Inventory Garden & Designed Landscape

MONTEVIOTGDL00288

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
Last Date Amended
30/06/2011
Local Authority
Scottish Borders
Parish
Ancrum, Crailing, Jedburgh
NGR
NT 64889 24749
Coordinates
364889, 624749

Monteviot is an exceptional designed landscape that fulfils the criteria for national importance on a number of levels. Among a series of distinct garden spaces near the house is an outstanding example of a 19th-century arboretum, important both historically and for the range of trees it contains, and an artistically significant garden by the 20th century designer, Percy Cane. The scenically prominent landscaped park also contains a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a scheduled monument, and a number of built features listed for their architectural and historical merit, including the major local landmark of Waterloo Monument on Peniel Heugh.

Type of Site

Extensive 19th century park and woodland countryside estate with diverse garden components around the house, including an impressive Victorian arboretum, a river garden designed by Percy Cane in the 1960s and a more recently established Oriental water garden.

Main Phases of Landscape Development

1829-1880s, 1961-63, 1980s-present

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
Outstanding

The River Garden at Monteviot is a key late work of horticultural writer and garden designer Percy Cane (1881-1976).

Historical

Value
Outstanding

Surviving 19th-century estate records form a useful source of historical evidence for Monteviot, while the large surviving arboretum, first established in the 1870s, is an outstanding example of its kind, representing the heyday of Victorian botanical collection.

Horticultural, Arboricultural, Silvicultural

Value
Outstanding

The gardens exhibit an excellent range of plant and tree material, most notably in the arboretum. Containing a wide range of conifer and broadleaf species from around the world, including several rarities, the arboretum has been documented via tree surveys and is being renewed with new generations of exotic trees.

Architectural

Value
High

The Monteviot designed landscape contains a number of buildings and structures that are listed on account of their architectural and historical merit, most notably Monteviot House itself, the prominent Waterloo Monument, and the dovecot.

Scenic

Value
High

Covering a sizable area along the River Teviot, the parkland and policy woodland canopy contribute to the quality of the surrounding landscape by virtue of their extent.

Nature Conservation

Value
Outstanding

As a tributary of the River Tweed, the Teviot is recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Special Area of Conservation (SAC) on account of its riverine habitat. Significant tracts of broadleaf woodland, meanwhile, provide an important habitat for birdlife.

Archaeological

Value
Outstanding

The designed landscape contains a range of known archaeological sites, including the course of the Roman road, Dere Street, a medieval hospice site, and most notably, two forts on Peniel Heugh, designated as a scheduled monument in recognition of their national importance.

Location and Setting

Set in the lower Teviot valley just 2.5 miles (4km) to the north of Jedburgh, Monteviot is a large designed landscape characterised by its extensive park and woodlands around the river and the prominent hill landform of Peniel Heugh, which rises steeply to the north. Monteviot House itself, together with the main gardens, occupies a higher shelf of land above the river, a good vantage point for long landscape views south over the fertile valley terrain towards the Cheviots. The formerly arterial north-south route of Dere Street once crossed the river here. Established by the Romans and used for centuries after, it is now partly followed by a long-distance walking trail that enters the northern woodland policies from the bleaker higher ground of Ancrum Moor to the north-west.

Scenically prominent by virtue of the extent of the designed landscape and the landmark Waterloo monument on Peniel Heugh, Monteviot also has a strong amenity focus through its seasonally open gardens, walkers' trails and countryside visitor centre at Harestanes, the former Home Farm. Other land use includes arable cultivation, grazing for livestock and some commercial forestry. Although part of a much larger working estate, the designed landscape at Monteviot can be clearly defined: Encompassing some 748ha (1848ac), the boundary is formed by the extent of woodland plantations and shelterbelts that enclose the core fields, parks and gardens, the road from Ancrum (to the west), and the small settlement of Bonjedward (to the south east).

Site History

The lands of Monteviot have been owned by the prominent Border family, the Kerrs, since the 16th century. With a number of other properties elsewhere, the site was apparently used mainly as a fishing lodge until the later 18th century when the decision was made to develop the existing farmhouse at 'Mount-Teviot lodge' as a comfortable country seat in its own right. Although much of the structure of the present designed landscape can be traced to the ensuing period of 19th century improvement, vestiges of past landscapes are known through the archaeological and historical record: Iron Age-to-Roman-period forts occupy the summit of Peniel Heugh, the line of Dere Street crosses part of Monteviot, while the former place-name 'Spital', recalls a medieval hospice that once stood close to the present house. Although subsequently remodelled, the old fishing lodge itself, built in the earlier 18th century, remains an integral element within the structure of the present Monteviot House.

