Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site

Doocot, boundary wall, and walled garden to Caroline Park (and to former Granton Castle), Excluding Glass Houses to North and Centre of Walled Garden, Caroline Park and West Shore Road, EdinburghLB28139

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NT 22601 77223
322601, 677223


Probably early to mid-18th century (possibly earlier) and incorporating 16th and 17th century fabric with 20th century alterations. Former Granton Castle policies buildings, including large, rectangular plan walled garden, coursed sandstone rubble lectern doocot with adjoining boundary wall. The walled garden together with the doocot are located to the northwest of and directly adjacent to Caroline Park House and became ancillaries of this estate from around 1740.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: two late 19th and early 20th century glasshouses in the walled garden are not considered of special interest in listing terms at time of review.

WALLED GARDEN: sandstone rubble with ridged rubble coping. Early fabric possibly incorporating Granton Castle walls to west and north.

DOOCOT: rectangular in plan, aligned east-west; single pitch grey slate roof slopes down towards south; crowstepped sides to east and west elevations; 2 rat-courses. Nest boxes and flight holes no longer in existence (entrance may have been at ridge of roof). 2 windows to south elevation. Doorway existed formerly to west elevation (now blocked).

BOUNDARY WALL: random rubble with ridged rubble cope in parts. Forms U-shape to south and east of doocot. Doocot is towards north of west section of wall, which terminates at corrugated iron fence to N; incorporates margined doorway further south. South section of wall includes later gateway with ball finialled gateposts towards east. East section terminates opposite north end of service wing of Caroline Park House ( Royston House ). Later outbuilding structures to inner faces of south and east sections of wall.

Statement of Special Interest

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: two late 19th and early 20th century glasshouses in the walled garden are not considered of special interest in listing terms at time of review.

The doocot, boundary wall and walled garden to Caroline Park (and former Granton Castle), possibly dating to the 16th or 17th centuries, but certainly before the mid 18th century are early surviving examples of their building type and they remain important ancillary components of a significant 17th century house and to some extent, its later estate landscape. The pre-18th century footprint and fabric of the garden walls forming a castle/garden enclosure and the survival of the doocot is of interest.

The walled garden was originally built as part of the former Granton Castle (Granton House) policies. The castle, demolished in 1921, was previously integrated into the western section of the walled garden which likely incorporates some fabric of the castle s former east elevation. The walls and the doocot directly adjacent to the south of the walled garden were also built as part of the former Granton Castle estate. Following the disuse of the castle, the garden walls and the doocot became significant ancillaries for Caroline Park House itself, one of Scotland s most important surviving 17th century houses, and they continue to form a significant group with this house.

Granton Castle, originally called Granton House, was known to have been built for John Melville of Carnbee (of Fife) from 1479. There is an account that the castle was reputedly ruined circa 1544 during the Earl of Hertford's local insurgences and was subsequently restored for occupation (see A B Fleming: 1896). The castle was altered significantly after Sir Thomas Hope of Craighall (d. 1646) acquired the property in 1619 and several accounts of the garden were recorded in Sir Thomas's diaries (see A B Fleming: 1896). John Adair's map of 1683 clearly shows a defined garden boundary around the Granton Castle. The castle was later bought by John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, in 1740, a year after he purchased Royston House and its estate, amalgamating the two baronies of Easter and Wester Granton to form an expansive estate which was renamed Caroline Park, after his daughter Caroline who was married to the son of the Duke of Buccleuch.

The neighbouring Royston House/Caroline Park House, was built directly on the other side of the Granton Burn for Sir George Mackenzie, Viscount Tarbat, in 1683-96 incorporating an earlier mansion for Andrew Logan dating to around 1585. Significant alterations to the house by William Adam took place in 1740-41 after it was acquired by the Duke of Argyll.

The most significant period of development of the gardens and landscape at Caroline Park took place from 1740 to the 1760s under the influence of Lady Caroline and included the incorporation of this walled garden into an elaborate planned estate landscape with several park enclosures (see plan entitled Estates of Caroline Park and Oyster Scalp and Island of Inchkeith, dated 1768). Caroline Park House was leased from the 1760s onward and the ownership of the estate fell to the Buccleuchs at the death of Lady Caroline in 1794 until various parts were sold off from the late 19th century.

