The History of the Walled (Formal) Garden at Benmore Botanic Garden
The 2.02 ha site containing the Category B listed Walled Garden at Benmore is currently the subject of a major redesign proposal and active fundraising programme. The purpose of this article is to raise the profile of the project by investigating and highlighting the historical development of the site. This retrospective study is also intended as a support to contemporary redevelopment plans and as a demonstration of how the past underpins and informs the future.
I am frankly and absolutely for a formal garden … It is a small piece of ground enclosed by walls … There is not the least attempt to imitate natural scenery (Phillpotts, 1906, p. 54).
ANON. (1875). A New Fernery. The Garden, 7: 151.
ANON. (1925a). Gift to nation: estate for Forestry Commission. Glasgow Herald, 13 February 1925, p. 9.
ANON. (1925b). First consignment of plants dispatched to Benmore (typewritten notes dated 6 October 1925). RBGE Library Archive.
ANON. (1928). Scotland’s new forest. Announcement of big scheme. New populations predicted. The Bulletin and Scots Pictorial, 14(217), 10 September 1928, p. 6.
ANON. (1959). Benmore: The Younger Botanic Garden. HMSO, Edinburgh.
ANON. (1989). History of Younger Botanic Garden Benmore (typewritten notes from RBGE Trustees Meeting, 17 May 1989). RBGE Library Archive.
BENNELL, A.P. & HALL, A. (1992). Younger Botanic Garden Benmore. RBGE, Edinburgh.
BGCI (2006). Botanic Gardens Conservation International: News & Events. Available online: http://www.bgci.org/news-and-events/news/0181/ (accessed October 2017).
BOWN, D. (1992). 4 Gardens in One: The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. HMSO, London.
BOYD, JAMES & SONS (1905). An Illustrated Catalogue, James Boyd & Sons, Horticultural Builders and Heating Engineers Paisley. Copy consulted held in National Library of Scotland, Shelfmark T.116.a.
BROGDEN, W. (1981). The History of Garden Design in Scotland. In: LITTLE, G.A. (ed.) Scotland’s Gardens. Spurbooks, Edinburgh, pp. 5–23.
CAMPBELL, K. (2007). Policies and Pleasuances, A Guide to the Gardens of Scotland. Barn Elms Publishing, London.
CAMPBELL, S. (2006). Walled Kitchen Gardens (2nd edn). Shire Publications Ltd, Oxford.
CLERK, D. (1878). On the Agriculture of the County of Argyll. Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland on the Agriculture, (4)10: 1–104.
COWAN, J.M. (c. 1930). Benmore Gardens by Dunoon Argyll, A Plan for the Development of the Benmore Policies. Unpublished report. RBGE Archive, Edinburgh.
COWAN, J.M. (c. 1933). Benmore Guidebook (n.p.).
COWAN, M. (1964). Inverewe: A Garden in the North-West Highlands. Geoffrey Bles Publishing, London.
COX, E. (1935). A History of Gardening in Scotland. Chatto & Windus, London.
CURTIS, E.W. (1999). Kibble’s Palace. Argyll Publishing, Glendaruel.
DANIEL, P. & MCDERMOTT, S. (2006). Benmore Botanic Garden: Landscape Assessment & Development Plan. Unpublished report commissioned by RBGE, Edinburgh.
DAVIS, M. (1996). Thomas H. Mawson & Garden Design in Argyll and Bute. Local History: The Magazine of Argyll & Bute Library Service, 1: 5–9.
DINGWALL, C. (1995). Researching Historic Gardens in Scotland: A Guide to Information Sources. Scottish Natural Heritage Review, no. 54. Scottish Natural Heritage, Perth.
FLETCHER, H.R. & BROWN, W.H. (1970). The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh 1670–1970. HMSO, Edinburgh.
GOODE, P., JELLICOE, G., JELLICOE, S. & LANCASTER, M. (1991). Oxford Companion to Gardens. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
HADFIELD, M. (1979). A History of British Gardening. John Murray Publishers Ltd, London.
HELLYER, A. (1978). The hills are alive … the Younger Botanic Garden, Benmore. Country Life, 164(4231): 366–367.
JAMES, H. (1869). OS Book of Reference to the Plan of the Parish of Kilmun, County of Argyll. HMSO, London.
LEVIN, A. & YOUNG, F. (2011). Benmore Guide Book. RBGE, Edinburgh.
LYALL WATSON, J. AND CO., & BLAIR AND FINLAY, W.S. (1889). Book of Particulars,
Plan, and Photograph of the Magnificent Highland Domain of Benmore, Bernice, & Kilmun, in Argyllshire. University of Aberdeen Library Archive.
MACKAY, M. (1845). United Parish of Dunoon and Kilmun. The New Statistical Account of
Scotland, vol. VII, pt II: Argyll. William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh & London, pp. 567–631.
PATERSON, L. (2013). How the Garden Grew. RBGE, Edinburgh.
PHILLPOTTS, E. (1906). My Garden. Country Life Library, London.
REID, J. (1988 ). The Scots Gardener. Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh.
ROBERTSON, P., SHARPLES, J. & IMRIE, N. (2014). Mackintosh Architecture: Context and
Meaning. Available online: www.mackintosh-architecture.gla.ac.uk (accessed October 2017).
STALKER, D. (1883). Plantations of the Estates of Benmore and Kilmun. Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, (4)15: 131–142.
WALKER, F. (2000). The Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute. Yale University Press, Newhaven, CT & London.
WATSON, A.M. (2010). James Duncan, An Enlightened Victorian. RBGE, Edinburgh.
WATSON, H. (1932). Attractions of Benmore. Journal of the Forestry Commission, 11: 10–14.
W.D.B. (1924). Glasgow and West of Scotland Horticultural Society Excursion to Benmore. The Scottish Gardener and Northern Fruitgrower, 1: 33.
WHITE, J. (1930). Benmore. Journal of the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden Guild, 2: 59–60.
WRIGHT SMITH, W. (1925). Correspondence between William Wright-Smith and Sir Lionel Earle (Permanent Secretary to the Office of Works 1912–1933). Typewritten letter dated 9 March. RBGE Library Archive, Edinburgh.
YOUNGER, D. (2004). Country House Life in the Highlands, The Younger Family at Benmore, 1889–1929. RBGE, Edinburgh.
Copyright (c) 2019 David Gray
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Please read our Open Access, Copyright and Permissions policies for more information.