Expansion and change occurred over several phases during the 19th century. In 1829, John Kerr, the 7th Marquess of Lothian, purchased the neighbouring land of Harestanes and commissioned the architect Edward Blore to design a much larger and elaborate residence. During this period, it seems that the old, adapted lodge already stood within a partially landscaped park with the authors of the Statistical Accounts mentioning plantation belts and 'many fine trees of great age' in 1792 and 1835 respectively (1845, vol III: 182). In the event, only one wing of Blore's Jacobean scheme was ever completed. Over subsequent years, however, other elements of the designed landscape were established including a walled garden, a suspension bridge over the Teviot, and a terrace wall and bastion to the south of Monteviot House (c.1860), a feature subsequently used to accommodate a walk, 'long, straight and formal….[that] has the effect of unifying the various architectural styles of the house' (Cane 1967, quoted in Morter 2000).

Following the death of the 8th Marquess, Schomberg Henry Kerr succeeded as 9th Marquess of Lothian in 1870 and initiated new improvements. Surviving documents of this period reveal a typically busy Victorian estate employing carpenters, foresters and gardeners (NAS GD40/8/318), while correspondence and accounts of expenditure help chart the acquisition of plant material both for kitchen garden produce and for adornment in the flower gardens and lawns around the house (NAS GD40/8/314; NAS GD40/9/486). Recently discovered botanical paintings by Florence Woolward (1854-1936) shed light on some of the more exotic specimens cultivated at Monteviot at this time (www.monteviot.com). The park and woodland coverage were also extended during the late 19th century, while one of Schomberg's most important and enduring innovations was the establishment of a pinetum from the 1870s onwards, featuring a range of exotic trees and shrubs that continues to form the basis of today's arboretum.

Monteviot House was used as a convalescent hospital during the Second World War and subsequently as a rest home for missionaries until the late 1950s when Peter Kerr, the 12th Marquess, returned to Monteviot. The 1960s proved another key phase in the history of the designed landscape with Edinburgh architect, Schomberg Scott employed to modernise and remodel the house, and well-known garden designer, Percy Cane, (1881-1976) commissioned to transform the gardens by the house. The following years witnessed a further flurry of activity as the older Victorian terraces and lawns, with their walks and trees (1896-8, OS 25”), were adapted, landscaped and remodelled to make way for a new rose garden and a semi-formal river garden, with clear Italianate influences. In 1979, poet, sculptor and gardener Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006) drafted a proposal for a new garden space, a work that in the end, did not come to fruition (Eyres 2006: 172).

The pace of change and development in the gardens and wider landscape has been maintained in more recent decades with a series of positive and interesting innovations ranging from increased hardwood plantation in the woodlands, through to the development of an Oriental style water garden (1980s-1990s), a Laburnum tunnel (2000), and a Dene Garden (opening decade of the 21st century). The present owner, the 13th Marquess of Lothian takes a close and active interest in the development of the gardens and is assisted by head gardener, Ian Stephenson (2012).

Landscape Components

Architectural Features

Monteviot House, is an extensive, multi-period country house overlooking the River Teviot. While likely to contain some 16th century fabric, the core of the building remains an early 18th century, 2-storey, Palladian-style villa. Subsequent adaptations include Neo-Tudor extensions by Edward Blore (1830-32) and substantial alterations and additions by Walter Schomberg Scott in 1961-3, including a long entrance wing and gabled family accommodation to the west. A late 19th-century, stone rubble bell-tower with timber, open bellcote stands among trees opposite the entrance while to the north west, the prominent courtyard, red sandstone stables now function as private residences. Built during the late 1870s, partly from an existing structure, they feature a symmetrical principal elevation, round-arched pend entrance and conical-roofed, round recessed Scots Baronial corner towers at either end of the north and south ranges. The wall walk and bastion to the west of the house were in place by the late 19th century, while the paved rose garden terrace was part of Percy Cane's designs of the 1960s. Tucked away to the south west of the house, a renovated, mid-19th-century cottage overlooking the river once served as a tea-house. Nearby, the long suspension bridge, built in 1999, replaces a Victorian structure erected in 1858. The circular, grey rubble sandstone dovecot, by the riverside path, is a partial survivor from the earlier estate landscape with the later, rebuilt upper courses resting on a 16th to 17th-century base.

