I’ve been to Dumfries House before, but only as part of an official visit, never able to wander freely as I have this morning. It’s impressive how much has been done since I last came, or maybe I just didn’t see it.
The Rothesay Garden, an Anglo-Chinoiserie ornamental garden with an impressive carpentry bridge, as if from an eighteenth-century pattern book, but done with freedom:-
A column ornamented with antlers, again a free interpretation of pattern-book design:-
The dovecote, or doocot as it’s called, which long antedates the house – 1671 according to a date carved into a door:-
The Chinese bridge, based on a design by Robert Weir Schultz who worked so closely with the then Marquis of Bute:-
And a little pagoda at the centre of the maze:-
It feels very convincingly eighteenth century in its range of cultural references and sense of seeing the world in a pocket handkerchief.