A place of peaceful enjoyment
The Designed Landscape was created in stages during the first half of the 18th century and therefore precedes Penicuik House by a number of years. And while the 1st Baronet, Sir John Clerk arranged the fields and woodlands to form an attractive setting for the original Newbiggin House, it was his son, Sir John Clerk, 2nd Baronet, who must take credit for creating the outstanding Designed Landscape – subsequently completed by his son, Sir James Clerk, 3rd Baronet – that visitors enjoy today.
The 2nd Baronet, was perhaps the most advanced and articulate theorist on landscape gardening in Scotland during the first half of the 18th century. And although some of his ideas drew upon concepts that were being introduced in England at that time, much of his work is highly original and recorded in his long poem “The Country Seat” of the 1720s.
From around 1700 until his death in 1755, Sir John planted extensively across the entire Estate, recording in his memoires that he had planted over 600,000 trees. He enhanced the great beauty of the natural topography of the land and, from the 1730s, introduced formal walks and built structures within the landscape.