This is the Dunmore "Pineapple", a folly said to "rank as the most bizarre building in Scotland". Situated in Dunmore Park, the ancestral home of the Earls of Dunmore, the building is also claimed to be one of the architectural wonders of Scotland.
The "Pineapple" was built into the north wall of a large walled garden in 1761 by John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore. The hothouse, which was located in the ground floor of the building, was used, amongst other things, for growing pineapples. The south-facing ground floor, which is now covered in stucco and largely overgrown with vines, was originally covered with glass windowpanes. Additional heat was provided by a furnace-driven heating system that circulated hot air through cavities in the wall construction of the adjoining hothouse buildings. The smoke from the furnace was expelled through four chimneys, cleverly disguised as Grecian urns.
Discovered by Christopher Columbus on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in 1493, pineapples became a rare delicacy in Europe, and were symbolic of power, wealth, and hospitality. The pineapple was adopted as a motif by architects, artisans and craftsmen, being sculpted into gateposts, railings, weather vanes and door lintels. The motif also featured prominently in interior decoration, fabrics and furniture. The Dunmore Pineapple is perhaps the most spectacular architectural use of the motif.
The Dunmore Pineapple is around 14 metres high and constitutes a stunning example of the stonemason's craft, being a remarkably accurate depiction of a pineapple. Each of the curving stone leaves is separately drained to prevent frost damage, and the "stiff serrated edges of the lowest and topmost leaves and the plum berry-like fruits are all cunningly graded so that water cannot accumulate anywhere, ensuring that frozen trapped water cannot damage the delicate stonework."
The Dunmore Pineapple is now owned and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland. You can also, if you wish, stay here in accommodation organised by the Landmark Trust.
Critiques | Translate
dta (78558) 2012-05-07 3:42
Hello John ,
A beautiful sunny springstime day in Scotland ! An excellent composition showing us this curious "folly" . I like teh chosen POV , for the inclusion of teh flowery tree in the FG . Fine presence of te gardener . A few seconds earlier , it would heve been better placed , I suppose .
chrislo (4097) 2012-05-07 4:08
This pineapple dome is a true architectural curiosity. Its sculpted circular shape contrasts with the low flat part of the building. The surrounding garden in blossom really adds some charm to the place. Excellent clarity and sharpness. Very nicely done.
SnapRJW (31629) 2012-05-07 4:32
Hello John - Your note answered the question I had about 'why pineapples'? The building itself is quite austere apart from the very flamboyant pineapple which certainly makes a very showy addition. Nobody could possibly visit the Earls without seeing it! Your composition gives said pineapple pride of place but the inclusion of the flowering shrub, rolling lawns and stand of trees give great context to the shot. Beautiful rich colours all against a perfect blue sky. Fascinating! Warm regards Rosemary
francio64 (39888) 2012-05-07 4:50
davvero molto particolare l'architettura della cupola di questo edificio a forma di ananas.
Immagine ben composta e ben presentata.
Well done and TFS!
bayno (18344) 2012-05-07 5:18
an architecture really bizarre and I think also in its interior, the light is beautiful and green lawn is nice to look at, beautiful contrast between the colors, great framing and top definition...
my best regards,
timecapturer (49288) 2012-05-07 5:21
great shot of this incredible structure. You have captured it in a perfect light and it looks so impressive. The solitary figure also gives us a great sense of scale here and it would obviously make a fair sized tin of chunks. A beautiful spring atmosphere and colourful shot. Excellent!
Regards - Brian.
npecanhuk (75502) 2012-05-07 6:22
Very interesting building, specially because of the detail of that pineapple-looking dome!
The green surroundings are also very attractive!
That's a very beautiful picture!
Sharpness, exposure, colors, chosen pov, horizontal format, contrasts, black borders and composition really pleased me!
TFS - congrats,
have a great week,
brianmcc (6219) 2012-05-07 8:34
it is such a strange structure, absolutely incredible. your picture on this lovely bright day shows it off very nicely. well framed using the bushes on the right with the lawn providing a good lead in. the blus sky tops it off well. excellent depth of field and sharpness.
amaryllis (37039) 2012-05-07 9:01
une superbe architecture, originale, un parc bien entretenu, des arbres en fleur, un ciel bleu, tout pour réussir une superbe photo avec une note très instructive
merci de ce partage
mmohan (744) 2012-05-07 10:14
Your note is interesting and informative.
great sharpness and details too.I like you r composition and am curious whether you tried any shots with the Pineapple in the centre, this was the composition that came immediately to my mind.
