Haddo Estate features in Historic Scotland’s Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, a register of Scottish properties which aims to highlight sites of outstanding significance in the country. This standing and the details of Historic Scotland’s report give the best indication of the historical and heritage value represented by Haddo Estate, Haddo House and the Haddo Country Park.
Haddo was first included in the inventory in 1987, and a revised report published in 2011 draws attention to its historical importance, the quality of its architecture and its spectacular natural beauty. The report encompasses a range of heritage categories that draw attention to the wide variety of impressive sights and scenes available to those that visit Haddo.
The assessment ranks the Estate’s profound contribution to national and local heritage in the following areas of interest:
In addition to Haddo House, the Estate is home to a wide variety of important Grade B and C listed buildings and ornamental features, ranging from the Hall to the spectacular Golden Gates found on the avenue in the Country Park.
Works of art: Outstanding
Haddo House is itself the work of the great eighteenth century Scottish architect William Adam, and in it can be found numerous works of fascinating art, including by the artists James Giles, Pompeo Batoni and T.E. Lawrence. The grand nature and successful execution of the landscaping programme carried out in the nineteenth century also contribute to this ranking.
In its current well-preserved and flourishing form, Haddo is an excellent representative of early eighteenth and mid-nineteenth century landscape design. In addition, a large quantity of archive material and muniments particular to the Estate and surrounding area, dating back centuries, survive and are currently being re-catalogued by a professional archivist.
Thanks to the scale of the designed landscape and woodland, alongside well-considered ornamental features such as the Monument, Haddo offers an example of stunning scenic beauty in an area otherwise characterised by agricultural land.
This ranking is based on the range of pre-historic artefacts discovered at Haddo in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is hoped, however, that more recent unearthings – notably the Bronze Age Stone Circle and the Place of Kellie ruins – will result in Haddo being reconsidered as an area of outstanding archaeological interest.
Nature conservation: High
Many measures are taken throughout the Estate and the Country Park to protect and promote the habitats of various endangered or sensitive species. In addition, recent research has drawn attention to the presence of unusual fungi and lichen, including a species of mushroom found on the front lawn of Haddo House which has only been discovered in one other location in Europe.
Several commemorative trees in the garden at Haddo House and elsewhere in the policies, including two Wellingtonia planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1857, are among important horticultural features present at Haddo.