Inventory Garden & Designed Landscape

INCHYRAGDL00220

Status: Designated

Documents

Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (https://portal.historicenvironment.scot/termsandconditions).

Summary

Date Added
01/07/1987
Local Authority
Perth And Kinross
Parish
St Madoes
NGR
NO 18927 21426
Coordinates
318927, 721426

An attractive designed landscape which makes an important contribution to its surrounding scenery, Inchyra comprises parkland, gardens, woodland and a category A listed house.

Importance of Site

A site included in the Inventory is assessed for its condition and integrity and for its level of importance. The criteria used are set out in Annex 5 of the Scottish Historic Environment Policy (December 2011). The principles are represented by the following value-based criteria and we have assigned a value for each on a scale ranging from outstanding value to no value. Criteria not applicable to a particular site have been omitted. All sites included in the Inventory are considered to be of national importance.

Work of Art

Value
High

Inchyra has high value as a Work of Art on account of the particularly attractive parkland and gardens.

Historical

Value
Some

Inchyra has some Historical value on account of its development as a small early 19th century country residence.

Horticultural, Arboricultural, Silvicultural

Value
Some

Inchyra has some Horticultural value due to the interest provided by plants in the shrubbery and woodland garden.

Architectural

Value
Outstanding

Inchyra has outstanding Architectural value as it provides the setting for a category A listed building.

Scenic

Value
High

The parkland of Inchyra has high Scenic value when seen from the A85(T) road.

Nature Conservation

Value
Some

The woodlands of Inchyra provide some Nature Conservation value.

Archaeological

Value
Not Assessed

Location and Setting

Inchyra is situated on the edge of the Braes of the Carse approximately 6 miles (9.5km) to the east of the City of Perth and 15 miles (24km) west of Dundee. The A85(T) road runs along the southern boundary of the site and, between it and the Firth of Tay, lie the flat lands of the Carse of Gowrie. The village of Inchyra lies to the south-west of the policies on the edge of the river. To the north of the A85(T), the landscape is agricultural along the edge of the Braes but rises to Glencarse Hill 597' (182m) above the house. To the south, across the Firth of Tay, lie the Ochil and Lomond Hills in Fife, to which fine views are gained from the policies of Inchyra. The site enjoys a mild climate due to its sheltered position on the edge of the hills. The park is highly significant from the A85(T).

Inchyra House lies within some 188 acres (76ha) of designed landscape which extends north to the escarpment of Pans Hill 344' (105m), south to the A85(T) road and to shelterbelts along the east and west. Documentary map evidence of the development of the designed landscape is confined to the 1st edition OS map of 1868 and the 2nd edition OS map of c.1900, comparison of which indicates that the extent of the landscape has remained consistent since the early 19th century. Views out to the south beyond the River Tay to the Fife hills are important to the setting.

Site History

The first known owners of the lands on which Inchyra stands were the Priory of St Andrews and Scone Abbey. During the 13th century, the lands had been incorporated into the Earldom of Fife but, in 1424, on the forfeiture of the Earldom they passed to the Hays of Errol. In 1644, the 10th Earl of Errol sold the lands of Inchyra to Sir Thomas Blair of Balthayock.

His descendants subsequently inherited but the estate was split and only the Barony of Inchyra which formed half the estate was retained by the Blair family whilst the other half, Priorlands, passed to others. In 1724, Alexander Blair, bonded his part of the Inchyra property to his lawyer, Andrew Anderson, due probably to financial difficulties. His sister, who then owned three-quarters of the estate, conferred part of the property on David Anderson in 1777 and the remainder of it in 1785. David Anderson died in 1786 and his son, John, a successful Edinburgh lawyer, then purchased the retraining quarter of the Inchyra estate.

By this time, Priorlands was owned by Lord Gray of Kinfauns. He and John Anderson established an agreement whereby the lands were redistributed into more manageable units; the 130 acres of Inchyra lands were established into their present form, extending from Inchyra village in the south to the ridge of hills in the north.

