The Pineapple

Dunmore, Central Scotland - Sleeps 4

About this Landmark

An eccentric 18th century summer house built in the shape of a pineapple - it presides over a walled garden, while at the back is a private garden for those staying. 

  • Dogs AllowedDogs Allowed
  • CotCot
  • Fire or StoveFire or Stove
  • Open SpaceOpen Space
  • Parking AvailableParking Available
  • Bath with ShowerBath with Shower
  • Outside Dining FurnitureOutside Dining Furniture
  • MicrowaveMicrowave
  • RemoteRemote

Beds 1 Twin, 1 Double

  • Sleeps 4
  • 4 nights from £233
  • equivalent to £14.56 per person, per night

An elaborate summerhouse with a fruity top

The Pineapple is an elaborate summerhouse of two storeys, built for the 4th Earl of Dunmore. Though classical and orthodox at ground level, it grows slowly into something entirely vegetable; conventional architraves put out shoots and end as prickly leaves of stone. It is an eccentric work, of undoubted genius, built of the very finest masonry. To house the gardeners, stone bothies were built on either side of The Pineapple and it is in these that you stay. They make plain, unassuming rooms and you have to go out of doors to get from one part to the other. At the back, where the ground level is higher, is a private garden for our visitors, with steps leading into the elegant room inside The Pineapple itself.

Announcing his return home

It probably began as a pavilion of one storey, dated 1761, and only grew its fruity dome after 1777, when Lord Dunmore was brought back, forcibly, from serving as Governor of Virginia. There, sailors would put a pineapple on the gatepost to announce their return home. Lord Dunmore, who was fond of a joke, announced his return more prominently.

A large walled garden

The Pineapple presides over an immense walled garden. This, in the Scottish tradition, was built some distance from the house, to take advantage of a south-facing slope. The Pineapple and its surroundings are owned by the National Trust for Scotland; we took a long lease in 1973 and restored all the buildings and the walled garden, which is now open to the public through the NTS.

Floor Plan

‘Hooray for The Pineapple, prickly and proud.’

‘The experience of actually living in such a building is so much more rewarding than merely visiting.’

From the logbook

Map & local info

Set in glorious grounds, The Pineapple has a private garden at the back and looks out over an immense walled garden at the front, which is open to the public through the National Trust for Scotland. It is close to the picturesque, conservation village of Dunmore and the town of Falkirk, where you can take a trip on the Falkirk Wheel and visit the working Georgian kitchen and exhibitions at Callendar House

Stirling is a short distance from Dunmore by car. Visit its historic sites such as the Castle, the National Wallace Monument and the Battle of Bannockburn. Stroll around the medieval old town and venture into the surrounding, beautiful countryside by following one of the many walking routes in and around Stirling. The Blair Drummond Safari Park, on the outskirts of the city, is a fun day out too.

Golf enthusiasts should note that the world famous, luxury Gleneagles golf resort is about half an hour from Dunmore by car and is open to visitors all year round. 

Close by is the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum (8.6 miles), the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Regimental Museum (8.8 miles) and the Pittencrieff House Museum (14.1 miles). You can gain free entry to the Stirling Smith Art Gallery Museum and the Pittencrieff House Museum with a National Art Pass, which enables its 122,000 holders to enjoy free and discounted entry to over 225 museums, galleries and historic houses throughout the UK. The pass is presented by one of Landmark's partners, the Art Fund, the national fundraising charity for art, which has been supporting museums and galleries for over 110 years by helping them to buy and display great works of art for everyone to enjoy. Income raised through the National Art Pass goes straight back into their charitable programme. Find more about it on the ArtFund's website http://www.artfund.org/

Please Note: The Landmark Trust does not take any responsibility and makes no warranties, representations or undertakings about the content of any website accessed by hypertext link. Links should not be taken as an endorsement of any kind. The Landmark Trust has no control over the availability of the linked pages.

