Prestonfield House

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Prestonfield, a mansion in Duddingston parish, Edinburghshire, at the southern base of Arthur's Seat, ¼mile SW of Duddingston Loch, and 2 miles SE of Edinburgh Post Office. It was built in 1687, from designs by the celebrated Sir William Bruce of Kinross, on the site of the former mansion of `Priestfield,' which had been burnt by the Edinburgh students in the No Popery t of 11 Jan. 168l, its owner, Sir James Dick, Bart., being then Lord Provost. A grandson of Sir William Dick of Braid (see Craig House), he had purchased the estate from Sir Thomas Hamilton, and at his death, in 1728, was succeeded by his daughter Janet, the wife of Sir William Cunyngham, Bart. of Caprington. Her son, Sir Alexander Dick, third Bart. (1703-85), was an eminent physician, and an intimate friend of Dr Samuel Johnson, who visited Prestonfield in 1773; and his son, Sir William (1762-96), is mentioned in Lord Cockburn's Memorials as `a great sportsman, handsome, good-natured, and a first-rate skater. We were the only boys at liberty to play in his grounds, and to use his nice boat. All between Duddingston Loch and the house was a sort of Dutch garden, admirably kept. A very curious place.'Sir Robert Keith Dick, seventh Bart., in 1829 succeeded his cousin-german, Sir William Cunyngham, in the Caprington baronetcy; and his grandson, Sir Robert Keith Alexander Dick-Cunyngham (b. 1836; suc. 1871), is thus ninth and seventh Bart. since 1707 and 1669. He holds 228 acres in Midlothian, valued at £1759 per annum.—Ord. Sur., sh. 32, 1857. See John Small's Castles and Mansions of the Lothians (Edinb. 1883).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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