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Case Studies > Kimmerghame Gardens Open Day

Fundraising for Two Local Kirks

Case Study Kimmerghame Gardens Open Day Fundraising for Two Local Kirks
Case Study Kimmerghame Gardens Open Day Once again the beautiful gardens of Kimmerghame House, Duns, Berwickshire opened to the public on Sunday 29th May, raising funds for Swinton & Fogo Kirks.

Kimmerghame House (postcode TD11 3LU) is located on the south bank of the Blackadder Water (SSSI), 4km south east of Duns. The main drive enters the beautifully maintained 17th century Designed Landscape past the north lodge following the course of the river through attractive parkland with a wide range of veteran specimen trees, including; Oak, Sweet Chestnut, Lime, Wellingtonia upto the house and stable block.

Kimmerghame is first mentioned in 11th century charter. Maps from the late 17th century reveal the existences of a formal landscape still discernible today and Blaeu's map of 1654 depicts a house at Kimmerghame. The house was built in the mature Scottish Baronial style, from local quarried sandstone, in 1851 to designs by David Bryce on the site of an earlier house which had been the home of Sir Andrew Home dating from 1730.

Kimmerghame was partly destroyed by fire in 1938 which broke out during works to install electricity and heating. The house was rebuilt on a much reduced scale, retaining the original 4 storey entrance tower and 2 storey service wing. The footprint of the original structure was converted into a sunken garden. Surplus stone from the ruined part was used to support the war effort in construction of Charterhall runway, an early example of circular thinking in the use of building materials.

George Hume of Kimmerghame (b.1660) was a man of some horticultural interest who consulted local gardeners on the new layout for garden and walls, and he ordered a great number of fruit and specimen trees from London, including; 50 pears, 30 apples/peaches/plum and quinces. He felt moved to record his irritation when sows broke through a garden wall and trampled vegetable plots! Cockburn's survey of 1742 shows well established gardens and Designed Landscape. The present large Walled Garden, built in 1845, features tall north and side walls built to trap and reflect the sun’s warmth while a low wall and railings run along the southern side. Two sentinel clipped Yew trees flank the entrance gate and serve to focus the view along the immaculate lawn walk towards the peat and glass house. This walk is lined by veteran apple and plum trees forming a central axis to the garden. Box lined beds extend around all sides. Soft fruit are cultivated while trained fruit trees ascend north, east and west walls.

Kimmerghame house is surrounded by ancient and diverse mixed woodlands forming the backbone of the original Designed Landscape, with many trees now exceeding 250 years old. Within the woodland to the east of the house is a gothic square plan Sandstone Water Tower standing approximately 5m high. Between house and Walled Garden there is a small arboretum with a range of specimen trees, including; Maples, Wellingtonia and recent planting of Kousa Dogwood, German Red Oaks, Southern Beech, a collection of Birch and an outstanding Pocket Handkerchief Tree (Davidia Involucrata).

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