Located some distance to the north-west of the house, the rectangular walled garden features limestone, coped, brick-lined walls that stand to a height of about 3 metres. A potting range lines part of the outer, north wall. In the western part of the designed landscape, the Harestanes Visitors' Centre incorporates the original Home Farm and steading. A detached 2-storey farmhouse and kitchen garden wall stand to the south. Built during the 1870s, with some early 19th century fabric, this complex of red sandstone buildings is a fine example of a former model farm. The neighbouring single-storey and attic Harestanes Cottages were almost certainly built around the same time.

At the former east entrance to Monteviot, the single-storey, linked Jedfoot Cottage and Jedfoot Lodge were built in the earlier 19th century, while to the south, the row of semi-detached, late 19th-century villas known as Bonjedward cottages, forms a good example of housing for estate workers. Old Toll Cottage, situated on the main road at the western edge of the designed landscape is a mid-19th century, single-storey gabled cottage with distinctive octagonal stacks.

Most prominent in the wider landscape is the hill-top Waterloo Monument on Peniel Heugh, designed by Archibald Elliot and built in 1817-24 to replace a former monument by William Burn, which collapsed in 1816. It comprises an extremely high, tapering sandstone column on a plinth base, with upper viewing platform, and additional superstructure of balustrade, roof, spire and weather vane, added in 1867. Standing at a height of 56m (187 feet), the monument is a distinctive regional landmark.

Drives & Approaches

Minor roads and tracks converge at the centre of the designed landscape, just north of Monteviot House. Among them are three of the four 19th-century access routes. Probably the most impressive was the route that arrived from the north. Although now bypassed by a minor road, the original drive remains navigable as a woodland track. Curving slightly through the woods, it is lined by enormous Wellingtonia that soar above the surrounding canopy and which lend grandeur to the process of movement along this linear space. Two matching sets of stone gatepiers, linked to low curving walls, announce a transition from this drive to the final short approach through lawns and specimen trees to the stables and Monteviot House itself. This junction point is also crossed by the B6400; a road forming the approach from Ancrum, to the west, and Nisbet, to the east. To the south of the river, a further eastern approach entered just north of Bonjedward by the old Jedfoot Bridge railway station (closed 1948), and is marked by Jedfoot Cottage and Lodge. Now a minor footpath, this was a formerly more defined route that led through Jerdonfield Park to Monteviot via the mid-19th-century suspension bridge over the Teviot.

Parkland

Extensive parkland with an abundance of mature trees occupies the low-lying ground around the River Teviot. Stretching to the south and south west of Monteviot House, across the river, and as far as Bonjedward and the lower slopes of Monklaw Hill, this swathe of landscaped ground is not only crucial to the setting of the house, but also lends character to the wider Teviot valley scenery. The early Ordnance Survey map editions reveal the progressive development of the parks: By the late 1850s substantial numbers of trees had been planted throughout this area, both in small loose groups, and in more substantial clumps along the field divisions (1856-9, OS). Over the next decades, field divisions were removed, ensuring a greater sense of continuous, attractive parkland, which could be appreciated both from the house and immediate garden grounds. In spite of the loss of some older trees during the later 20th century, the distribution of clumps mapped by the Ordnance Survey at the end of the 19th century closely matches that of the present day (1896-9, OS). The species mix includes oak, beech, ash, sycamore with occasional Scots Pine.

Woodland

Like the parkland, the woods at Monteviot follow a structure established during the 19th century, although the descriptions in both the first and second Statistical Accounts of Scotland indicate that a significant amount of planting had already got underway during the preceding century (1792 vol II: 323; 1845 vol III: 182). The most substantial area encompasses Pond Wood and Divet Ha' Wood in the north west of the designed landscape, where a woodland path still follows an older circular route past the old curling pond and through an attractive mix of mature broadleaf and conifer trees, with some overgrown rhododendron. These woods are linked by thick, curving strips to a loop of woodland that stretches around the steep, lower flanks of Peniel Heugh. To the south, the parklands terminate in Calderwood Wood on the north-facing slope of Monklaw. Much of these areas have long been managed on a commercial basis, although there is now an increased focus on amenity and woodland conservation. While earlier to mid-20th century planting concentrated on conifers, such as Sitka spruce and Scots pine, the emphasis in more recent decades has shifted to the reestablishment of hardwoods, including beech and oak. The environmental charity, the Borders Forest Trust is now based at Monteviot where since 1996, they have run 'Woodschool', a centre for the creative and sustainable use of local hardwood timber (www.bordersforesttrust.org).

