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Latitude: 55.8203 / 55°49'13"N
Longitude: -3.0763 / 3°4'34"W
OS Eastings: 332660
OS Northings: 659089
OS Grid: NT326590
Mapcode National: GBR 61Y4.SD
Mapcode Global: WH6T7.QY9Y
Entry Name: Arniston Policies, Sunken Garden, Rustic Bridge to East over Purvies Hill Burn
Listing Date: 19 March 1998
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 391958
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB45143
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Midlothian South
Traditional County: Midlothian
Early 19th century with 17th century fragments. Depressed arched, single span rustic bridge over Purvies Hill Burn.
N (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: droved and tooled coped ashlar with 17th century keystone bearing carved mask and pendant; nail head stone to left and right wing walls. Rusticated ashlar basket arched 17th century parapet to S (facing N); channelled voussoirs continued to jambs; flanked by carved Doric pilaster capitals and fluted pilaster tops; keystone bearing carved, scrolled mask.
S ELEVATION: tooled arch ring; tooled coping below polished parapet.
The sunken garden, to the south of Arniston House, is a highly original example of informal garden planning. Separated from the house by steeply sloping parkland, it runs either side of Purvies Hill Burn, although the garden ornaments are primarily on the north bank. Originally the ornamental urns, benches and bridges were surrounded by informal clusters of trees and plants. These were replaced by more formal carpet bedding, although today the garden ornaments themselves are all that survive (1997). The 17th century rusticated arch, nail head stones and carved masks originated on Parliament House, Edinburgh, which was re faced by Robert Reid in 1803. Lord Chief Baron Robert Dundas (1758-1819) brought cartloads of the architectural fragments from Parliament house, where they "were treated as mere rubbish" (Arniston Memoirs p297), to Arniston where they were incorporated into picturesque structures in the walled and sunken gardens (see separate listings). Other fragments were acquired by famous writer and antiquarian Walter Scott for his house at Abbotsford.
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