As you will know 2017 is the ‘Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology’. In order to mark this year in an appropriate manner the EAFS Committee has, with encouragement from our President John Lawson, embarked on planning a programme of investigation based on the Cammo Estate.
It is hoped that this will allow us the opportunity for historical research, field walking, landscape survey, geophysical survey, building recording, photographic recording and also excavation.
Although it will be an EAFS project, we would be working in partnership with the appropriate members of City of Edinburgh Council staff and with the Friends of Cammo conservation group.
The Cammo Estate is in the north-west of Edinburgh. The original house was built in 1693 and added to over the subsequent years. In its heyday it was a fine country mansion with more than fifty rooms looked after by twenty two domestic servants. The last family to own the house were guilty of ‘wilful neglect’. At the end Percival Maitland-Tennant was living in the farm house and keeping about thirty dogs in the once fine rooms.
In 1975 the estate and remains of the house were left to the National Trust for Scotland in the will of Percival Maitland-Tennant. The house was destroyed by fire in 1977 and in 1979 the estate and remains of the house were gifted by the National Trust for Scotland to the then Edinburgh District Council in a feu charter, with a conservation agreement attached.
Unfortunately the house was in such a dangerous condition that it was partly demolished and consolidated. The estate currently consists of a walled garden, remains of offices and a piggery, stables, a canal and a standing stone. Cammo Lodge, built in 1789, is now the visitors centre for the estate and contains a sundial (1795) and stone vase (1843). There are remains of landscaping including a Pinetum and in a nearby field the remains of a ‘Portugal Garden’. The remains of the original gateways and avenues of the estate can be traced.