Saturday, 16 October 2010

The Dunmore Pineapple

Dunmore Pineapple  GJC_IMG_8994

The Dunmore Pineapple near Airth is one of the more unusual buildings you will see and is owned by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS).
On leaving Stirling ("with my camel suitably refreshed with water"), I decided to stay off the M9 motorway and take the road on the south side of the River Forth in favour of photographic interests and a lunch break at some point. I had visited the Pineapple several years ago but wanted to collect some digital images so I thought I would risk the rough narrow lane across the field to it. To my surprise, the garden area was now open for access as I remember vaguely only seeing the rear of the building....

Doorway  GJC_IMG_9008

The Pineapple was built in 1761 by John Murray, the fourth Earl of Dunmore. The reason for its construction is unknown but there are several thoughts and theories that include ... on his return from Virginia, where he had been Governor for seven years, the Earl built it for his wife as a summer house. The pineapple was also thought to be a symbol of both welcome on gateposts in Virginia and wealth/power displayed to their contemporaries. It was built at a time when there was architectural extravagance in the gardens of the nobility.

The Orchard GJC_IMG_9006

Although the Pineapple stood the test of time, by 1970 the gardens had become overgrown and adjacent buildings fell into disrepair and became unsafe.

House  GJC_IMG_9005

It was given to the NTS in 1974 by the Countess of Perth and the buildings were restored by the Landmark Trust who in turn rent it out as a self catering holiday facility.

Pineapple  GJC_IMG_8995

During the restoration, it was of some interest to discover that fragments of coloured yellow paint were found in the garden that had fallen from the structure over the centuries. The walls of the adjacent greenhouses had pipes connecting to furnaces that provided hot air to grow pineapples here.

As I am not nobility and have no self catering holiday booking.... I am not welcome here....

Front door  GJC_IMG_8997

I just get a momentary look from the front door as I am reminded how the host would have welcomed guests many centuries earlier...

Looking out  GJC_IMG_9003

There were a couple of people on seats outside the building ( photos 1, 3 and 4) enjoying the sunshine and self catering facilities who informed me in a broad Scottish accent that the building was " goin' tae bee own th' tele wi' channel fower's  secre' brat'n. (going to be on the television with channel 4's secret Britain)
Apologies to the Scottish readers with my Geordie Accent !!(''people in glass houses...")
Their dog displayed some elements of the history, heritage and nobility of the building by posing for the photograph in a refined manner.

Dog  GJC_IMG_9004


  1. You get better every traveller should display healthy cynicism.

  2. wonderful - always like to known the reasons behind why things were constructed in a particular way. Love your second photo just love doors/entrances etc the appeal of wondering where they lead too. Judith (Precious Moments)

  3. thanks for your comments. I agree wholeheartedly 'where there is tea there is hope' and how exciting to be showing her paintings... Karl's never been a computer game addict he prefers the real thing - this year he ran his 1st London Marathon in 4 and half hours. Nigel and Karl always have a game of table tennis before the kids start to arrive..his father still wins most of the games!! lol - Thank you for popping over to me.. Judith

  4. hemm.... hemm.... the building is.... interesting. the building is ok, the garden is magnificent, the pics is great, but the roof. hemm...

  5. I didn't know this building and the reasons why had been built, It's crazy or funny, I don't know.
    I like the dog and your last pharagraph:
    "Their dog displayed some elements of the history, heritage and nobility of the building by posing for the photograph in a refined manner"
    Thank for share , good trip.

  6. Very funny pineapple building, it's beautiful inside!
    Thanks for introduce it!

  7. What a fun post! Isn't that just the strangest thing, I mean, in it's original condition it must have been even more of a sight to behold!

    I remember seeing pineapples on the posts of Lambeth Bridge, I think it was, in London. Personally, I'd feel more welcomed when seeing a Ritter Sport dark chocolate bar, but to each his own. :-)

    I hope that people only travel the M roads when they absolutely must get somewhere fast, like to their place of employment. The A and B roads are so much more interesting!

  8. Fascinating building - I hope Mrs Murray was impressed. Alas, I don't think anyone will ever build me a pineapple, however much they love me.

  9. The first picture is really beautiful, these structures are awesome! This sets the tone to your article, thank you for all these beautiful places that you share! bye**

  10. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a lovely comment. My brother in law and hs wife often stay in Landmark trust properties but I don't think they have ever been to this one. Lovely post.

