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22 Dec 2019

Making a declaration on Angus heritage

External view of House of Dun from the colourful garden
House of Dun, Angus
As we start to refresh our 100 Ways list, there's a new number 1. We’re investing in the House of Dun to completely re-purpose the property as a historical park for Angus, which tells the story of the county, the people and their landscape.

In 2020, we’re investing over £700,000 at the House of Dun, to re-purpose the property, which encompasses the Montrose Basin Nature Reserve, as a historical park for Angus that tells the story of the county, the people and their landscape. 

It will also feature a special installation which explains Angus’s part in the ‘birth’ of Scotland as we know it, through the Declaration of Arbroath almost exactly 700 years ago.

The House of Dun is an A-listed Georgian mansion designed by William Adam and completed in 1743 for the Erskine family. Its collections and interior décor include coded features which express the family’s Jacobite sympathies. Bequeathed to the National Trust for Scotland in 1980 along with extensive grounds, it has been open to the public since 1989.

The estate includes Dun’s Dish, Montrose Basin, Old Dun Kirk, the Erskine Mausoleum and a stretch of the South Esk river.

An artist's impression of the stables and courtyard, with silhouettes of people walking up the path, and a horse and cart standing by the archway.
The stables and courtyard area will be a focus of the project.

The focal point will be the redevelopment of the stables and courtyard area to house multi-sensory interpretation and costumed story-telling.

It will also provide a permanent home for the collection of the Angus Folk Museum, assembled by Lady Maitland of Burnside, which includes objects depicting over 300 years of history about the people and their relationship with the land. The collection was previously housed in Glamis but had to be removed to safe storage in 2014 due to the deterioration of the building it was displayed in.

Our Chief Executive, Simon Skinner, explains the importance of this project:

‘This is a transformational investment that will offer a rich experience for people of all ages.

‘The combination, of house, landscape and artefacts allows us to show how Angus, its people and the land shaped modern Scotland, providing fascinating snapshots of life as it was for our forebears.

‘Our aim is to not just make history relevant but to have it come to life for visitors, from the archaeological evidence of prehistory right through to recent times. It combines both a natural setting and a human landscape that will be inspirational.’

The National Trust for Scotland works every day to protect Scotland’s national and natural treasures. From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, we protect all of this For the Love of Scotland.