Built / Designed For: 8th Earl of Abercorn
House & Family History: The Duddingston Estate was sold in 1745 by Archibald Campbell, the 3rd Duke of Argyll (1682-1761), to James Hamilton, 8th Earl of Abercorn. Lord Abercorn improved the Estate and commissioned Sir William Chambers to build a new house, 1763-68, which cost £30,000 (approximately £51 million in 2016 inflation-adjusted values using the labour value commodity index). The two-story five-bay House is built of a pale stone with Corinthian columns forming a pedimented central portico. The interiors, particularly the Entrance Hall, are very fine and feature exceptional fireplaces and plasterwork. The private apartments were in a separate block to the north of the main house. Duddingston was a hotel for many years; in the 1990s the wings (the private apartments and the Stableblock) were converted into luxury homes and the main house developed into offices for architects Percy Johnson-Marshall and Partners. King Edward VII, when prince of Wales, considered purchasing Duddingston as his private estate, but, in the end, bought Sandringham instead.
Comments: Duddingston is considered one of Chambers's finest works, and is his only country house of note in Scotland.
Garden & Outbuildings: The Park may have been laid out by Capability Brown and now forms Duddingston Golf Course and the grounds of Holy Rood School.
Vitruvius Britannicus: C. IV, pls. 15-17, 1767.
John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: 2.S. Vol. II, p. 9, 1855.
Country Life: CXXVI, 358 plan, 1959.
Title: Great Irish Houses and Castles
Author: O'Brien, Jacqueline; Guinness, Desmond
Year Published: 1992
Reference: pg. 209
Publisher: New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Book Type: Hardback
House Listed: Category A
Park Listed: Designated Garden & Designed Landscape
Past Seat of: Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll, 18th century. James Hamilton, 8th Earl of Abercorn, 18th century.
Current Ownership Type: Corporation
Primary Current Ownership Use: Flats / Multi Family
House Open to Public: No
Historic Houses Member: No