John Anderson, commissioned the building of the present house as his country residence between 1800-1810. He died in 1814 and was succeeded by his son, David, who showed little interest in the property. The estate was thus sold in 1837, to Robert Cristall, a farmer in Tofthill. In 1873, the policies passed to Mr James Watson whilst Inchyra Manor Farm was sold separately. His family was responsible for much of the tree planting which remains today. In 1941, Mr Watson's trustees sold the policies to Mr and Mrs Harold de Pass. They later acquired the farms of Inchyra Manor and Priorlands and thus restored the estate to its original 17th century proportions as held by the Blair family.

Lord and Lady Inchyra, the present owners, acquired the estate in 1955. Since then, they have made many improvements to the house and grounds, particularly the gardens.

Landscape Components

Architectural Features

Inchyra House, listed category A, was built between 1800-1810, in the classical style. The architect is thought to be Gillespie Graham. Inchyra Lodge, listed category B, stands at the entrance to the south drive. The walled garden, listed category C(S) was built c.1800 of whin rubble, brick-lined with an architrave doorway. Statues of Diana and Apollo stand along the statue walk to the south of the walled garden. The stables and garages to the north of the house date from 1877. Various pieces of garden ornamentation, including statues and urns are modern reproductions.

Parkland

The parkland was designed as the setting for Inchyra House in a form shown on the 1st edition OS map of 1868. It has a particularly rolling landform and a history of being well stocked with trees. Some beech, sycamore and oak remain as part of the early 19th century planting. The 2nd edition OS map of c.1900 indicates that by this time the park had ceased to sweep up to the house and an enclosed area, similar in form to the present gardens, had been established. The parks are presently well stocked with young trees, some specimens, others in clumps. All are protected from the cattle which graze there. Species include oak, sycamore, horse chestnut and ash.

Woodland

The woodlands of Inchyra lie along the east/west and part of the south boundaries, along the escarpment of Pans Hill, and on either side of the drive to the walled garden. Comparison of available map evidence indicates that these woodlands were established by 1868, probably as part of the early 19th century designed landscape. The OS Gazetteer of c.1883 describes the estate of Inchyra to have 'finely wooded grounds'. Species are mainly mixed deciduous; elm is a significant component and many have died from Dutch Elm disease. Ornamental tree species have been established along the drive to the walled garden.

The Gardens

There are two areas of formal garden: one by the house, the other by the walled garden. The formal lawn to the south of the house is enclosed by a cypress hedge, planted since 1955 to screen off the A85(T). The lawn continues around the east side of the house where it is enclosed by a copper beech hedge. Fine specimen trees stand in each, including Araucaria araucana and Sequoiadendron giganteum which date from the 1870s' planting, and other younger additions. Urns have been sited along the edge of the lawn and a single urn forms the centrepiece of the south lawn. Another area of the formal lawn lies along the south side of the walled garden, enclosed by hedging. Statuary has been placed along its length. Outside the east wall of the walled garden, a water garden has been created by Lady Inchyra.

Walled Gardens

The walled garden is a simple rectangular form on plan, sited approximately a quarter of a mile to the west of the house. Concrete buttresses have been added to the outer east wall by Lord & Lady Inchyra, replacing the wooden ones which existed up until 1955. The garden is divided into four equal compartments by box hedging and, until 1955, was maintained as a fruit and vegetable garden. Lord & Lady Inchyra converted the compartments to lawn although the apple trees have been retained in one quarter of the garden. A fine herbaceous border runs along the base of the south side of the north wall, while peaches and other fruit trees cover the wall surface. To the north of the garden is the service road and, beyond it, a terrace on which the glasshouses stand and, adjacent to them, an area which has been put down to vegetables and cut flowers for the house.

References

Bibliography

Sources

Printed Sources

A. Rowan, CL Feb 13th 1969

Sales Particulars, March 1955

G.A. Little, 1981

Groome's

Listings

About the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.

The inventory is a list of Scotland's most important gardens and designed landscapes. We maintain the inventory under the terms of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979.

We add sites of national importance to the inventory using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the inventory record gives an indication of the national importance of the site(s). It is not a definitive account or a complete description of the site(s). The format of records has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries about development proposals, such as those requiring planning permission, on or around inventory sites should be made to the planning authority. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications of this type.

Find out more about the inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and our other designations at www.historicenvironment.scot. You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at designations@hes.scot.

Images

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Printed: 19/12/2018 11:18