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Interior. Detail of kitchen railway terminus. Digital image of C 43641.

SC 769798

Description Interior. Detail of kitchen railway terminus. Digital image of C 43641.

Date 25/5/1994

Catalogue Number SC 769798

Category On-line Digital Images

Copy of C 43641

Scope and Content Detail of railway terminus in kitchen, Arniston House, Midlothian This shows the wooden steps up from the basement kitchen to a small set of railway tracks. Dishes of food would be placed on a cart on the rails and moved through the sliding door by pulleys, along a tunnel, to eventually arrive at the dining room. Returning carts were prevented from falling off the tracks by curved metal buffers. Keeping food hot between the kitchen and the dining room of a country house, and between courses during lengthy dinners, has always been a problem. Various lifts, railways and dumb waiters were invented to move dishes quickly, and food was kept warm in heated cupboards or on hot water-filled hollow metal plates before being served. Arniston House, the seat of the Dundas family, was built in the Palladian style from 1726 onwards by architect William Adam (1689-1748) on the site of a c.1600 U-plan tower-house. His son John (1721-92) added the west wing and orangery in 1753. The house was further altered during the 19th century, and comprises a central three-storeyed block with flanking two-storeyed service pavilions joined to the main building by two-storeyed links. Source: RCAHMS contribution to SCRAN.


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