If you missed our online meeting for September, or would like to see it again, you can now download the recording.

Online Meetings, Summer 2020

As a result of the coronavirus restrictions, our normal programme of meetings was suspended, and we are concluding the season with online presentations via Zoom for June and July. If you would like to attend our next meeting, please sign up to our mailing list to recive your invitation. All meetings are held on Wednesdays and start at 7 p.m.

Previous seasons

15 July

Marietta Crichton Stuart, House and Garden - the story of Falkland Palace and garden and its people, 1800–1952.

View the recording of Marietta's talk (just over an hour)

Marietta's talk traces the story of the Palace, its gardens and its occupants over a 150 year period.

By 1800 the Palace was largely roofless and in ruins with the local minister living in some pokey rooms in the south range. The building and royal tennis court were used as a stone quarry and the grounds a wilderness. During the next 150 years the Palace saw an initial programme of consolidation, followed by the Marquess of Bute's major restoration of the 1890s and, after the Second World War, what Marietta's father Michael, the then Keeper, termed 'a revival'.

The grounds saw similar changes and were transformed when Marietta's parents commissioned a new garden fit for a Palace from the landscape designer Percy Cane.

As for the occupants, for almost a century the Palace was home to the Estate factors and from 1947 Michael and Barbara Crichton Stuart began the work to make it 'domestically convenient and comfortable'. Realising that the task of preserving such a building was beyond the means of an individual, in 1952 the National Trust for Scotland were appointed the Deputy Keepers, one of their duties was to keep the Palace 'wind and watertight'.

Throughout these years the Palace and the historic village of Falkland have acted as a magnet to tourists; 2020 will be the first year since 1947 that there have been no visitors going round the Palace.