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Minister Sees Mansion Saved For The Nation

22 September 2009

Culture Minister Michael Russell went behind the scenes to see one of Scotland’s most impressive country homes and its remarkable collection of Chippendale furniture.

Dumfries House was bought by a consortium led by HRH The Duke of Rothesay in 2007 and was opened to the public the following year for the first time in it’s 300-year history.

The Minister said: “I have been keen to come and see the collection at Dumfries House for some time now and am therefore delighted to be here. This is a unique place and I am encouraged by the group of people gathered here today to look at the challenges facing historic visitor attractions and how the sector can work together to share its expertise, passion and enthusiasm with the huge amount of people who visit these properties every year.

“As well as giving people a glimpse of what 18th-century life was like in and around such buildings, the plans for the surrounding land are giving the area an economic boost.  I am keen to hear of the exciting progress that has been made since the First Minister attended the opening in June 2008 and what lies ahead.”

Dumfries House was designed by the Adam brothers and is now operated by The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust.

Chief Executive of the Trust, Mike Schafer, said: “We have been greatly encouraged by the interest shown in Dumfries House since it opened last year. Now we are looking at what we can do to continue to develop how we promote this beautiful Adam house and its unrivalled collection of furniture.”

Following a tour of the house the Minister joined a meeting of representatives from across the heritage sector to discuss how partnership working can be used to improve the way historic attractions are presented, maintained and marketed.

The House has recently played host to a series of popular events ranging from Antiques Roadshow to the Taste of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Notes for editors

  • Dumfries House is one of the most architecturally significant houses in the UK. It was built between 1754 and 1759 by the Adam brothers, with furniture made specifically for the house by Thomas Chippendale and the contemporary Edinburgh furniture makers William Mathie, Alexander Peter and Francis Brodie.

  • For more information on Dumfries House please visit Pre-booked tours of the house are available from Thursday to Monday until October 31, 2009 this season. Detail can be found on the website or by calling 01290 425959.

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information

Lisa Nicholson
Communications and Media Manager
Communications and Media
0131 668 8852 or 07500 065 438