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16 Sept 2021

Why we love House of Dun, Garden & Estate


House of Dun is a Georgian country house which was designed by William Adam, a very well-known architect.
People should come and visit to learn about the Erskine family, who lived here for over 250 years.
We have our new costumed guides who will take you around the house, telling you about the stories of the family who lived here as well as the staff who worked below stairs, bringing the property to life.
I love this place because it was a family home.
It was lived in by many generations of the Erskine family.
You step inside and you can imagine that they’ve just walked out of the room.
All of the stories which are still there which we are telling today; all of the collection put together by different generations of the Erskine family; the stories we’re still telling and how much people enjoy learning about that today and sharing it with our visitors.

I love working here at House of Dun.
It’s a beautiful house and I enjoy seeing the reactions from the visitors when they see the stunning features of the house.
We can tell them more about the history and I'm a chatterbox, so I can talk all day!
I think my favourite thing in the kitchen is the beautiful array of copper pots and pans.
A stunning collection but I understand that they were a nightmare to clean, and there's no running water in the kitchen, or there wasn't obviously at that time.
This year we have costumed characters.
There are three of us:
we have William, who was the estate manager;
I play Isabella Peddie, who was the cook here at Dun;
and then we have Miss Violet Erskine, who actually grew up in the house and takes you around the rest of upstairs, in the bedrooms and the saloon.

I love this place because I love getting to teach people about the stories and the family history.

We also have the courtyard which has recently had the Angus Folk Collection moved in, so we are very excited to be sharing that with visitors.
The Angus Folk Collection is a real celebration of the people of Angus, telling their stories of the lives they lived, the work which they did, the agriculture, the industry and all of that really important social history, which is now on display for people to come and engage with.
We have our brand-new café Violet's, which is in the former Victorian kitchen in the courtyard, and we also have Erskines, which is well worth a visit for some lunch.
We also have the beautiful walled garden for visitors to enjoy, the various woodland walks on the estate to explore as well as the children's play park and also the Montrose Basin.

I love this place because of the views, of the potential but also the house.
It’s William Adam who has done quite a lot of Palladian-style houses but this one in particular is very cute, quite compact, so come and visit the house!
As head gardener here, on a day-to-day basis there’s a lot of grass to cut, a lot of weeding, a lot of deadheading. In the winter we prepare the beds, the herbaceous border and the summer bedding beds.
We grow on plants from plugs, which we buy in and then grow them on in the polytunnel and by 21 June they’ll usually be planted in the garden.
Other jobs are hedge cutting, summer pruning on the apple and pear trees, and of course the horseshoe box hedging will need done.
So it is quite a lot of time.
We have another full-time gardener and we have approximately four volunteers that come in and help.
I love gardening because I guess plants are like us, as in we are vegetable as well as mineral and animal and human, so they work on the same kind of system.
I used to be a nurse for twenty-odd years, so I guess you’re caring for plants, you’re nurturing them.
Plants tend to respond better than people, I would say!
That’s kind of why I love gardening. I love being outdoors, of course. I love the countryside. I love nature, it makes me feel at peace and calm, yeah.
So that’s why I love gardening.

The focus here in the courtyard is the story of Angus people, in years gone by.
We have a funeral coach on display in the stables, farming equipment, all the beautiful saddles in the stables.
It's a celebration of Angus.
It's a day out without even going in the house.
You come here for your lunch or just coffee and just look at all the stunning artefacts in the courtyard.

My favourite thing about the House of Dun would have to be the people.
It’s been welcoming visitors back and seeing the excitement on their faces as we guide them round the house, help them explore the courtyard.
And also my colleagues, having everyone back to work and sharing the passion we have for the place.

House of Dun is an elegant Georgian country house with glorious formal gardens, beautiful woodland walks and gorgeous views. There’s so much to love – where do we begin!

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