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Arniston Policies, Sunken Garden, Stone Bench

A Category B Listed Building in Borthwick, Midlothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8208 / 55°49'14"N

Longitude: -3.076 / 3°4'33"W

OS Eastings: 332678

OS Northings: 659138

OS Grid: NT326591

Mapcode National: GBR 61Y4.V7

Mapcode Global: WH6T7.QYFL

Entry Name: Arniston Policies, Sunken Garden, Stone Bench

Listing Date: 19 March 1998

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 391960

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB45145

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Borthwick

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian South

Parish: Borthwick

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Description

Late 19th century with 17th century fragments. Near semi circular plan, coursed, ashlar garden bench. Stone seat; ashlar coping. Stone stiles comprising carved consoles on 17th century nailhead stones.

Statement of Interest

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 nail head stones (originally uprights of door surround), and the carved consoles possibly 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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