varied approach.
The 11th Earl's son, who succeeded in 1866, was responsible for the Pinetum and for further developing the garden around Dupplin Den. There appears to have been little further significant landscape change into the 20th century.
- Features & Designations
Historic Environment Scotland An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland
- Key Information