Water Features

First developed in 1988 from a boggy area of woodland, the Oriental water garden now provides a lush, secluded garden setting. Largely enclosed by woodland, it consists of a series of islands that can be navigated via arched, wooden bridges designed by the present Marquess. The still water of the surrounding pools contrasts with the trickling sound of the nearby springs, which feed the garden, while the associated plant collection is of considerable interest in its own right. Supplemented by the present head gardener from the 1990s onwards, there is now a varied collection of trees, shrubs and foliage plants. Of particular interest are the types of candelabra primulas, some scented, and the juxtaposition of delicate plants interspersed with structure plants such as Rheum, Gunnera and Rodgersia (www.monteviot.com). More recently, work has commenced on the development of the Dene Garden, immediately to the north east. Perhaps a more dynamic water garden, the sloping wooded ground features bridges, walkways and water channels and has been planted to promote a diverse mix of attractive foliage.

The Gardens

Monteviot contains a number of distinct, specialist garden areas located to the south and west of the house and linked by attractive paths and walks, such as the unifying top terrace walk, a new laburnum tunnel from the river garden, and a recently developed woodland walk that connects the water garden and arboretum. Occupying a total of over 14ha (36ac), these diverse gardens offer contrasting environments and feature a wide range of exotic trees and well-maintained planting schemes designed to offer colour, scent and interest right through from April to October.

Two discrete garden areas, the Herb Garden and Rose Garden, lie immediately to the south of Monteviot House. They are accessed via a long, top-terrace walk, first established by the construction of a bastion and retaining terrace walls c.1860, and which promotes not only unity in the garden landscape, but also impressive views across the river and parkland landscape. The walk, which runs parallel to the house, leads past the herb garden, a small rectangular parterre garden first developed in the 19th century, and contained on three sides by the house itself. In this sheltered, courtyard-like space, where climbing and rambling roses ascend the surrounding walls, clipped box hedges define 16 symmetrically-arranged compartments. These are divided from one another by gravel paths and contain a small selection of herb varieties, including lavender, thyme, lemon balm and Golden Melissa (www.monteviot.com). At the west end of the terrace walk, a sandstone stairway leads down to the sunken rose garden, developed during the later 20th century. Accessed via an arched gateway, this is essentially a summer garden space adorned with a good collection of fragrant shrub and species roses. The planting mix was established from new in 2000 following the removal of overcrowded and ailing roses. In the same year, a small orchard was planted just beyond the low south wall of the rose garden and comprises 18 trees representing six varieties of dessert apple cultivars.

As the name River Garden implies, this principal garden at Monteviot extends right down to the river bank. Originally created in the 1960s by designer Percy Cane, this beautifully-maintained garden combines formal and informal elements with significant planting interest. 'Hard' garden elements include the 19th-century elliptical north terrace wall with central, seated alcove, and Cane's stone steps, which lead down the central axis of the mown grass slope towards the river, and again step down at the waters edge. The symmetrical composition betrays an Italianate influence, while part of the garden development included lessening the gradient of the sloping bank by the river, promoting a more smooth, levelled view of the immediate terrain. On either side of the wide lawn, a mixed hedge of holly, yew and ivy serves as a boundary for the garden, while flanking, luxuriant herbaceous beds extend along the upper parts of the slope. In 1984-94, changes to Cane's original design promoted a more informal style. A central avenue of Sargent Cherry trees was removed, while the straight edged island beds were given curves, reflecting the curving line of the perimeter walls and hedges (Morter 2000). Since the late 1990s, these twelve beds have become increasingly dominant components of the river garden, with the addition of a greater number of plants chosen for their flowering seasons and diverse colour, texture and foliage.

Walled Gardens

The rectangular walled kitchen enclosure, built during the first half of the 19th century, is now let out as a commercial nursery and contains a café, work space, plant sales and a kitchen garden area. Visible historic components of the former estate garden are limited to structural elements, namely the brick-lined walls themselves, doorway openings in the centre of each wall and the exterior, brick-built potting shed along the north wall. Immediately opposite this shed, replacement glasshouses now occupy the site of former, 19th century glasshouses. Unlike the more decorative garden areas and parkland around the house, this more functional garden was built at some distance to the north west of Monteviot House. The author of a recent study on the Monteviot gardens notes that in addition to its removed location, there is a distinct lack of material evidence for more ornamental features sometimes encountered elsewhere (such as cast-iron gates, decorative edging to the brick and stone work, or signs of an internal glasshouse), leading her to conclude that above all, this garden served as an efficient area for production, rather than leisure or display (Morter 2000). Surviving monthly pay-lists and notes of estate expenditure from the 1860s and 1870s indicate that five gardeners were employed at Monteviot during this period, with entries ranging from the receipt of money for vegetables sold in 1864, payments for painting and glazing the glasshouse, and the purchase of coal for heating it (1866), and nets for the fruit trees (1875).

