24 members had a very enjoyable Sunday afternoon at Dumfries House where they were treated to an incredibly informative guided tour of this local gem.
Set in 2,000 acres, this stunning Estate and 18th-century house with its unrivalled collection of Chippendale furniture has something for everyone.
We were fortunate to be able to park our cars in front of this gorgeous building and take some photographs, which you can see below. Photography was not allowed within the house but we can encourage you to take one of their excellent tours to experience the house and its contents in all their glory.
Dumfries House is a Palladian country house in Ayrshire, Scotland. It is located within a large estate, around two miles (3 km) west of Cumnock. Noted for being one of the few such houses with much of its original 18th-century furniture still present, including specially commissioned Thomas Chippendale pieces, the house and estate is now owned by The Prince’s Foundation, a charity which maintains it as a visitor attraction and hospitality and wedding venue. Both the house and the gardens are listed as significant aspects of Scottish heritage.
The estate and an earlier house was originally called Lefnoreis or Lochnorris, owned by a branch of the Craufurds of Loudoun. The present house was built in the 1750s for William Dalrymple, 5th Earl of Dumfries, by John Adam and Robert Adam. Having been inherited by the 2nd Marquess of Bute in 1814, it remained in his family until 2007 when the 7th Marquess sold it to the nation for £45 million due to the cost of upkeep.
Due to its significance and the risk of the furniture collection being distributed and auctioned, after three years of uncertainty, in 2007 the estate and its entire contents was purchased for £45m for the country by a consortium headed by Charles, Prince of Wales, including a £20m loan from the Prince’s charitable trust.
The intention was to renovate the estate to become self-sufficient, both to preserve it and regenerate the local economy. As well as donors and sponsorship, funding is also intended to come from constructing the nearby housing development of Knockroon, a planned community along the lines of the Prince’s similar venture, Poundbury in Dorset.
The house duly reopened in 2008, equipped for public tours. Since then various other parts of the estate have been reopened for various uses, to provide both education and employment, as well as funding the trust’s running costs.
You can learn more about this fabulous venue by clicking ‘HERE’ to visit their website.
As always, there are a selection of (slightly over processed) photographs taken on the day below: