architecture, Banqueting House, belvedere, eyecatcher, Falkirk, Folly, garden, garden history, landscape, Summerhouse

The Pineapple, Dunmore, Falkirk.

A building that needs little, if any, introduction: the ne plus ultra of follies. But one that continues to perplex, as no architect has ever been identified for this the most ornate and glorious of garden buildings, erected in 1761 for Lord Dunmore. Very few early accounts can be found, but in 1768 a visitor wrote of emerging from woodland to find a pleasure house of which the ‘top part is built exactly in the form of a pineapple’.

The flanking walls supported glasshouses, and were heated to enable the growing of fruit – including pineapples, presumably. Adjacent to the ‘beautiful Pine-apple Summer house’ were four lodging rooms for the gardeners. A visitor in 1783 described the ‘Pine-apple Cupola’ as ‘highly gilded’, so it must have been a breathtaking and unique experience to see it in that period.

The Pineapple centrepiece is now leased by the Landmark Trust and provides lodging rooms for holidaymakers. The grounds and walled garden belong to the National Trust for Scotland, and are in need of a little love and attention when funds are available.

A brief post this week as the Folly Flâneuse is taking a week off to catch up after a Scottish sojourn (so expect more delights from that trip) and will then be heading off once again in pursuit of pavilions and on the trail of towers. Thank you for reading.

For stays in the Pineapple see

To visit


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9 thoughts on “The Pineapple, Dunmore, Falkirk.”

  1. Julia Abel Smith says:

    This is so interesting, thank you. I used to think that the Pineapple was built above the loggia after Lord Dunmore’s return from America in late 1770s but recently I have thought that it must have been in 1760s because he had to take the job in America as he was so short of money. The Pineapple would have been enormously expensive to build – all that intricately carved stone. Can you tell us more about the visitor of 1768?

    1. Editor says:

      Hello Julia, yes of course. He was an Austrian called Count von Zinzendorff. His account of the pineapple is very brief, but so useful in dating the building. The reference to the summerhouse and lodging rooms is from 1774, when the garden was advertised to let.

  2. Gand says:

    A great start to your Scottish sojourn.
    Look forward to the other Scottish treasures with great anticipation.

    1. Editor says:

      Thanks Gand. Watch this space!

  3. Gwyn says:

    Such temptation! I first saw The Pineapple, awestruck, in 1972 when it was very much down on its luck and the grounds were a jungle. Then in 2010 we were lucky enough to stay in it, initially planned with some good American friends who would have been blown away by it (built in the 1760s? George Washington was a young man!) but this plan was stymied by Eyjafjallajökull, so Mike & Martha were replaced by James & Jill. What a transformation of a most remarkable building! And the Landmark Trust had kindly placed a copy of ‘Follies Grottoes & Garden Buildings’ on the bookshelf. Staying there, we got to explore the excellent ruins of Dunmore Park House. Vaut le voyage.

    1. Editor says:

      Awestruck. Just the word. And well done for naming that volcano!

  4. Helen Felton says:

    I absolutely love trying to place historic buildings in context, particularly follies.Were their owners not just the ultimate show offs of their time?Thank God for them and their wit , style and need to impress -we can enjoy such astounding creativity centuries later.Thankyou,Lord Dunmore and all of your ilk!

    1. Editor says:

      Hello Helen. I guess in an age before Ferraris and private islands in the Caribbean you had to show off in stone. But as you say, what a treat for us centuries later. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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