MHG62518 - Gardens and designed landscape - Gledfield House, Ardgay


The gardens and grounds of Gledfield House near Ardgay, Sutherland.

Type and Period (2)

  • GARDEN (19th Century to 20th Century - 1895 AD? (at some time) to 1904 AD? (at some time))
  • LANDSCAPE PARK (19th Century to 20th Century - 1895 AD? (at some time) to 1904 AD? (at some time))

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

The grounds and gardens of Gledfield House (see MHG7372), near Ardgay, were probably laid out at the same time as major additions and modifications to the house by Ross and Macbeth between 1895 and 1907 on the instruction of Sir Kenneth Matheson, the Mathesons having owned the house and estate since 1847. This is apparent from the diffrences shown between the OS 1st and 2nd edition maps. Most, if not all, of the groups of trees to the north and northwest of the house also date from this time and were no doubt planted to create a parkland setting for the house and gardens. A walled garden (see MHG17129) already existed by the time of the OS 1st edition map but this was extended to the west, with its east wall partly removed adjacent to and southeast of the house. A stable block (see MHG17137) and presumably gardener's cottage and/or potting sheds were erected around the north, east and west of the north end of the original garden and a shallow classical temple fronted loggia was erected in the centre of its west wall. A sunken area to the south of the walled garden is also apparent by the time of the OS 2nd edition, though its purpose is not clear. A path leads from the house to this area and it may have served as a croquet or picnic lawn. Banks of trees were planted to hide the view of the estate farmhouse and steading (see MHG36251) to the southwest of the house from the house itself, in an attempt to distance the house and its grounds from the more work-a-day part of the running of the farm and wider estate. The former corn mill to the northeast of the house (see MHG31307) was demolished, though the original mill dam to its south was retained. A second and larger pond was also constructed to the northeast, possibly to serve a new mill erected further to the northeast (see MHG16958). A gate lodge (see MHG7360) was also erected to the east-northeast of the house with the main road then diverted at this point to the southeast. The former road to the house (and beyond) subsequently became the formal driveway to the house from the gate lodge. The changes to the grounds reflect those to the house itself, displaying a late Victorian/early Edwardian further gentrification of what had been described in 1840 as 'a gentleman's residence' into a Scottish country seat and pleasure grounds. <1> <2>

GIS spatial data created in 2022 according to comparison between OS 2nd Edition map and OS MasterMap. <3>

Sources/Archives (3)



Grid reference Centred NH 5800 9063 (744m by 469m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NH59SE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND

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