Caroline Park

Caroline Park
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Caroline Park

Located in the Granton area of Edinburgh, adjacent to a gasworks site, Caroline Park was built in 1685 for Sir George Mackenzie, 1st Lord Tarbat (1630 - 1714) probably by architects Robert Mylne (1633 - 1710) and James Smith (c.1645 - 1731), but possibly with some input from Sir William Bruce (1630 - 1710). In 1683 Mackenzie bought the Barony of Royston which once boasted a castle, and quickly built what was originally known as Royston House, undoubtedly by diverting materials and labour from the reconstruction of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, with which the architects and Mackenzie were involved. A new garden-frontage in the French-baroque style was added in 1696 and William Adam (1689 - 1748), or perhaps his son John (1721-92), was responsible for a west range for the servants and kitchens added in the mid-18th Century.

Having gained the necessary Act of Parliament, Mackenzie's son, Lord Royston, sold the house in 1739 to John Campbell, the 2nd Duke of Argyll (1680 - 1743), who renamed it Caroline Park after his daughter, who married the Earl of Dalkeith. Through this marriage the house passed to the Dukes of Buccleuch. The Buccleuch's had no shortage of houses, including Dalkeith Palace, not more than 9 miles (14 km) away to the southeast, and thus Caroline Park was let to a succession of tenants, for the last 100 years or so the ink manufacturers A.B. Fleming and Co., who maintained the house in good order both inside and out.

Today the house has a modest garden, its estates having been lost to the neighbouring developments, including Granton Gas-Works, which so completely dominates the area. However, internally the house still includes fine plasterwork ceilings by Italian craftsmen, a notable German iron-work balustrade, painted panels and woodcarving. Outside, its most notable feature is the fine slated balloon roof. Sold by the Duke of Buccleuch in the late 1980s, the house has recently been restored to domestic use.

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