Arboretum

Initially conceived, planted and developed in the later 19th century as a pinetum, the arboretum contains an impressive array of over 100 exotic conifer and broadleaf specimen trees from all over the world. Efforts to catalogue and measure the trees in the later 20th century and again in 2000 confirmed the significance of the Monteviot collection with rare or outstanding specimens including unusual beech and oak varieties (Fagus sylvatica 'Albovariegata' and Quercus robur 'Variegata'), and fine examples of Western Hemlock, Japanese larch, Douglas fir and Noble fir (Morter 2000). Although a few older trees have since fallen, or commenced their decline, the collection is frequently supplemented with new additions, including specialist oaks, such as the Black oak and Turners oak, (Quercus velutina and Quercus turneri). Located to the west of the house, the arboretum is linked to the Oriental water garden by a woodland walk, recently developed with a range of new plants such as Japanese azaleas, Tasmanian treeferns, Antarctic beech and Tibetan cherry (www.monteviot.com).

References

Bibliography

Maps, Plans and Archives

1654 Johannes Blaeu, Teviotia, Vulgo, Tivedail / auct. Tim. Pont, Io. Blaeu excudit

1745 Herman Moll, 'The North Part of ye Shire of Roxburgh and the Shire of Selkirk called also Etterick Forest'

1747-55 General Roy's Military Survey

1770 Matthew Stobie, 'A Map of Roxburghshire or Tiviotdale'

1776 George Taylor and Andrew Skinner, 'A.Taylor and A.Skinner's Survey and Map of the Roads of North Britain or Scotland 1776'.

1822 John Thomson, 'Roxburghshire'

1840 N. Tennant, 'Map of the County of Roxburgh'

1843 William Crawford and William Brooke, 'Map embracing extensive portions of the Counties of Roxburgh, Berwick, Selkirk & Midlothian and Part of Northumberland. Minutely and accurately surveyed by… Crawford and Brooke'

1856-9 survey Roxburghshire, 1st edition OS 1:2500 (25”) and OS 1:10560 (6”), published 1863

1896-8 survey Roxburghshire, 2nd edition OS 1:2500 (25”) and OS 1:10560 (6”), published 1899

NAS GD40/8/314 Statements of account (11) by William Ellison Otto, factor, on the Marquess of Lothian's Monteviot private account.

NAS GD40/8/318 Monthly pay lists for Monteviot and Fernieherst estates (gardeners, foresters, carpenters); Oxnam estate foresters' pay list for May; and gamekeepers' monthly returns.

NAS GD40/9/486 Letters (2) from John Page, Monteviot, to the Marquess of Lothian about the gardens at Monteviot (planting of pampas grass, bamboo etc.)

RCAHMS: National Monuments Record of Scotland (NMRS) and photographic and manuscript collections

Sources

Printed Sources

ASH Consulting Group 1998, The Borders landscape assessment, Edinburgh: Scottish Natural Heritage.

Cane, P S, The Creative Art of Garden Design, Country Life Ltd: London

Cruft, K; Dunbar, J and Fawcett, R 2006, Borders, London and New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press

Eyres, P 2006, 'Naturalizing Neoclassicism: Little Sparta and the public gardens of Ian Hamilton Finlay', in Eyres, Patrick and Fiona Russell (eds) Sculpture and the garden, Aldershot: Ashgate

Historic Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers, The Lists of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historical Interest

Land Use Consultants 1987, Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland, Edinburgh: Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage

Morter, C 2000, The History and Development of the Garden at Monteviot House, Roxburghshire, Unpublished report, Scottish Agricultural College

The Statistical Account of Scotland 1791-99, Statistical Account of the Parish of Crailing, 1792, vol.2, 322-32

The New Statistical Account of Scotland 1845, Statistical Account of the Parish of Crailing, 1835, vol.3, 177-87

Internet Sources

PASTMAP: Historic Scotland on behalf of Scottish Ministers, The Schedule of Monuments, jura.rcahms.gov.uk/PASTMAP/start.jsp [accessed 18 June 2009]

SiteLink: Scottish Natural Heritage, Sites designated for their natural heritage value, www.snh.org.uk/snhi/ [accessed 18 June 2009]

Borders Forest Trust Projects: 'Woodschool/Real Wood Studios' www.bordersforesttrust.org, [accessed 1 March 2009]

Monteviot House, www.monteviot.com, [accessed 1 March 2009]

Note of Abbreviations used in references

NAS: National Archives of Scotland

RCAHMS: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

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

MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT
MONTEVIOT

Printed: 17/11/2018 22:21