The Pineapple
Dunmore, Central Scotland - Sleeps 4
Clear directions

‘Hooray for The Pineapple, prickly and proud.’

‘The experience of actually living in such a building is so much more rewarding than merely visiting.’

From the logbook

Your questions answered

    What you need to know about this building

  • Does the property allow dogs?

    Yes.
  • How is the property accessed?

    Via a gravel track from the main road.
  • What is the nearest railway station and how far away is it?

    Larbet – 6 miles.
  • Is there car parking specifically for Landmark guests?

    There is parking in the gravelled area adjacent to the property.
  • What type of heating does the property have?

    There are electric night storage radiators, Rointe heaters and an open fire.
  • How can I get fuel for the open fire or stove?

    Logs may be purchased and delivered under a private arrangement. Further details will be provided with your booking confirmation.
  • What are the kitchen facilities?

    The kitchen is fully equipped with all plates, cutlery, fridge etc. There is an electric cooker.
  • What are the bathroom facilities?

    There is one bathroom with a shower over the bath.
  • Does this Landmark have steep, narrow or spiral stairs?

    No difficult internal stairs.
  • Are any rooms outside the main accommodation?

    Yes, you have to go outside to access the bedrooms from the living accommodation.
  • Is this a property for hardier visitors?

    Yes, this property is difficult to heat in the winter.
  • Is there a garden or outside space?

    There is a garden (not enclosed).

    Booking and Payment

  • How can I pay?

    We accept Maestro (if issued in the UK), Visa, MasterCard, direct transfer and sterling cheques drawn on a UK bank. Cheques should be made payable to the Landmark Trust except for Lundy stays and boat/helicopter tickets which should be payable to The Lundy Company Ltd. All payments must be in sterling.
  • How do I create an account?

    If you have not used the Landmark online booking facility before and you wish to register in advance, you can set up an on-line account by following the instructions below:

    Go to the Landmark home page and click on Gift shop (located at the top of the home page in red).

    Select a gift (e.g. Landmark Handbook or Anniversary Mug) and complete the ‘Amount required’ box. There is no need to complete the purchase but this step is necessary in order to bring up the registration page.

    Click ‘Next Step’ at the bottom of the page.

    This will bring you to the ‘Your details’ page.

    Please complete all the fields (name, address, contact details and create an account). Click on the green ‘Create Account’ button once you have finished.

    At the top of the page headed ‘Your details’ there will be a grey box saying ‘Signed in’ and underneath this it will say ‘you are currently signed in as ….

    Here you will also have the option to ‘Sign out’. Please do so and that is your registration completed.

    Please return to the Landmark home page.

    To check your registration or update your account details at any time please ‘Sign in’ using the icon in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

    If you experience any problems in registering or setting up your on-line account please contact [email protected]
  • How do I pick up the key?

    There are various arrangements for picking up keys. To arrange to get into the Landmark, please contact the housekeeper at least two days before your stay
  • Can I pay a deposit?

    If your stay starts more than three months from the date you make the booking, you are required to pay a deposit of one third of the cost of your stay (or £100 per booking, if greater) at the time of booking. Camping on Lundy must be paid for in full at the time of booking.
  • How can I cancel or change my booking?

    If you wish to cancel or change your booking, please contact our Booking Office on 01628 825925
  • What if I arrive late?

    Please let the housekeeper know if you are going to arrive late and s/he will leave a key for you in a suitable place.
  • Do you accept payment in other currencies?

    At the moment we only accept payment in sterling.
  • How far in advance do I need to book?

    It depends. Some of our most popular Landmarks are booked up a long time in advance, but many can be booked at short notice. We will always have Landmarks free for the coming weekend so it’s always worth checking our availability list.
  • Do you have to be a member to book a Landmark?

    No, Landmarks are available to be booked for anyone.
  • Do I need a Handbook to be able to book?

