Tucked away behind a ruined castle you’ll find the home, studio and garden of Scottish colourist E A Hornel (1864-1933). Broughton House, now owned by National Trust for Scotland, is bursting with artwork by Hornel and is a real treat for art and garden lovers alike.
Edward Atkinson Hornel spent most of his life in Kirkcudbright and was influenced heavily by the 18 months he spent in Japan in his late 20s. One of the Glasgow Boys, he is known for landscapes, foliage and children and you’ll find many examples of his work on display throughout the house. Many of the Glasgow Boys were drawn to Kirkcudbright and it’s not hard to see why, surrounded by the harbour, rolling hills and ever-changing light.
The 18th century townhouse in High Street itself is a treasure trove of paintings, sculptures and photographs and is a delight to explore. He was a keen collector of books and manuscripts and his tranquil library holds one of the largest collections of Robert Burns’ work. The extensive gardens are equally enchanting and are beautifully maintained. Hornel’s love of Japanese design also appears in the gardens with Eastern plants and flowers mixed with more familiar varieties.
The house is a regular venue for events and small concerts and can even be booked for your wedding. Hornel’s studio at the back of the house leads directly into the secluded garden and is set up as it would have been when he was working on some of his most well-known pieces, such as The Druids Bringing in the Mistletoe and Seashore Roses. You can also arrange a tour of the house, garden and collection and leave knowing more about art, literature and life in Edwardian Kirkcudbright.
On street parking is a little limited right outside but it’s only a few minutes’ walk from the car park in Harbour Square 200m away. Most visits take around an hour and a half and there are lots of cafés nearby for a coffee or lunch afterwards before heading back to your holiday cottage for a well earned rest. It’s also in the idea location for a walk around the town’s harbour or a visit to one of the many art galleries exhibiting work by local artists and those from further afield.
Garden: Open Mon-Fri from 1 February-31 March (admission by donation).
House and Garden: Open daily 12noon-5pm from 1 April-31 October (admission prices apply – see website).
Thanks to Dumfries & Galloway! What’s Going On? for providing the images.