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Oxenfoord Policies, Walled Garden and Gardener's House

A Category C Listed Building in Midlothian East, Midlothian

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8798 / 55°52'47"N

Longitude: -2.9822 / 2°58'56"W

OS Eastings: 338646

OS Northings: 665614

OS Grid: NT386656

Mapcode National: GBR 70MG.43

Mapcode Global: WH7V7.5G4V

Entry Name: Oxenfoord Policies, Walled Garden and Gardener's House

Listing Date: 26 February 2003

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 396658

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49105

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Cranston

County: Midlothian

Electoral Ward: Midlothian East

Traditional County: Midlothian

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Dalkeith

Description

Late 18th to early 19th century; remodelled by Mr Gardiner, 1842. Nearly-square plan, walled kitchen garden with curved and canted angles; remnants of inner walled fruit garden and frameyard with ranges of lean-to glasshouses and backsheds. To SE corner, single storey, single-storey, 3-bay gardener's cottage with additional advanced gabled bays to flanks; range of buildings to rear adjoining garden wall. Some later lean-to glass houses. Coursed sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings to house, range and lean-tos; random rubble with flat copes to E garden wall with moulded dressed ashlar door surround to NE and cart arch to N; inner walls of other elevations and dividing inner walls red brick.

WALLED GARDEN: fairly plain walls to almost square outer perimeter (Gardener's House and entrance to SE angle), shrub boundary to S. Random sandstone rubble to exterior with brick inner walls (formerly heated); flat ashlar copes to all. Small entrance door in NE wall with tabbed quoins and droved margins; larger cart arch to centre of N wall adjacent to former stove. Arched NW corner wall following contours of natural slope, meeting inner wall. S exterior boundary formed by shrubs and trees with high inner wall visible across (now grassed and planted) yard. SE area shaped around gardener's house and private garden. Gatepier surviving at now main entrance from drive, leading to partially disused and demolished range to E of E wall.

INTERIOR WALLS (FORMER FRUIT GARDEN): high brick wall running W to E (separating approximately 1/3 of the garden to the N - for forcing frames) open at E for admission of carts, with central door and further door to W; formerly a pair of long glasshouse ranges flanked door on S side with to N side a single storey, rubble range of backsheds and further glasshouses (for late/ hardy varieties). U-plan walls with canted angles to SW and SE adjoining main E-W wall to outer flanks of glasshouses (E wall now missing). To S elevation of high S wall, pair of later glasshouse ranges flanking wide central entrance to fruit garden.

GARDENER'S HOUSE:

W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: to centre, original single storey, 3-bay cottage with central entrance door and windows to flanks, high walls extend above gable roofline and meet stepped apex stacks (left wall extended to meet rear of newer left bay, see below). Projecting gabled outer bays (circa 1842) adjoining cottage, with 3-side canted bays windows, heavy base course and moulded parapet, skew gabled with kneeler putts to right bay.

N ELEVATION: single storey range to left and centre formerly containing 4 segmental-headed cart arches, the 2nd in-filled with timber and large timber door, the right two now converted into modern windows; blind side wall of projecting bay to right with single window to left. Left return built against former heated garden wall with arched pend through to single storey range (see below).

S (REAR) ELEVATION: rear of original single storey cottage with window to right bay and projecting single storey, painted brick, extension to centre bay with crow-stepped gable. Rear of high N range adjoining to right with lower brick lean-tos adjoining.

W ELEVATION: to left, advanced blind wall of projecting bay rising into central gable, blind to right return; to centre, gabled end of original cottage with stepped gablehead chimney; side of painted brick rear extension to right.

SINGLE STOREY RANGE: single storey range divided into 3 sections with E (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION comprising: to left, 2-bay section with corrugated roof, boarded timber door to left with through passage to right leading into garden. To centre, 3-bay section with entrance door off centre right, windows irregularly flanking; high wall rises from right end wall, breaking roof and supporting stacks. To right, former 3-bay bothy, entrance door now in-filled but flanking windows remaining. Left return adjoining gardener's house; right return forming part of garden wall and W (rear) elevation of wall facing into garden (former frameyard) with much later lean-tos adjoining.

12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows to principal elevation of cottage; 2 and 4-pane glazing to outer bays (upper sashes horned). Multi-paned glass (some overlapped) to glasshouses and backsheds Pitched grey slate roof with lead ridging, flashing and valleys to gardener's house. Some corrugated-iron sheeting to range roofs. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods to most. Square ashlar gablehead stacks with on stepped bases to older cottage with ashlar neck copes and tall single cans; plain stacks to projecting bows with paired or single cans. Stepped stacks to SE heated wall, lower stacks to other walls formerly linked to boilers and stoves for heated walls.

INTERIORS: walled garden currently in use as a plant nursery with the interior wall lean-to stores and remaining glasshouses still in use; gardener's house in use as such; single storey range now used for accommodation and store.

Statement of Interest

This is the original "kitchen" garden for the Oxenfoord Estate and would have, along with the home farm served Oxenfoord Castle. It is not known when the garden was first built, but it did undergo remodelling in the 1840s. The Gardener's Magazine of 1842 reported that the kitchen garden was "undergoing a thorough reform by Mr Gardiner, a master in his art". The 1st edition OS map shows the inner walled enclosure as containing an orchard. It also had a large number of glasshouses and conservatories. The original gardener's accommodation was the 3-bay central cottage of the current house. It was small and quite comfortable but as the estate carried out improvements, the garden and this house were also extended. A pair of advanced bays were added to the cottage to provided grander accommodation and the head gardener would have lived here. A range of buildings are found adjacent to the rear of the cottage and provided lesser accommodation for the garden staff (a bothy), as well as a laundry and stores. A bell is provided on the wall above the garden door; this would have been rung by the head gardener to signify the start of the day for the workforce, meal breaks and finishing time. The frameyard was originally in this corner too, along with a pair of glasshouse ranges on the S elevation of the wall of the inner fruit garden (which was arranged in quarters). Towards the N of the garden, there is another inner wall, again with glasshouses but the N elevation contains backsheds (which would have included a potting shed, office, mess room, a packing and storage area, a fruit room and possibly a mushroom house). The external N wall admitted carts (for manure and for the movements of produce) and once contained a boiler house for a heated range and heated wall, the chimney of which can still be seen. The other walls of the garden were heated too, as stacks can be seen, as well as ventilation flues in the brick walls above the glasshouses. A woodland garden, slip garden and pinetum surround the garden and to the E (near the old church) is a small square piece of ground known as 'Lady Marjorie's garden' which is now disused. The kitchen garden is currently in use as a plant nursery.

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