CRAIGENGILLAN GARDENS, WHERE NATURE AND THE HAND OF MAN COME TOGETHER
From the house the eye is led across the herbaceous border and a great expanse of lawn to the rock and water garden and into the fringing woods beyond. Bordering the garden and giving it shelter are time honoured trees with specimen firs, a magnificent wellingtonia and fine old beech and lime trees.
PULHAM ROCK AND WATER GARDEN
This has been a very exciting discovery. The huge rocks, brought over from the Peak District a hundred years ago, have been carefully cleared from the jungle and the ponds and cascades restored. By an extraordinary series of coincidences we were able to establish that gardens were created by James Pulham. whose other works include Mount Stuart, Buckingham Palace and Sandringham. Following this discovery the hothouse in the gardens has been completely restored.
The walled kitchen garden of the early 1800’s is shown in the 1st edition OS map of 1856. It was much reduced in size during the re-design of the formal gardens in the early 1900’s and only the walled off-shoot with its glasshouses and coldframes remained.
By 1999, these had become derelict and, in the case of the cold frames, demolished. Huge self-seeded sycamores and masses of broken glass proved a challenge, but over the next 10 years the sycamores and undergrowth were cleared, the ground dug by hand and the whole planted with vegetables and old fashioned varieties of apple trees.
In 2013, the largest of the glasshouses, originally built by James Boyd & Sons of Paisley, was carefully restored.
Our plans for the future are to:
- explore the remains of the hotbeds and coldframes and rebuild them.
- research the design of the Palm House adjoining the walled garden and rebuild it
For this future work we are interested in finding funding to put together a restoration/work placement/skills development team, which could also become involved in further restoration and planting of the James Pulham & Sons rock and water garden. The restored glasshouse is now being used for propagation and growing on of frost-tender species and for establishing young oaks from Craigengillan acorns for new woodland planting.
EDUCATION, WORK PLACEMENT, SKILLS DEVELOPMENT AND STUDY
One of the aims of Craigengillan is for it to contribute strongly to the surrounding communities and to the natural environment.
We offer work placements, skills training and modern apprenticeships. We work with colleges and their students on projects ranging from forestry to countryside recreational management. We collaborate with local schools on conservation and art-in-nature projects.
Many groups of young people sponsored by local authorities come to Craigengillan Stables and find that the friendly and efficient set up here is extremely rewarding.
John Muir Trust and Duke of Edinburgh award candidates come to Craigengillan and large numbers of Scouts, Cadet Forces and other youth groups visit Fort Carrick to experience fieldcraft, rock-climbing, orienteering, riding, kayaking, star-navigation and team leadership development.
We are within one of the top 4 Designed Landscapes in Scotland, within the first of the new generation UNESCO Biospheres in the country and within one of only nine gold tier Dark Sky Parks in the world.
We wish to make Craigengillan a working model of good environmental practice, community enhancement and an outdoor ecological laboratory promoting the study of the natural world.