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Read a short history of the park below. More information can be found in Cammo publications.


Early and development years

Before the 1700s, it is thought that Cammo Estate was mostly made up of open, wild, countryside, although it had an outer border.

The Park as we know it today began to take shape in 1710, when the land was bought by John Clerk, one of the most advanced theorists on landscape gardening of the time. Clerk added pathways, field boundaries and formal gardens behind Cammo House (now the distinctive ruin at the centre of the park).

From the mid-1700s to the late 1800s, while the land was owned by the Watson family, the estate was completely re-modelled in line with the developing fashion of more rural landscapes. Areas of open parkland were added, a yew grove was planted and shrubberies were established. During this period, the water tower was also built (1823) and the pinetum was planted (1857 – 1875).

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Declining years and current management

In the early 1900s, under the ownership of Mrs Margaret Louisa Maitland-Tennent, the estate was neglected, and both Cammo House and the land fell into disrepair.

In 1975, the estate was left by Mrs Maitland-Tennent’s son to the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), who then feued the estate to Edinburgh District Council.

Both organisations entered into a conservation agreement that Cammo Estate should remain forever as a public open space, nature reserve, farm and woodlands, and used for no other purpose without consent of the NTS.


If you would like to find out more about the history of the Park, you can buy booklets on the subject from the Cammo Estate Lodge.

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