Looking ahead

The Boudoir at Bowhill, created in the 1830s for the 5th Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch.

The Boudoir at Bowhill, created in the 1830s for the 5th Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch.

I have been reading some of the papers of the Attingham Trust’s 60th Anniversary conference, held in London in October 2012. The Trust is well known for organising the scholarly summer schools which allow heritage professionals and aficionados from across the world to gain a greater understanding of the historic houses and gardens of Britain.



The papers provide a fascinating snapshot of the current environment for historic houses and gardens. I was particularly struck by the lively paper presented by the Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry, chairman of the Buccleuch Group, which not only includes the family’s ancestral houses and estates but also a host of commercial activities. The Duke of Buccleuch’s outlook is not only cheerful, but also very personal, reminding us of the huge value individuals and families bring to the preservation of heritage.

Speaking of the personal, I am a fan of the Boudoir at Bowhill, one of the Buccleuch houses, with its wonderful 1830s decor which includes a Chinese wallpaper. Bowhill features in the recently published book by James Knox, The Scottish Country House.

5 Responses to “Looking ahead”

  1. Susan Walter Says:

    The Boudoir clearly has the most wonderful ceiling — and I don’t remember it — how shocking! I remember the Canalettos and going up the scaffolding to the roof, which was rather high. Did you work for the Trust when we all went up to Scotland for the Historic Buildings Conference organised by Ed? I can’t remember. For me, not being a historic buildings professional, just an enthusiast, it was a real thrill, and absolutely fascinating.

  2. Michael Shepherd Says:

    You should also take at a look at the splendid guidebooks produced for Bowhill and Drumlanrig Castle by the Duke. They are rather splendid with excellent photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg and join that produced for Boughton House in “The House, Its People and its Paintings” format. Perhaps the NT guidebooks could learn from their excellence?

  3. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Susan, no sadly that was before my time – how fascinating to see the work then being done to the house.

    Michael, good to hear that apart from everything else the Buccleuch estate also produces good guidebooks 🙂 And I can reassure you that the NT is also once again producing new high-end guidebooks, such as the excellent examples recently published on Stowe and Petworth.

  4. KDM Says:

    I too have enjoyed reading the Attingham papers – a wry and considerate review of the issues facing all of us who care for historic properties. Have yet to visit the native home of the Keiths and the MacKays – so will enjoy the recommended readings in this post and in its comments until I get there. KDM

  5. Emile de Bruijn Says:

    Indeed Keith – and I still have to read the paper about the current US situation.

    Isn’t it strange how on the one hand the internet makes the world really small, but on the other hand it also allows us to celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of different place.

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