Dalkeith Palace was commissioned by the 1st Duchess of Buccleuch in 1702 from Scotland’s leading architect, James Smith. Conceived as a Royal Palace, Dalkeith Palace is considered the grandest of the Lothian’s early classical houses.
Inside Dalkeith Palace
Anna – who was to be the highly prized heiress to the Buccleuch fortune – spent over three decades in court circles in Britain and abroad. Following her return she was determined to turn Dalkeith Castle into a grand residence worthy of a princess.
Work on the five storey building began in 1702 and concluded just under a decade later in 1711. The result are extravagantly furnished interiors fitted out with marble, quality timbers and chimney pieces by the acclaimed carver Grinling Gibbons.
A roll call of eminent visitors
Dalkeith Palace played a prominent part in British and Scottish history, consequently the roll call of eminent visitors who frequented it over the centuries is truly impressive.
The Palace has been the scene of such national events as James IV first meeting with his bride Margaret Tudor, King James V taking refuge at Dalkeith from the plague in Edinburgh and, later in the 16th century, James, IV Earl of Morton, the final of four regents for James VI, effectively ruled Scotland from Dalkeith Castle from 1572 to 1578.
Dalkeith Palace present day
From 1969 to 1981 Dalkeith Palace served as offices for International Computers Ltd (ICL); then as the Scottish Campus for Wisconsin University who gave up their lease in 2021.
Since then, Buccleuch Estates have explored plans to reinvent the Palace as a place for culture and the arts. This May sees the third incarnation of the Inception Art Show in Dalkeith Palace, returning with an extended programme of events, including Dalkeith Palace Tours.
Book a Palace Tour
Enjoy an opportunity to tour Dalkeith Palace as we open our doors during Inception Art Show. Join our guides as you explore Dalkeith Palace and gain an understanding of the unique history and architecture of this wonderful building. The tour will offer the opportunity to view Inception Art Show, while journeying through Dalkeith Palace.
Once the tour finishes you will have the opportunity to explore the exhibition at your own pace.
Dalkeith Palace Tours are being held daily from 7 to 14 May at 13.30.
Tickets cost £9.50 and include exhibition entry.