Granton Castle too was leased out for a brief period until the late 18th century when it became disused and soon fell in to ruin. The castle was designated as a scheduled monument in 1920 but was subsequently demolished in 1921. The 1874 memoirs of Lord Henry Cockburn reveal that the castle, although partially in ruins in the early 19th century was occupied by the estate gardener (Lord Cockburn's father leased the land from circa 1801). Cockburn s account also notes that by the early 19th century many of the park enclosures had been given over to agricultural use. Another late 19th century account of the landscape (Warrender, 1895) refers to the garden to the west of Caroline Park and noted that it contained an enchanting tangle of flowers, fruit trees and shady bowers and is a likely reference to the walled garden as it was at this date.

From the 1830s, the parkland estate surrounding Caroline Park gradually became diminished with the encroaching industrial interests of the Buccleuchs, including the development of Granton Harbour, the quarry to the shore, the railway connecting Edinburgh to Perth via Granton, and most notably in terms of scale, the large gasworks to the west from 1897.

No significant changes to the garden at Caroline Park were seen until the end of the 19th century and early 20th century when two long ranges of glass houses were built, with the earliest being the lean-to range against the north wall as found on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map published 1895. The last significant physical change to the site was the demolition around 1921 of Granton Castle itself which has been gradually undermined by quarrying leaving a gap in the north east section of the walled garden (and never in-filled). Up to this date, the castle had been frequently depicted as a picturesque ruin in several 19th century paintings, as well as early photographs and postcards, and it can be presumed that its Romantic qualities as a ruin were regarded by the successive owners of Caroline Park House itself during the 18th and 19th centuries.

A map of the estate A Plann of Caroline Parke, not dated, likely dating to the 1760s (probabaly 1768) after Granton House policies was incorporated into those of Caroline Park House, shows that the plan form of the walled garden has not changed significantly since this period. This map and others dating around the same period were drawn up shortly before and after the Duke of Argyll acquired Caroline Park and the neighbouring barony to the immediate east of the Granton Burn and indicates that a walled garden was likely well established here before the early 18th century. It may be therefore reasonable to suggest that the walled garden was developed during Sir Thomas Hope's ownership as he is known to have made significant changes to the castle in the early 17th century.

Walled gardens are important yet common ancillaries of a high status country houses or smaller houses within substantial landholdings and surviving examples range in date from the 16th to the 20th centuries. Medieval walled gardens evolved as an extension to agriculture and were often practical in their use, diversifying gradually into other uses for pleasure or contemplation. The walled kitchen garden was particularly important in Scotland where a harsh climate and unfavourable growing conditions prevailed and evolved as part of the typology of the fortified Scottish castle.

In Scotland, important gardens had been established at its great houses from the late medieval and early Renaissance periods (15th to 16th centuries), but as the interest in gardening and the science behind it grew, it became more common from the around the 17th century to find a designed garden, often comprising a walled garden and a doocot at lesser houses and estates.

Early walled gardens, associated with pre- and post-Reformation period castles or lairds houses, are commonly found in close proximity to the house, forming part of formal courtyard or enclosure of the house. Doocots were also commonly featured in or near these early walled policies and signified the high status of the owner.

While the majority of surviving walled gardens date to the 18th and 19th centuries, pre-18th century walled gardens are less common; nevertheless, many do survive and are included in the lists.

Early important examples of walled gardens which form significant components of large estates dating to the 16th and 17th centuries which are still intact include Seton Castle, East Lothian (category A) and St Catherine s Walled Garden at Howdenhall, Edinburgh (LB28146 – category B) which incorporates circular turret features. Aberdour Castle s (LB6421 - A) walled courtyard arrangement is also a significant example of formal enclosed gardens near an early fortified castle. Castle Kennedy s 1607 B-listed walled garden is also an important ancillary to its earlier keep.

While early in date, the design of the Caroline Park/Granton Castle walled garden is typical for a walled garden of this period. It is functional in its simple rectangular layout and is plain with no architectural embellishments which may be found in 16th and 17th century walled gardens (such as bee boles, finials of dressed stone), comprising roughly right angled walls to the north and west with an undulating profile to the east to follow the contour of the small burn.

Dovecots or pigeon-houses (known as doocots in Scotland) provided shelter, protection from vermin and nesting facilities for pigeons and feature prominently in these early gardens. A significant example of a smaller estate is that of Pilmuir House (LB6898 – category A) in East Lothian which, built circa 1624, is largely intact and is centred around the house and its doocot.

