Help Newhailes Discover its Secret Garden

Conservation charity, the National Trust for Scotland is inviting amateur archaeologists to come along and get their hands dirty as it seeks to uncover the hidden secrets of the Newhailes estate, from Thursday 18 September to Monday 22 September.

Led by Trust archaeologist, Dr Daniel Rhodes, the project takes place as part of East Lothian Archaeology and Local History Fortnight. Members of the public are invited to register to take part in the dig by emailing, or folk are welcome to wander by to see what secrets are being uncovered.

Newhailes is renowned for its stunning neo-palladian house, packed with the beautiful furniture and artworks that the Dalrymple family collected over the years. However, its designed landscape is of outstanding heritage significance.

Archaeologist Daniel Rhodes said, “As with any estate with such a long history, the landscape at Newhailes has developed and altered over the centuries. We hope to discover some of the features from years gone by. This information will not only tell us more about how the Dalrymples lived, but will also help us to inform future plans for the estate and the Trust’s work there.”

The designed landscape at Newhailes is an excellent example of the ‘natural’ style and was laid out in the 18th century with sequenced walks and raised terraces. Most of the original structures and design survive to some extent and this high level of preservation means that there are many archaeological layers which could be discovered.

Digging takes place from 10am until 4pm from Thursday 18 September until Monday 22 September.

About Suse Coon

Suse Coon started life training to be an architect but ended up as a fashion buyer then civil servant. After some time out to bring up her family of three, she returned to what had been a hobby and entered the field of freelance journalism. After becoming regional correspondent, then editor of the orienteering magazine CompassSport, she formed Pages Editorial & Publishing Services. In this guise, West Lothian Life was launched, while Suse maintained a level of freelancing and wrote the award winning children's novel Richard's Castle. In 1999, Suse bought over CompassSport and found her time taken up pretty well exclusively with the two magazines. In 2004, West Lothian Life was expanded to form Lothian Life, however, the workload was too great. In 2006, CompassSport was sold and Suse concentrated on the web version of Lothian Life. Her hobbies include gardening, orienteering, sea kayaking and Tai Chi.
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