St Mary's Pleasance, Haddington
A private garden maintained by HGT for the public
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Welcome to Haddington Garden Trust and St. Mary's Pleasance, Haddington.
Haddington Garden Trust (HGT) was established in 1972 by the 14th Duke of Hamilton. The Trust is responsible for the garden, which is known as St. Mary's Pleasance. A bronze plaque naming the garden is at the main gates. Also in 1972 Haddington Garden Trust was registered as a Scottish charity, number SC014078.
The Trust's Aims (stated in the Deed of 1972) are: "to preserve the garden as an open precinct to enhance the environment of St. Mary's Church and Haddington House, and for the enjoyment in all times coming of members of the public, and to encourage the study of Old Scottish Gardens and gardening methods." These aims form the basis of the garden management for the public today.
St. Mary's Pleasance is a heritage walled garden and occupies about 0.65 hectares (1.59 acres) between St. Mary's Churchyard, Lady Kitty's Garden and Haddington House, which dates from 1648. The main access to the garden is from Sidegate, one of the oldest streets in the Royal Burgh.
The garden was designed by the architect Schomberg Scott to a specification of the late Sir George Taylor, former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It contains a "mount" and "sunken garden", both period features of a 17th century garden. Other features are pleached allées of laburnum and boxed hornbeam and a community orchard that includes a wildflower meadow. As far as is possible, all the trees, shrubs and herbs are of a type known to have been in existence in Scotland in the 17th century.
The Apple House, of age similar to Haddington House, was restored as a memorial in the 1970s by the Douglas-Hamilton family and contains the family crests. It is opened only for special events. Elsewhere in the garden are memorial plaques to Sir George Taylor and to all the founder members of the Lamp of Lothian Trust as well as plaques marking the garden's establishment.
Scottish Charity No. SC014078