SWEETFREEDOM (24621) 2012-05-07 10:36
very nice compo wuth the flowered plants in fg and the interesting palace in bg. good colors and frame
jaywalker (16101) 2012-05-07 11:21
Hi John, Love the pineapple, the light has been beautifully managed & what a great sky, this looks a superb place to visit, see you soon, kind regards Wilson.
holmertz (53502) 2012-05-07 11:23
This is a highly original building of a kind I didn't imagine. Well maybe in Las Vegas but not in Airth. On this sunny day, with nice lines along the lawn, white flowers to the right and a man in front of the entrance you were provided with a spelndid photo opportunity.
agjika (3177) 2012-05-07 13:05
A Very pleasant view. Great idea including the tree on the right. I see you have focused on the pineapple leaving the tree slightly out of focus. As I am sure you know even at f14 it is not possible to have all pin-sharp.The inclusion of the man also add to the atmosphere.
Thanks for sharing
williewhistler (16398) 2012-05-07 13:40
the image is very sharp from the FG blossom to the most interesting dome whilst the lines left by the mower create a lovely lead into the folly.
Clear blue sky and apple blossom-it must be Spring.
Best regards Les.
delpeoples (58288) 2012-05-07 18:13
Jeez this gave me a laugh. Yes it's gauche, but trust the Aussies to out-guache you every time with their Big Pineapple: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Pineapple. Yuk!
So in comparison, your pineapple is quite attractive really. I'd love to know what was going through this crazy man's mind when he built it, but at least it's something that stands out from the crowd. A well-taken photo, with an interesting POV to highlight your usbject, nice perspective leading the eye straight into it. The shrubs on the right make a lovely natural frame for this original composition of a place I'd never heard of. And a very entertaining note too.
Thanks for sharing
emka (98810) 2012-05-07 23:31
haha, it is wonderful. I have never seen such a big and beautiful pineapple. Other fruits must be envious. On the other hand, apple has a whole city and computers, so is better. Stunning shot, with perfect composition, colours. Nice to see a gardener here. Chimneys hiidden in vases, haha I like it very much.
Royaldevon (39344) 2012-05-08 5:57
A lovely shot, really well presented.
Your use of the blossom covered branches, in the f/g, help to produce a fine sense of depth, continued by the vast, elevated lawn, all in preparation for the attantion on the focal pineapple. It is truly spectacular. The whole shot has a pleasing sharpness and a fine composition.
My warm regards,
macondo (19564) 2012-05-08 5:57
Australia is the land of the big pineapple. Plus the big koala, the big sheep the big banana, the big earthworm and big anything that a particular region thinks is worth celebrating with bigness. Here's a sample from the state of Victoria alone (but no pineapples this far south):
Often the thing looks like a giant papier mache structure and tourists can walk inside and spend money on junk and gaze at a sort of 'museum' of the local phenomenon. They are all execrable, but can't hold a candle to this architectural marvel. It truly is a folly of magnificent proportions, but nothing like a papier mache model. Did the Earl of Dunmore have a pineapple importing business or was he a plantation owner in the far east? I suppose he might simply have liked pineapples. They couldn't have been all that common on Scotland in the 18th C.
Very interesting note to accompany your very well exposed shot. The tree makes a good foil to the building and adds depth.
Silvio1953 (144378) 2012-05-09 1:44
Ciao John, great POV on original architecture, lovely composition with beautiful blosom tree in FG, splendid light and wonderful natural colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
ourania (46288) 2012-05-17 12:02
a most amazing sight, this architectural extravaganza would look stunning anywhere in the world. It would be least expected to adorn a Scottish building and landscape. It is of the kind of curiosities that determine the character and fame of a whole town or area. The upward point of view, almost from behind the lovely blossomed tree, the exquisite clarity, the marvelous lighting and the very effective contrasts it produces, glorify the art of the architect and the stonemason. The colours are delicious. the light has a delightful quality. A very lovely picture, well done and thank you!
All the best,
kiks (12611) 2012-10-17 11:30
What an peculiar building. I love it and also your composition .
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (25324)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-05-03
- Categories: Nature, Architecture
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, Hoya 77mm Pro1D UV(0)
- Exposure: f/14.0, 1/60 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2012-05-07 3:01