A new chapter
Dalkeith Palace has been home to many over its long history. Most recently the Palace played host to students of the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. Vacating as of January 2021, the Palace was once again emptied of its contents – on this occasion mainly consisting of utilitarian furnishings – and taken back by the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust.
The team here at Dalkeith Country Park are now in the early stages of adding a whole new chapter to the long and illustrious history of Dalkeith Palace.
Did you know?
Dalkeith Palace is the vision of Anna Scott, 1st Duchess of Buccleuch, daughter-in-law of Charles II. With her architect, James Smith, Anna transformed the Palace from a medieval castle into a contemporary palace featuring the finest European marble and oak.
Wandering through the A-listed building today, the original grandeur of the early 18th century interiors comes to life in the glorious oak panelling, the marble chimney pieces, window sills and door frames.
The Duchess commissioned many works from Britain’s best carver of that time – Grinling Gibbons. The Story of Neptune and Galatea, remains within the Palace today.
The Buccleuch Collection
Almost all of the contents of Dalkeith Palace were gradually resettled in the other Buccleuch houses, leaving it with only eight – albeit exceptionally rare – marble tables.
The art collection and furniture assembled by Duchess Anna was of the highest quality and contained some of the most important pieces of European furniture. As the family married into other British noble families – reflected in the surname Montagu-Douglas-Scott – additional artworks of major importance found their way into the Palace forming the outstanding Buccleuch Collection.
Looking to the future
Although in theory possible, there is no intention to return the period interiors to Dalkeith Palace. Instead, the team will use inspiration of the past through the Buccleuch Collection and partnering with external organisations to promote a flexible, diverse and dynamic cultural programme.
Coming up in 2024
This year we have a number of exciting events planned at Dalkeith Palace. The Inception Art Show will return this May with an impressive collection of sculptors, artists, photographers and painters exhibiting.
New this year will be an exciting partnership event with Visual Arts Scotland and a new and innovative venture between the Royal Photographic Society and the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust.
King James VI mourned the death of his mother Mary Queen of Scots at Dalkeith Palace in 1587....
The restoration of Charles II was planned by General Monck, Cromwell’s Commander in Chief from Dalkeith Palace....
In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie dined on chicken and oysters in Dalkeith Palace before embarking on his ill-starred Jacobite campaign which ended in defeat at Culloden and the ban on wearing tartan....
In 1767, Adam Smith, the economic philosopher and tutor of Henry Scott 3rd Duke of Buccleuch inspired his young charge to make Dalkeith Palace his permanent home and a glittering focal point of the Scottish Enlightenment....
Within 20 years of each other, Dalkeith Palace hosted two major royal visits. In 1822 Walter Scott masterminded George IV’s visit to Scotland which saw the monarch clad in tartan thus sanctioning the lifting of the tartan ban....
In 1842 the young Queen Victoria and her consort spent the first in a number of visits to Scotland at Dalkeith Palace even using the building for the royal levee....