    No, all the information you need can be found on our website, although we’d like you to buy one anyway as it will be a pleasure to own!
  • What happens if I can’t get to the Landmark due to bad weather?

    If the weather is bad, please contact our booking office who will be able to tell you whether the Landmark is accessible. If the housekeeper can safely get to the building to prepare it then we consider that it is open and available for guests. However if we cannot undertake a changeover then we will do our utmost to transfer your stay to another Landmark, depending on what we have available. It may not be of a similar size or in the same part of the country as your original booking. If the building is accessible but the customer cannot travel due to poor weather in his/her local area then please be aware that Landmark will not provide a refund. However the customer may be able to claim on his/her own travel insurance. We recommend that all guests take out travel insurance when they first secure a booking.

    Staying at a Landmark

  • Are Landmarks accessible for people with disabilities or limited mobility?

    Some of our Landmarks are suitable for people with disabilities or limited mobility. However, many Landmarks have steep or narrow staircases, uneven floors and thresholds, changes of level, low ceilings or beams, as well as indistinct colours on steps and in corridors. We recommend that you call Booking Enquiries on 01628 825925 if you would like to find out the suitability of a particular Landmark for anyone with a specific disability.
  • Are Landmarks only available as self-catering accommodation?

    Yes, Landmarks are only available as self-catering accommodation. We do not offer bed and breakfast.
  • Do you provide catering?

    Landmark does not provide catering, but we can recommend Greycoat Lumleys who can arrange for expert and well-trained staff to cater for one evening or for your entire holiday. Their cooks and chefs are able to work with you to meet your specific requirements
  • Do you allow dogs?

    You may bring up to two dogs to properties where dogs are allowed (please see specific property details for exemptions however dogs are not permitted on Lundy except assistance dogs). They must be kept off the furniture and under proper control.
  • Can I bring a pet?

    Apart from two dogs (see above) no other pets are permitted.
  • Am I insured if I break something?

    We do not carry insurance for breakages. However we appreciate that accidents do sometimes happen. If you have a breakage during your stay, please let the housekeeper know and if appropriate we reserve the right to invoice you accordingly.
  • Are Landmarks suitable for children?

    Yes, most of our Landmarks are perfect for children, with gardens to play in and secret places to discover. Our furniture is surprisingly robust and we positively encourage families to stay. However, some of our buildings may not be suitable for small children; for example, some of them have steep or uneven spiral staircases. We recommend that you call the Booking Enquiries team if you would like to find out the suitability of any of our Landmarks for young children.
  • Can I get married in a Landmark?

    Unfortunately, most of our Landmarks are not licensed for weddings. However, you may get married on Lundy.
  • Can I hold a big party in a Landmark?

    All our larger Landmarks are perfect for gatherings of family or friends. You may invite an additional two guests to visit you during your stay, however they must not stay overnight. This is very important because our fire regulations specifically note the maximum number of people in any one building. In addition our properties are prepared, furnished and equipped for the number of people specified and greater numbers cause damage and excessive wear and tear to vulnerable buildings. Should this condition be ignored we shall make a retrospective charge per person per day (whether or not they stay overnight) for each guest over the permitted limit, the charge being pro-rated on the total cost of your booking.
  • Are there televisions in the buildings?

    We deliberately do not provide televisions and find that most people appreciate this.
  • Why are your access tracks sometimes difficult?

    One of the challenges of restoring unloved buildings is gaining access to them. We frequently have to negotiate rights with our neighbours and share tracks with them. In many cases tracks do not belong to us and we have no right to maintain them. Wherever possible we work with our neighbours to provide you with a good quality surface, but where this is a problem then you will be warned at the time of booking.
  • Will there be sockets for my electrical appliances?

    Yes, we have standard electricity sockets for UK appliances. If you are coming from outside the UK, you will need to bring your own adaptor plug(s).

    Facilities

  • Are the kitchens and bathrooms restored to a modern standard?

