Cammo Estate is a place I'd seen from across fields whilst on journeys to and from the airport and it was somewhere I'd always been a little bit curious about. From that road all you can see is the tall water tower and having read that there is nothing really left now (and knowing how much I love a ruined or abandoned place) my curiosity was piqued and I wanted to visit. It ended up taking me quite awhile to get there for various reasons but with our travel, until recently, limited to just Edinburgh it suddenly seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally go.
|Cammo water tower|
|Remains of the estate stables|
There are signposts dotted around the estate pointing you towards the key features and we were shortly heading into what is left of the walled garden, another space that I imagine would once have been teeming with life. The walled garden was constructed between 1780 and 1782 by Charles Watson the then owner of Cammo Estate. Alongside the walled garden the estate also had an orchard by 1805, and at its height the walled garden, orchard and glasshouses combined supplied Cammo house with all its fruit and vegetables throughout the year. By 1918 though it was no longer a functioning garden and it gradually became overgrown and derelict. There isn't a lot there now to see what the garden may once have looked like but I've read it has since become famous for its snowdrops that bloom here in the early part of each year.
I didn't take any photos of this but in the gardens you'll also find a canal. Canals were fashionable in gardens in the 18th century but there are only a handful of them in Scottish gardens. Something to look out for on your visit.
|Remains of the walled garden|
Finally we reached the sparse remains of the house itself. Compared to other buildings in the estate there isn't much left of it at all, other than the main entrance and part of the front and side ground floor walls. It's really hard to imagine it being a grand house now or to get any sense of how big it was but if you search on the Internet you can find a few old photos of it. I can't pretend that I don't wish I could travel back in time to see it before it was run down and demolished though.
Despite hardly anything of the house remaining it is this part of the surrounding grounds that seems to have retained a little more of the grandness and appearance of those landscaped gardens. To the side of the house are the remains of the pinetum, home to some yew trees and various conifers. Walking away from the remains of the house and back to the car park a vast tree lined entrance way towards the house became more apparent. It might be grassed over now but must have once provided a stunning approach to the house.
|Entrance to Cammo House|
|'Inside' Cammo House|
|Looking towards the Pinetum|
Looking from and back to the remains of the house
It's a shame the house is no longer standing and that it had such a sad end as well. Being a lover of abandoned places I wish there was still a little more left to see. I can't help but wonder too what happened to everything in the house that was stolen in later years and did anyone even know what was in the house and what was taken other than its reclusive owner. Despite there not being a house there however the estate is still a fascinating place to walk around. A place to explore and let your imagination conjure up images of what it might once have been like, a place for nature lovers and a space to get away from the city.