Book data

Duddingston: its story in 50 objects
07 November 2019
UK price £12.99
96pp, 978-1-898481-88-1

Duddingston: its story in 50 objects


Out of stock

"This timely book will help to preserve this heritage for centuries to come" - Sir Malcolm Rifkind

Duddingston is Edinburgh’s most distinctive village. Within its tiny area stand several outstanding buildings, including 12th century Duddingston Kirk and 18th century Duddingston House. It is home to Scotland’s oldest pub, the Sheep Heid, Dr Neils ‘secret garden’ and Edinburgh’s oldest railway, the Innocent. Visitors can enjoy the wildlife of Duddingston Loch, with its backdrop of the extinct volcano, Arthur’s Seat. This book was created by the Duddingston Conservation Society to tell its story through 50 carefully chosen objects. With 180 photos and concise text it probes beneath the surface to reveal some amazing human stories. There is practical information for visitors including maps and where to find refreshments and bus stops.

There will be a lively launch of this book at 6.30 pm on Thursday 7 November at Blackwells, South Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1YS. Click to find out more or for your free ticket.


This book tells you all you need about how to explore Duddingston in person or from your armchair. It includes:

  • detailed maps showing where to find the 50 objects
  • concise text about each object
  • background on the history and heritage
  • biography of Duddingston’s ‘painting minister’
  • architecture, wildlife and human stories
  • practical details about public transport, parking and refreshments
  • over 180 photographs, nearly all in colour.

The book does not plod along a time line, but tells the human stories about Duddingston’s many interesting characters, such as

  • the bachelor 8th Earl of Abercorn who built Duddingston House in 1769 to host lavish entertainment
  • Rev John Thomson, the famous painting minister and close friend of Walter Scott
  • young Annie Stewart who was accidentally resurrected by grave robbers
  • James Tytler, encyclopaedist, balloonist and seditionist, whose life ended in financial disaster and exile.
Look inside

Click on the thumbnails below to view sample pages from the book "Duddingston: its story in 50 objects" in standard PDF format.
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Contents, Preface, Intro
Gatehouse, graveyard & manse
Duddingston Loch & Holyrood Park
Duddingston House
  • Duddingston Kirk

    © Jacquetta Megarry

  • North over Dunsapie Loch

    © Louise Cooper

  • Duddingston House (1769)

    © Jacquetta Megarry

  • Duddingston Manse

    © Jacquetta Megarry

  • North-west over Duddingston village

    © Christian Henson

  • Reeds fringing Duddingston Loch

    © Roger Crofts

Duddingston Kirk

© Jacquetta Megarry