Newest Review: ... poo bags". There were only 2 cars in the car park including ours, so very quiet. The Pineapple is in the Dunmore Estate, and is a... more
Pineapple of stone
The Pineapple (Falkirk)
Member Name: jo@145
The Pineapple (Falkirk)
Advantages: Beautiful stonework
Disadvantages: Pot holes on road
The book we had said it was north of Airth. Eventually we spotted a road sign off the A905 and turned into a narrow road by a rather dilapidated Lodge house. There was a sign saying drive slowly! We did indeed follow the instructions as we weaved our way trying to miss huge potholes! Eventually we passed a house and saw a sign to the car park, it was nice and shady so kept the car fairly cool. There was a notice board on the high wall about The Pineapple and a box - rather like a bird box saying to "Please take leaflet" - well we would have had there been any to take! Another small box was for donations, members do get free entry but can still donate to help with the running costs. There was a bin and a special one for "Doggy poo bags". There were only 2 cars in the car park including ours, so very quiet.
The Pineapple is in the Dunmore Estate, and is a really unusual building, you get your first glimpse as you go through the gates. There is a longish road with grass each side, a strip had been cut but all around the trees in the orchard it was left wild. We didn't notice any fruit on the trees which we thought rather unusual at this time of year. We walked along to below the house and then walked up where the grass had been cut. The flower borders had some old types of plants including huge teasles, sweet peas, quite over grown in places. Inside the entrance there were some more noticeboards with information. Unfortunately you can't see inside the walled garden.
The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) own the property but the building itself is leased to the Landmark Trust charity. Access to the grounds is free and you can stay there too for a holiday, although I would fear for my car driving along the road with it loaded! According to our NTS book it is open everyday from 9.30 - 6.00 or sunset if that is earlier.
A Pineapple may be a strange idea for a building and no one seems to be exactly sure why it was built. John Murray the 4th Earl of Dunmore had travelled abroad and it is thought that Pineapples were a symbol of power, wealth and hospitality. It was built between 1761 and 1766 as a birthday present for his wife Susan, in the form of a pavilion which could be seen from their family home at Dunmore Park and so that they could view the walled garden. It is something that has to be seen to be believed, the Pineapple stands 45feet above the gardens, and the work on the leaves is amazing. It has been carefully restored and I'm so glad we went.
We followed a woodland path where it was so peaceful apart from birds and buzzing of insects, there had been Rhodedendrons which must have been lovely, but I spotted lots of wild raspberries which quenched my thirst as I hadn't taken any water! In places it was quite muddy even after several sunny days, boots or wellies would be needed in wet weather. We found ourselves having to walk through a field to get back to the road, but there was a sign at the end so I didn't feel too bad walking along the track through the field, I was brought up to walk along the edge if you needed to go through a field!
We got back to the car park and then decided to follow another path to get to the pond. Sadly it was very green and the viewing platform we had read about no longer existed, it presumably had been on the posts sticking out of the pond! There was a warning notice not to go on to them as it was dangerous. But it gave us another view of the house and we enjoyed our walk back through the orchard and gardens.
I enjoyed my visit, the garden was not like many formal gardens and although not un-cared for, it wasn't manicured like some places. The woodland path was lovely but suitable for prams or wheelchairs and there were no toilets. The road was in need of some attention, as the pot holes were huge, but it was free (apart from a donation) and it was amazing to think it was built nearly 850 years ago, what brilliant stonemasons they must have had in those times.
Also on Ciao under my name jo145 with several photographs
Summary: Pineapple building and gardens