The earliest surviving doocots in Scotland date from the 16th century. These distinctive structures, found principally on monastic establishments and estates with large households, provided a welcome and easily caught source of meat, particularly in the winter months, while the accumulated manure was a rich fertiliser for the land. They are most common in arable areas which could provide sufficient food for the pigeons and are therefore more prevalent in the east of Scotland.

The early, circular beehive design was superseded by dovecots of square and rectangular plan, such as at Caroline Park/Granton Castle. Most are of a relatively plain design and the example at Granton Castle is typical. Doocots largely ceased to be built after the mid-19th century when the need for them diminished, although a few decorative examples were constructed in the Edwardian period.

Doocots are an important building type as they tell us much about our agricultural and domestic history and they are often prominent landscape features.

The doocot at Caorline Park/Granton Castle appears on 18th century estate maps (as noted above). Within the history of doocots the example at Caroline Park/Granton Castle is of particular interest for its age. Pre-18th century examples of surviving doocots are rare, the majority of surviving examples date from the 18th century onwards.

The design quality of the doocot is typical for its date. The quality of the design is reduced slightly by the loss of the interior nesting boxes, but doocots with completely intact surviving boxes are rare.

Later garden features which survive in a fairly complete state with features such as heated walls, glasshouses can also have interest. However, the glasshouses which survive to the south elevation of the north wall date to the late 19th and early 20th centuries are of standard design and construction for their date and are not considered of special interest in listing terms at the time of the review (2015).

Statutory address and listed building record revised in 2015. Walled Garden previously listed separately at category C as 5 Caroline Park and West Shore Road, Walled Garden to North of Caroline Park House (LB45784).

Statutory address and listed building record revised in 2016. Previously listed as 'Doocot, Boundary Wall and Walled Garden to Former Granton Castle, Excluding Glass Houses to North and Centre of Walled Garden, 5 Caroline Park and West Shore Road, Edinburgh'.



Canmore CANMORE ID 236077

Archival Sources

National Records of Scotland (MW1/867) Ministry of Works De-scheduled monument Granton Castle Midlothian . (11/3/1932).


Adair, J.. (1683). The Hydrographicall mappe of Forth from the entry to ye Queens-ferry.

(Mid 18th century, probably 1739). William Edgar (surveyor) Plan of the Lands of Royston. (Historic Environment Scotland EDD/46/60)

(1768). Estates of Caroline Parke & Oyster Scalp In the Parishes of St Cuthberts and Cramond, Buccleuch Drawings (Bowhill). (Historic Environment Scotland EDD/44/64)

(1768) A Plann of Caroline Parke. (Historic Environment Scotland EDD/46/53)

Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1852, published 1855) Edinburgh, Sheet 2. 6 inches to 1 mile. 1st Edition.

Ordnance Survey (resurveyed 1893-4, published 1895) Edinburgh, Sheet 1.14. 1:2500 scale. Appears with glasshouse structure.

Printed Sources

A. B. Fleming and Co. (1896) Caroline Park House and Royston Castle. Edinburgh: Neill and Company.

CFA Archaeology. (unpublished report, 2002) Granton Castle, Edinburgh: Archaeological Desk-based Assessment Report No. 759.

Cockburn, H.. (1874) The Journal of Henry Cockburn. Excerpt found in C K Currie.

Currie, C. K.. (unpublished report, 2001) An archaeological desk-based assessment of Caroline Park, Granton, Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland.

Gifford, J. et. al.. (1991) The Buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh. London: Penguin Books. pp. 603-8.

Harris, D. F.. (1896).Caroline Park House and Royston Castle: A Descriptive and Historical Account. Edinburgh.

Law, John (of Lauriston). The Ancient and Modern State of the Parish of Cramond. (1984 facsimile of 1794 publication). p. 18

MacGibbon, D. and Ross T.. The Castellated and Domestic Architecture of Scotland, Vol 2. (first published 1887, this edition 1971). pp. 185-92.

Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Inventory for Midlothian and West Lothian (1929). pp. 30-32.

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Copies of Bute Papers, EDD/46.

Warrender, M.. (1895) Walks Near Edinburgh. Excerpt found in C K Currie.

Online Sources

Weir, W.. Chronology of Granton House/Castle [accessed 15 March 2015]

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Doocot and Boundary Wall to Caroline Park (and to former Granton Castle), looking northeast, during daytime on a dull day.



Printed: 18/06/2024 09:57