The Dun Estate was home to the Erskine (later Kennedy-Erskine) family from 1375 until 1980. John Erskine of Dun was a key figure in the Scottish Reformation. The current house was designed by William Adam and was finished in 1743. There is elaborate plaster-work by Joseph Enzer, principally and most elaborately in the saloon. The house replaced the original 14th century Tower House to the west when David Erskine, Lord Dun, the 13th Laird of Dun, an Edinburgh lawyer appointed Lord of Justiciary in 1710, wanted a more comfortable and prestigious home. He opposed the union. 

It continued as the home to the Erskines for a further 250 years, undergoing some internal re-modeling when Lady Augusta Fitzclarence, natural daughter to William IV (previously the Duke of Clarence) and his long term mistress, Dora Jordan, married the Honourable John Kennedy Erskine, heir to the property through his mother Margaret Erskine of Dun. When they married they moved to the property and Augusta set about making several alterations, modernizing the property. The writer and poet Violet Jacob (1863 - 1946), author of 'Flemington' and 'Tales of Angus', was a member of the Kennedy-Erskine family and was born in the house. The last Laird of Dun was Mrs. Millicent Lovett. She moved out of the house to an estate house 'temporarily' in 1948, moving all the furnishings and artifacts up into the attic. The rest of the house was leased to a local farming family who ran it as a bed and breakfast establishment for many years.

Millicent never returned to the house and on her death in 1980 it was bequeathed by her to the National Trust for Scotland. The Trust discovered all the original furnishings in the attic and spent 9 years returning the house to the state it had been in at the time of Augusta. In 1989 the house opened to the public, the Queen Mother presiding to mark the tercentenary of William Adam's death.

The adjacent Montrose Basin nature reserve, part of the estuary of the South Esk, is also a National Trust for Scotland property.



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Montrose, United Kingdom
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Founded: 1743
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in United Kingdom

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4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

C Dent (4 months ago)
Absolutely fantastic place! Wonderful engaging staff, beautiful gardens, an amazing collection of memorabilia/period furnishings/paintings and great facilities including practical toilet arrangements, a very well stocked gift shop and a lovely cafe serving yummy food suitable for all ages. The tours within the house were really friendly and informative…a lot of personal information and the “interview” technique was brilliant for the kids and adults alike! House of Dun is family friendly and dog friendly. There are walks and a playground. Dogs are welcome everywhere except in the main house (they are welcome in the cafe and there are water bowls outside the door for them). The car park is shaded under the trees which is ideal for leaving dogs in the car while you view the main house. We really enjoyed our visit and can’t wait to come back again (which is all the more impressive because it is a 1hr15min drive for us!). Thank you for one of the nicest family days out we have had in ages!
Aileen Too cute (5 months ago)
Super day out , wonderful cafe and gorgeous gardens. The House is well preserved and presented, the tour is a must, the guides are very knowledgeable and interesting.
Les Read (7 months ago)
A medium sized William Adams house. Not too big and so exudes a homely atmosphere. Nicely presented by people acting parts. Very enjoyable house and the garden too. With walks in ground.
Carol Walker (8 months ago)
Beautiful hidden gem. Staff are all so friendly and extremely helpful. Recommend even just to pop in for a coffee and a cake and enjoy the surroundings
marlene clarke (8 months ago)
I spent a lovely day visiting the house, out buildings, gardens, cafe and shop. Friendly, helpful staff on hand. If visiting the house be aware of a few flights of stairs inside the building. The knowledgable guide offers seating stops on the tour. Parking is to the left of the building on a slight gradient but a short way from the house. Disabled parking available at the side of the house.
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