The Dunmore Pineapple, a folly ranked "as the most bizarre building in Scotland", stands in Dunmore Park, near Airth in Stirlingshire, Scotland.
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"If you brought me diamonds, If you brought me pearls, If you brought me roses Like some other gents Might bring to other girls, It couldn't please me more Than the gift I see; A pineapple for me" ~ Fred Ebb, Cabaret
The real question is ... pineapple on pizza? Yea or Nay?
Countess of Dunsmore's Reel
Discovered by Christopher Columbus on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe in 1493, pineapples became a rare delicacy in Europe, with associations of power, wealth, and hospitality. Architects, artisans and craftsmen adopted the pineapple as a motif, sculpting it into gateposts, railings, weather vanes and door lintels. The motif also featured prominently in interior decoration, fabrics and furniture. The Dunmore Pineapple represents perhaps a spectacular architectural use of the motif.
A building containing a hothouse was built into this wall in 1761 by John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore. The hothouse, which was located in the ground floor of the building, was used, among other things, for growing pineapples.
Murray left Scotland after the initial structure had been built, and went on to become the last Colonial Governor of Virginia in America. The upper-floor pavilion or summerhouse with its pineapple-shaped cupola and the Palladian lower-floor portico on the south side was added after Murray’s return from Virginia in 1776.
The pineapple is around 14 metres high and constitute 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."
If thoughts of pineapple make you long for a dessert, click the picture below for Scottish pineapple tart recipe.
And for a video of The Countess Of Dunmore's Reel, see below for a performance by the
Toronto RSCDS branch, 2015, which includes the dance's creator, Deirdre MacCuish Bark, who is dancing as first lady.