"My inheriting of Arniston, when I was thirty, in 1970 was bitter sweet. Bitter because it involved the premature deaths of close members of my family. Sweet because of what Arniston is. It has been described as one of the most important William Adam houses in Scotland. Surprisingly, only 11 miles from Edinburgh, visitors and guests frequently remark on the ethos of peace and timelessness both in the outside policies (parkland) and in the interior of the house.
As a family we love to tell the 450 year history of the Dundases and our home. Guided tours, regularly and mostly by family members, have taken place for nearly fifty years. As part of a natural progression, we have recently developed a range of event services, both outside the house and sensitively within.
But recently a large part of Arniston’s legacy has been the long period of restoration due to the discovery of extensive dry rot in the 1950s. On my arrival an architectural report was commissioned on the whole of the house and we were shaken to hear the results. A six phase restoration plan would be required and at the time this seemed unachievable.
There were first extensive death duties to be paid off. But the saving of such an important part of Scotland’s built heritage has been achieved with great love and the support of the people who care so much about it. Onward it travels 900 hundred years on from its record as the hunting ground of King David of Scotland who granted it to the Knights Templar."