Dundas Castle is a 15th-century castle, with substantial 19th-century additions by William Burn, in the Dalmeny parish of West Lothian, Scotland. The home of the Dundas family since the Middle Ages, it was sold in the late 19th century and is currently the residence of politician and businessman Sir Jack Stewart-Clark. The tower house and the adjoining Tudor-Gothic mansion are listed separately as Category A buildings,[1][2] and the grounds are included in Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland.[3]

Dundas Castle
Edinburgh, Scotland
Dundas Castle in 2007
Dundas Castle is located in the City of Edinburgh council area
Dundas Castle
Dundas Castle
Coordinates55°58′30″N 3°24′52″W / 55.9750859°N 3.4145594°W / 55.9750859; -3.4145594
Site information
OwnerSir Jack Stewart-Clark
Open to
the public
The castle can be rented for weddings and other special events
Site history
Built15th century
The south front of the Castle with porch

History edit

The name Dundas comes from the Gaelic dùn deas, meaning 'south hill' or 'pretty hill'.[4] In the 11th century, the lands of Dundas, along with other land in Lothian, were granted by King Malcolm Canmore to paternal first cousin Gospatrick, the earl of Northumbria, who had come north to escape William the Conqueror. The lands of Dundas passed to his great-grandson Waldeve, who granted them to his kinsman Helias in a charter dating from around 1180.[5] Helias took his surname from his lands, becoming the first of the Dundas family. The Dundases and their cadets would later come to own much of Mid and West Lothian.[6]

In 1416, James Dundas obtained a licence from the Duke of Albany (then the effective ruler of Scotland) to build a keep.[7] This keep was extended in 1436, making it into an L-plan. The Keep served both as a home in times of peace and a fortress in times of war. Regent Arran gave a tip to workmen building the "Place of Dundas" in July 1544.[8] On 13 August 1553 in the great hall, James Dundas gave his infant daughters Elizabeth and Jane gifts of silver plate.[9]

Oliver Cromwell is known to have stayed at Dundas Castle around the time of the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. A statue of him remains standing outside the Keep.[10]

In 1818, James Dundas had the 17th century portion of the building pulled down and rebuilt in a Tudor-Gothic style by the renowned architect William Burn.[6] Burn also designed many churches and this influence is visible throughout the building. Burn's designs for the main state rooms allow for huge windows that look out on to lawns and parkland outside.

The building and extensive gardens had cost so much to construct that the Dundases were forced to sell the castle and lands in 1875. The buyer was William Russell.[11] It was again sold in 1899, when it was bought along with five farms and 1,500 acres (600 hectares) of agricultural land by Stewart Clark, the owner of a Renfrewshire textile company and a respected philanthropist. Clark's son, John, took the double-barreled surname 'Stewart-Clark' in honour of his father, and he was made a Baronet in 1918.

During the Second World War, Dundas Castle served as the headquarters for protecting the Forth Bridge. Since 1995, the castle's owner has been Sir Jack Stewart-Clark, the great-grandson of Stewart Clark. Sir Jack was a Member of the European Parliament between 1979 and 1999.[12]

Facilities edit

Dundas Loch in the Winter

By the time Sir Jack inherited the property from his mother in 1995, it had deteriorated substantially. He initially considered selling it, but instead chose to embark on a programme of restoration. The Keep, uninhabited for over 300 years, had its parapet rebuilt and its stonework restored, and it was installed with electricity, heating, toilets and a kitchen. The dry rot in the castle itself was removed, and the drawing room, library and dining room were redecorated. The castle is now a 5-star exclusive venue, often used for weddings.[13]

In the grounds of the castle is a holiday cottage called the Boathouse, situated on the shore of Dundas Loch. It is a 4-star self-catering venue.

Dundas Castle is a member of Unique Venues of Edinburgh[14] and Luxury Edinburgh[15]

Film and TV location edit

Dundas Castle has been used as a backdrop in films The Little Vampire (2000), Summer Solstice (2005), and Book of Blood (2009). It has also been used for adverts for Arnold Clark and T4’s links between shows.

Gallery edit

References edit

  1. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Dundas Castle Keep (Category A Listed Building) (LB45474)". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  2. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Dundas Castle, including stable block (Category A Listed Building) (LB5512)". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  3. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Dundas Castle (GDL00151)". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  4. ^ Taylor, Iain (2011). Place-name of Scotland. Edinburgh: Birlinn Limited.
  5. ^ Anderson, Rev. John (1906). Paul, Sir James Balfour (ed.). The Scots Peerage. Edinburgh: David Douglas.
  6. ^ a b "History of Dundas Castle". dundascastle.co.uk. Archived from the original on 9 September 2013.
  7. ^ HMC 3rd Report: James Dundas (London, 1872), p. 413.
  8. ^ James Balfour Paul, Accounts of the Treasurer, vol. 8 (Edinburgh, 1908), p. 305.
  9. ^ HMC 4th Report: A. Wauchope (London, 1874), p. 537.
  10. ^ Masterton, Victoria (16 October 2013). "Dundas Castle owner Sir Jack Stewart-Clark on his drive to be a success". The Daily Record.
  11. ^ "Historical perspective for Dundas Castle". Gazetteer for Scotland.
  12. ^ "Sir Jack Stewart-Clark's MEP archive". EU Parliament website. Retrieved 11 February 2009.
  13. ^ "5 Star Exclusive use venue". VisitScotland.com. Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. Retrieved 18 December 2008.
  14. ^ "Dundas Castle on Unique Venues of Edinburgh". uniquevenuesofedinburgh.co.uk. Archived from the original on 12 March 2012. Retrieved 13 September 2010.
  15. ^ "Dundas Castle on Luxury Edinburgh". luxuryedinburgh.com. Retrieved 13 September 2010.

External links edit

55°58′31″N 3°24′53″W / 55.97528°N 3.41472°W / 55.97528; -3.41472