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The Pineapple, Walled Garden

Pond (Period Unassigned), Summerhouse (Period Unassigned), Walled Garden (Post Medieval)

Site Name The Pineapple, Walled Garden

Classification Pond (Period Unassigned), Summerhouse (Period Unassigned), Walled Garden (Post Medieval)

Alternative Name(s) Dunmore Park

Canmore ID 46851

Site Number NS88NE 40

NGR NS 88893 88520

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Falkirk
  • Parish Airth
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Falkirk
  • Former County Stirlingshire

Treasured Places (31 July 2007)

In 1761, a garden pavilion was constructed in the grounds of Dunmore Park. Ten years later, on his return to Scotland from duties as the Governor of Virginia, the Earl of Dunmore commissioned the addition of a huge, 8m high, domed roof in the shape of a pineapple. The property has been converted into holiday accommodation and the surrounding gardens are in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

Information from RCAHMS (SC) 31 July 2007

Gifford, J and Walker, F A 2002

Archaeology Notes

NS88NE 40 88893 88537

NS88NE 4 89018 88922 Elphinstone Tower

NS88NE 24.00 88490 89195 Dunmore Park

NS88NE 66 88993 88906 St Andrew's Episcopal Church and Churchyard (Dunmore Chapel)

NS88NE 67 89244 88559 The Parsonage

Built 1761, architect unknown.

RCAHMS 1963, visited 1960.

Architecture Notes

Built for the Earl of Dunmore. Restored and converted to holiday house by Stewart Tod & Partners 1972-9. Saltire Society Award 1980.

SDA & RIAS 1985.


Field Visit (1 May 1959 - 31 May 1959)

Measured Survey (1960)

Field Visit (1 April 1961 - 30 April 1961)

Aerial Photography (1984)

Publication Account (1985)

The Dunmore Pineapple, which must rank as the most bizarre building in Scotland, has recently been saved from dereliction and is now available to let as holiday accommodation.

Originally, the Pineapple formed the focal point of the walled garden at Dunmore Park and was the centrepiece of a range of buildings that overlooked the gardens. Built in 1761 by an unknown architect, it was designed as a garden retreat and was flanked by stores and hothouses, in which pineapples may well have been grown. Its eccentric shape reflects the 18th century interest in extravagant garden design and the craze for growing exotic flowers and fruit which required to be raised under artificial conditions.

Information from ‘Exploring Scotland’s Heritage: The Clyde Estuary and Central Region’, (1985).

Field Visit (1987)

Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland

Aerial Photography (17 July 2006)

Photographic Survey (17 July 2006)

Standing Building Recording (6 August 2007 - 7 August 2007)

NS 88930 88500 A section of walling in the main SW Walled Garden at the entrance to the private residence was recorded on 6–7 August 2007, in advance of its reconstruction. A further section of dangerous walling above the cart entrance in the NE Walled Garden was also recorded before remedial work. Distinct phases of development were noted, from the original construction to later repair and consolidation work. Constructional details will be used to enable accurate reconstruction.

Archive: NTS and CHC

Funder: The National Trust for Scotland

David Connolly (Connolly Heritage Consultancy), 2008

Condition Survey (3 November 2012 - 5 November 2012)

An archaeological watching brief was carried out during the dredging of the garden pond at the Pineapple. Dredging uncovered an inlet and revetment wall at the east end of the pond made up of square rusticated sandstone blocks standing to four courses. This design element of the pond had been previously unknown and was covered by up to 0.5m of topsoil on the bank and up to 2m of sediment within the pond itself.

It may be possible that a bridge once crossed the pond at its narrowest point, as suggested by a deposit of broken brick and a single rusticated brick. However, further excavation along the bank would be necessary to try and unearth any foundation for such a structure.

During the dredging a curling stone was recovered from the foot of the eastern revetment wall, giving a good indication of the ponds use within the wider Dunmore Estate.

Reference (February 2013 - February 2013)

The gardens at the Pineapple, which were once part of the estate of Dunmore Park, consist of woodland, ponds and two walled gardens and cover an area of 6.5ha. A lack of documentary evidence for the original layout of the gardens means that the current gardens are loosely based upon the late 19th century layout.

The walled gardens, are actually a larger sub-divided walled garden. The larger western section was subdivided into ten compartments possibly partly by hedges, and in the southern compartment is an ornamental pond, now heavily silted up. The eastern section of the garden was shown in the 1863 map as an orchard; it is divided into two compartments, the southern end is now planted with trees.

Photographs from 1917 show that there was a path running east-west across the west Walled Garden flanked on each side by herbaceous planting. The Pineapple lay at the top of a wide lawn which was bordered by fruit trees, with glasshouses running along the north wall.

The walls of the garden are brick with freestone dressings; the north one having a double construction with honeycomb cavities through which hot air was circulated for the benefit of fruit trees. Behind the walls were furnaces every few yards, with those nearest to the Pineapple having their chimneys disguised as urns.

(Information from NTS, February 2013)

Information from NTS

Excavation (17 September 2017 - 18 December 2017)

NS 88850 88522 – The Pineapple (walled garden) and NS 88820 88488 – The Pineapple (glasshouse) As part of this project (a cross-sector skills and training initiative) a programme of archaeological work was undertaken, 17 September – 18 December 2017, within the category A listed mid- to late 18th-century walled garden, and the glasshouse and folly, built by the 4th Earl of Dunmore and located within the Dunmore Estate.

The work consisted of a two-day evaluation excavation, a small photographic survey and basic level historic building recording of the interior NW portion of the walled garden. The excavation aimed to explore any surviving remains of a former glasshouse located in the interior of the walled garden and the garden ground makeup forming the interior garden ground. The main objectives were to understand the construction and use of the glasshouse and the surrounding garden ground, to interpret and communicate their story, and to provide a basis for the glasshouse reconstruction.

The historic building recording aimed to provide a training opportunity for participants and to make an initial appraisal of the extant remains of the walled garden to inform the approach for future historic building recording.

Students from the Forth Valley College studying construction, and archaeology students took part in the excavation, receiving training in archaeological fieldwork skills. A desk-based assessment of The Pineapple utilised information available from databases, and has examined

cartographic material. The assessment revealed the changing layout of the folly and glasshouses, and the internal walled garden layout and associated structures. The glasshouse appears to be a mid- to late 19th-century structure, still standing (if not in use) until c1960. A trench was excavated across the footprint of the glasshouse, and two small test pits were dug within the walled garden grounds. Features identified within the glasshouse trench included the remains of internal walling, surfacing / flooring, and a possible heating duct trench; the test pits in the garden ground revealed at least two likely phases of garden ground formation, together with a garden land drain.

The historic building recording and photographic survey revealed evidence for three phases of construction and/or alteration within the NW part of the walled garden wall. The results of the work have been used to provide a series of recommendations for future work as part of the Canal College 2 programme.

Archive and report: NRHE (intended)

Funder: Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

Ian Hill, Phil Richardson, Rebecca Barclay and Doug Rocks-Macqueen – Heritage and Archaeological Research Practice Ltd and Archaeology Scotland

(Source: DES, Volume 18)


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