City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Arniston House


Arniston House
Venue details
Telephone (info): 
01875 830515

Arniston House has been home to the Dundas family since 1571. The estate originally belonged to the Knight's Templar and then the Knight's of Saint John. George Dundas and his second wife, Katherine Oliphant from Dundas Castle in South Queensferry acquired the land from the Crown in 1571 for a younger son.

A tower house stood on the sight from which two rooms were incorporated in to the present house you see today.

The Dundases were a legal family dating back to the 1570s. In the 1700s they were one of the most powerful families in Scotland with two of the lairds being appointed President of the Court of Session.

Robert Dundas, the first Lord President commissioned William Adam to draw up plans for the current house. He began building in 1726 and the house was completed in the 1750s by John Adam. Formal gardens were laid out to the south of the house to a design by William but were then replaced by Capability Brown style parkland in 1750s. The house was devastated by dry rot in the 1950s.

The present owners, The Dundas-Bekker family embarked on a restoration programme in the 1990s with grant aid from Historic Scotland which has resulted in the John Adam Drawing Room and Dining Room being lovingly returned to their former glory. The restoration programme is ongoing. Althea Dundas-Bekker and her daughter, Henrietta Dundas take great pleasure in guiding visitors around their home and look forward to welcoming you.

Opening times:

May and June: Tuesday and Wednesday with tours leaving at 2.00pm and 3.30pm.

July to 13th September: Tuesday. Wednesday and Sunday with tours leaving at 2.00pm and 3.30pm.

Entry is by guided tour only. There is no need to book. Tours take around 1 ½ hrs. The grounds are open from 12.00pm to 5.00pm on open days.