  11. What an interesting building! Yet when I see it I can only imagine the wasp and sparrow nests it would attract.

  12. very beautiful building...i like it a lot

  13. Hey, today is Tuesday!

    Dunmore Pineapple day!
    ...or "dog" day? ha ha...
    Again, wonderful trip!
    Thanks J!

  14. Firstly I want to say thank you for leaving your very kind comment on my blog. I always love to hear from a visitor! :0) You have an interesting blog here. I was looking through your Scotish posts. I climbed Ben Nevis a couple of years ago and some of your photographs reminded me of that. A couple of years before, I cycled from John O Groats to Lands end too. Scotland is such a beautiful place! I enjoyed reading :0)

  15. Nice blog. You won a prize by the way. It was Ingleborough!

  16. Hello and thank you for dropping by on my blog. This is amazing building and funny also, I like pineapple how it creates humor. It is nice too see you trevel photos and maybe someday I will get to see these places on live:)
    Greetings from Finland

  17. Adrian... Thanks, I decided to be myself even if it means poking fun at myself, it keeps me interested in what I'm doing anyway !! ..... haven't had any negative Scottish feedback either... yet !!

    Judith... I've always liked the doorway style photograph although I've learned since I started blogging that I need to show more of the surrounding posts. Funny thing was, when I watched the TV show later, the film crew also used this doorway with Julia Bradbury alongside talking about it before entering the garden.
    Shame I can't challenge Nigel to a game of Table Tennis.

    LIly Riani... Now you never expected to see this kind of thing in the UK. This was one of the reasons I called in here today to get a reaction like yours .. and try to keep an element of fun here.

    Felisa... One of the problems with this location as a blogger is that if the readers don't find the building funny, I've nothing to end the post with, I have to be thankful for some inspiring words I thought up about a door and the customary dog who just happened to be there. What I didn't say about the "refined dog" was that as soon as I took the picture, another family with a dog entered the garden and.... it went crazy !! Time to go...

    Rafael Lam... My pleasure to bring it to you and everyones attention, not many people outside this area know that it's here.

    Cranberry Morning... I didn't know until recently that it was originally painted and just accepted it for what it was when I was here last time.
    I'll have to contact the Yorkshire tourist board about those chocolate bars for you !!
    With the exception of the M8, most of the M roads in Scotland are not too bad as there is always some varied countryside to see on the way and they have the excitement of going somewhere interesting, err, did I just say that ? might not get that feeling though heading in a southbound direction !! I draw the line at travelling on the traffic filled M8 & M80 though.

    Jenny Freckles... I feel for the fact that you have to make do with what you have in Saltaire, I somehow don't think that they would allow you planning permission for this kind of thing !

    Mahon... Thanks for your great comments, It's difficult but I'm trying my best to fit in some unusual shots of tourist spots, I have some coming up shortly.

  18. Lyn... Thanks for popping in. I've just discovered recently that there are more unusual buildings that the Landmark trust use as self catering cottages.

    JoLynne Lyon... It's a peaceful place, hidden away from the road. Bird and wasp life could be a problem, maybe they may have to re-paint the roof with some of that special paint that keep predators away !

    Cimpoaca Laurentiu... I'm pleased you like the building. It's always difficult to gauge the reaction of blog readers who are presented with this scene for the first time. I had several years of growing used to the idea of it.

    Wind... Today is Saturday... don't think I've written on a saturday before as I'm always somewhere else ! I have a cold so staying in ( it feels like prison today !! ).
    A phrase used in the UK is "every dog has its day" & in my case "every day has its dog" !

    Sandra... Thanks for returning the visit and pleased it brought back some happy memories for you of your trips to Scotland.

    Mike Knipe... Once again, thanks for the prize I won, your visit here and bringing me to the attention of the wider outdoor group on your page, I've had a variety of hits from around the's a difficult group to infiltrate with my varied posts.
    For everyone else wondering what this is all about... Mike had a quiz for people to have a named guess at a mountain photo of his last 2000ft Yorkshire mountain. The picture however was made more difficult as it was all covered in cloud. I was at the same location in May taking the same photo ( title photo of my Ingleborough post ) without the cloud. The prize was a 100% Merino wool buff for the neck or head. What a kind man he is, since at the time he didn't even know who I was far less following his blog.

    Henrietta... Pleased you liked the humour, thanks for dropping by. I used to write to someone in Riihimaki for about 6 years so I am familiar with Finnish culture. Unfortunately, we both moved house at the same time and lost contact somehow.


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