    Sometimes our kitchens and bathrooms have to be imaginatively fitted into the available space in buildings where before there were none, but they are all planned and equipped to a high and modern standard.
  • Is linen provided?

    Yes, Landmarks are fully equipped with sheets and towels. All the beds are fully made up for your arrival.
  • Are the kitchens fully equipped?

    Yes, our kitchens are well equipped with cookers and fridges. There are freezers and dishwashers (in larger buildings) and, where space allows, microwaves as well as a wide and standard range of utensils. A full equipment list is available at time of booking.
  • Do you provide logs for the open fire/stove?

    Logs are provided at many of our Landmarks for an additional cost.
  • Will there be a mobile signal in the Landmark I book?

    Mobile coverage varies. Some Landmarks have an excellent signal, but others have none at all. If you are concerned, you can check with the housekeeper before your arrival.
  • Is there Wi-Fi in your buildings?

    No. At the moment, we have decided not to implement Wi-Fi in our buildings following a consultation with our customers. Many said that they would find it useful, but many also felt that it would somehow damage the experience of staying in a Landmark. As the responses were so split, and as we have so many other initiatives requiring funding, we have decided to put this on hold for the time being.
  • What should I bring with me? Are there lavatory rolls, soap, shampoo, milk, teabags, coffee, hairdryer?

    A welcome tray with tea and sugar awaits your arrival and you will find a pint of milk in the fridge. We also provide lavatory rolls and a bar of soap, per basin but no other toiletries. We do not provide hairdryers.

At first a small garden pavilion

The Pineapple, perhaps the best known of all the Landmark Trust’s buildings, was built by John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore. It seems that at first he built the garden with a small central pavilion of only one storey (up to the line of the string course below the existing windows) on its central axis in 1761, the date that appears on the keystone. It has been suggested that it may have been a somewhat belated wedding present to his wife after their marriage in 1759.

We do not know who the architect was for this pavilion, but a likely contender is Robert Mylne, who had family connections with the Dunmores and who came from a family of master masons near Edinburgh. The walls are of double construction with a cavity through which hot air could be circulated to encourage the ripening of the fruit - the garden sits over a coal outcrop.

The Pineapple itself is now thought to be a later addition to this earlier pavilion. There are various physical clues that support this - the walls have been heightened and there are differences in the masonry; and it fits in with the sequence of events in Lord Dunmore’s life. He left for America in 1770 and became Governor of Virginia. Here pineapples had acquired an association with hospitality - sailors returning home would stick a pineapple or two on their gateposts to tell the community they were back and would welcome visitors. From this, the fruit had become very popular as architectural decoration.

It seems likely that on his return to Scotland he decided to build his fruity extravaganza. No doubt he had developed a taste for pineapples and wished to grow them in his walled garden, and determined to outdo anything that he had seen in America, he built a pineapple 37 feet high! The walls containing the six windows were raised and the heating system made more sophisticated with the chimney pots disguised as decorative urns. Gardeners would then have been housed comfortably in the bothies on either side.

Frustratingly, the architect of this triumph of folly remains unknown despite numerous candidates being put forward. The Pineapple was never engraved or described in letters, diaries or travel logs of the period. The estate was not on any major tourist route, and perhaps the Georgians found it over the top and avoided it. There is a local tradition that it was built by Italian workmen because the standard of craftsmanship is so high. The drainage is ingenious - the stones are graded in such a way that water cannot collect anywhere. The base of each leaf is in fact higher than it appears when viewed from below, so that the rain water drains away easily from these higher parts. At one time it seems that The Pineapple was painted.

Lord Dunmore’s son, the 5th Earl wrote how "hothouse fruit ... was sent every fortnight from Dunmore Park, where my father had no house, but an excellent garden". This situation changed when the son commissioned William Wilkins to design him a new house in 1820. It was built in the Tudor Gothic style. Wilkins went on to design such buildings as the National Gallery and the old St George’s Hospital on Hyde Park Corner - now the Lanesborough Hotel. The 8th Lord Dunmore was the last member of the family to live in the house, which he sold in 1911. It ended up as a girls’ school and today the house is an empty shell. The Earl and Countess of Perth purchased The Pineapple and the walled garden in the late 1960s with plans to turn it into a house.

