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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User Reviews

Tree Wise Tree Surgeons (5 months ago)
Magnificent trees for starters! We had a wonderful tour guide who was knowledgeable and informed to a highly detailed level. The plasterwork and beautiful decor in the rooms is of an extremely high quality. Wait till you see the clockwork spit in action in the kitchen! And the gardens are inspiring.
Frank Duffy (7 months ago)
This is a wonderful day out. Take the tour of the house - totally fascinating and so well presented. The staff were so friendly, so knowledgeable and totally professional! We didn't have children with us, but it is evident that they cater for children on the tours too with all sorts of bits to keep their interest going. The gardens are stunning, beautifully laid out and so precisely maintained - immaculate! There is a good play area for the kids with picnic tables - close to the car park. If you want a little more exercise there are good walks in the forest with birds and wildlife to watch! A truly excellent day out!
Alex Walker (8 months ago)
Beautiful place for a visit. The gardens are lovely. The guided tour of the house is a must. The guides were fantastic - full of information and all done with a great sense of humour.
Samantha Falconer (9 months ago)
A fully immersed experience with staff playing the part of people who used to live in the house and so do you! The gardens are outstandingly beautiful! You are greeted with the sound of a piano playing which is so tranquil. Very good facilities. Also a play park with plenty of places to have a picnic.
C Dent (14 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!
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Since 1930, the castle has housed the collections of the Ariège départemental museum. Sections on prehistory, Gallo-Roman and mediaeval archaeology tell the history of Ariège from ancient times. Currently, the museum is rearranging exhibits to concentrate on the history of the castle site so as to recreate the life of Foix at the time of the Counts.