DiCamillo Companion
Scotland

Melville Castle

  • Earlier Houses: The current house was built on the site of the medieval Melville Castle, which was visited by Mary, Queen of Scots, when it was owned by her secretary, David Rizzio.

    Built / Designed For: 1st Viscount Melville

    House & Family History: Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, called the uncrowned king of Scotland during his lifetime, was a powerful and important figure in late 18th-early 19th century Scotland. He served as lord advocate, solicitor general for Scotland, keeper of the signet and privy seal, and treasurer of the Royal Navy. Many places around Scotland are named in his honor, including Dundas Street and the Melville Monument, both in Edinburgh. Because of his efforts to slow down the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in the 1790s, his reputation has declined considerably; during the early 21st century multiple campaigns to remove his name from monuments, buildings, and streets in Scotland gained momentum.

  • Architect: James Playfair the Elder

    Date: 1786-91
    Designed: House for 1st Viscount Melville

    View all houses
  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pg. 813
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

    Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
    Author: Sayer, Michael
    Year Published: 1993
    Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
    ISBN: 0859551970
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Category A

    Park Listed: Designated Garden & Designed Landscape

  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: David Rizzio, 16th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville, 1790-1811; Robert Dundas, 2nd Viscount Melville, 1811-51; General Henry Dundas, 3rd Viscount Melville, 1851-76; Dundas family here from 1765 until 1983.

    Current Ownership Type: Corporation

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Hotel

    Ownership Details: Owned by Melville Castle Hotel Ltd.

  • House Open to Public: By Appointment

    Phone: 01316-540-088

    Fax: 01316-544-666

    Email: reception@melvillecastle.com

    Website: https://melvillecastle.com/

    Historic Houses Member: No