They decided not to go ahead with this and instead it passed to the National Trust for Scotland from whom the Landmark Trust, as a charity which specialises in the rescue of unusual historic buildings giving them a future by letting them for holidays, took a lease in 1973.

Disappearing behind vegetation

The site had been severely neglected and the buildings on either side of The Pineapple were deteriorating fast and had almost disappeared behind vegetation - so one of the first jobs was to clear all this away. The three remaining urn shaped chimney pots were removed and all doors, window frames and the carved wood entablature behind the portico were removed and stored for later use.

Both wings required extensive repair - new joists and flooring were required; the roofs were replaced using the best of the old slates with new ones to match; all timber lintels were replaced and the walls were made good up to the eaves with the coping stones carefully reset. The fourth decorative chimney pot was found broken into many fragments, but these were all carefully gathered and stuck back together to join the other three.

The portico roof was likewise reslated with a mix of old and new slates and the cornice was carefully taken down, rebedded and reset because it had become displaced. Stonework to the north entrance and the steps was reset and the metal railings repaired and refixed. The walls and vault were treated for damp and waterproofed and replastered. The two panelled doors and frames leading into the original hothouses were repaired. The wooden Ionic columns and the broken entablature were restored and the stone slab floor was overhauled with paving from the Natural Stone Quarries.

For The Pineapple itself, a scaffolding was erected to give access to all parts and to facilitate the removal of plants. In fact the stonework, considering its neglect, was in remarkably good condition - a testimony to its good design and drainage system. All the joints were raked out and repointed and the whole fruit was cleaned by hand with just water and a churn brush. Inside, the existing windows were repaired and others were replaced to match exactly. The stonework and plasterwork was cleaned and redecorated and window seats were supplied and fitted. Finally all the work was done to form the Landmark accommodation - bedrooms, bathroom, sitting room and kitchen - in the two wings. Since completion, The Pineapple has been available to rent for up to four people.

The garden was a jungle, covered with Rosebay Willowherb. The Scottish Tourist Board gave a grant towards its restoration, and the area was cleaned and prepared for the trimming and grading of the slopes. It was seeded in the autumn of 1974 with the first cut the next spring. The South Pond was cleared and put in order and the perimeter railing re-erected. The stone doorway in the east garden wall was also rebuilt and the walls were repaired where necessary with 14,000 bricks made to match by the Swanage Brick and Tile Company. A tree planting scheme was carried out based on a formal orchard layout.

 

Stone repairs to The Pineapple

The Pineapple, Central Scotland

Having been exposed to the wind, rain and sun, the distinctive features of The Pineapple are in need of careful, specialist attention. We appealed for help to conserve and repair the vulnerable carved stone fruit at this iconic Landmark, and to carry out some generalised repointing of the building.

We were thrilled to receive a large donation from an extremely generous individual to fully fund all this work. We needed to raise about £10,000 so that a highly skilled stonemason can carry out sensitive and technically challenging repairs to the wonderful, carved sandstone fruit. It is estimated that a further £5,000 is needed to carry out some localised repointing and exterior repairs around the building. This will include work to damaged render and plaster finishes, and a fresh coat of limewash in the partially enclosed area below the pineapple, which you see as a pedimented entrance in all the main photographs.

The repairs to the Pineapple were completed in June 2014.

Find out more about the Landmark Fund

Select a changeover day to start your booking...

What's a changeover day? and Why can't I select other dates?Explain MoreQuestion

A changeover day is a particular day of the week when holidays start and end at our properties. These tend to be on a Friday or a Monday but can sometimes vary. All stays run from one changeover day until another changeover day.