Gardens and Grounds
The gardens were laid out in 1850 by the architect Sir Charles Barry, who was responsible for the Victorian extension to the Castle and who designed the Houses of Parliament.
Inspiration came from the Palace of Versailles in Paris, and they have changed little in the 150 years since they were planted, although new plants are constantly being introduced. Despite its northerly location, the sheltered gardens are able to support a surprising range of plants, including at the foot of the steps leading to the garden a huge clump of Gunnera manicata, a native rhubarb of South America that has eight foot leaves!
The gardens provide the cut flowers for the displays throughout the Castle. A visit to Dunrobin’s garden is of interest to all and most particularly for the connoisseur of the formal Victorian garden.
Sir Charles Barry’s layout of the formal gardens below the Castle, with their arrangement into two parterres both laid out around circular pools with fountains were inspired by the gardens of Versailles. Barry had also previously designed a vast Italianate garden for the 2nd Duke of Staffordshire’s estate at Trentham. Dunrobin’s gardens have changed little from Barry’s design of 150 years ago, although new plants are constantly being introduced.
With the exception of Guide dogs, pets are not permitted in the formal gardens. However they are more than welcome to explore the woodlands surrounding the castle.