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About Shambellie House

New Abbey and Shambellie have been the home of the Stewart family for over four centuries. Shambellie House was built in 1856 by William Stewart and designed by the architect David Bryce. Though there were disagreements between architect and client, and the house was not built as originally imagined or on time, it is still a fine example of a Scottish Baronial style house.

The History

Explore a piece of history.

Find out more about the story of Shambellie House and the local area of New Abbey home of the Stewart family from the 15th century.


Our Courses

Here at Shambellie House we offer workshops and courses delivered by experienced tutors on a range of creative topics, be it arts, heritage or environmental. All courses benefit from the wonderful location and Shambellie’s retreat-like nature, with stunning views and glorious grounds and an abundance of flora and fauna which can’t fail to inspire.

We offer a range of courses to suit participants, from half to full day, on week-days and weekends, daytime and evening. Full day courses are catered for with deliciously tasty light lunches and fresh coffees and teas throughout the day.


About Our Tutors

Dumfries and Galloway has a wealth of creative talent which you have the opportunity to discover by joining a course at Shambellie House. Many of our tutors are local creatives, but we also draw skills from further afield to bring a diverse and exciting year-round programme of workshops, activities and events. We work with our tutors to evaluate the courses and content on offer and are proactive in implementing continuous improvement responding to participant feedback.

The Local Area

Shambellie House lies eight miles from Dumfries on the edge of the village of New Abbey. This pretty village holds a wealth of history including the ruined Sweetheart Abbey and the New Abbey Corn Mill. The Abbey was founded by Lady Devorgilla in the 13th century to commemorate the death of her husband John Balliol. On her death she was laid to rest next to her husband’s embalmed heart and the monks named the abbey in memory of her.

New Abbey Corn Mill was built by the Stewart family of Shambellie House in the 18th century, but it is thought there was a much earlier mill on the site linked to the Abbey and it is still known locally as ‘Monk’s Mill’. Both buildings are now in the care of Historic Scotland. The village has a general store, pub and a tearoom.

Prominent in the landscape is Criffel, a hill of only 569 metres in height, but dominating the Solway coastline. A short, steep ascent rewards you with stunning views of the Solway, its estuaries and on a clear day across to the Lake District. There are many other walks on offer, including the steps up to the Waterloo Monument. Built in 1810 it commemorates the British, Belgian and Prussian soldiers who gained the victory of Waterloo.

To the west of New Abbey is Beeswing and Loch Arthur, which is claimed to be the setting for the Arthurian story of the Lady of the Lake. It is home to the Loch Arthur Farm Shop and Café, proudly offering their own organic and locally produced foods. To the south is Kirkbean and the John Paul Jones Cottage Museum, the birthplace of the ‘Father’ of the U.S. Navy. Between New Abbey and Dumfries is Mabie Forest Park, with walking and mountain bike trails, along with quiet picnic areas and stunning viewpoints.

Dumfries and Galloway is an incredibly beautiful part of Scotland offering a fabulous diversity of landscapes, with coastlines of rocky shores and sandy beaches and acres of forest and green spaces. Across its breadth you will find something to interest all ages, from castles to museums, ancient monuments to historic towns. Wigtown is designated as Scotland’s National Book Town, Castle Douglas as a Food Town and Kirkcudbright as the Artists’ Town.

The Shambellie House Trust

Shambellie House was the home of the Scottish National Museum of Costume from 1977 to 2013. On closure of the Museum, the Shambellie House Trust was created to develop a sustainable future for the house and grounds. A registered charity, in 2019 it also became a Community Benefit Society. It is managed by a Board of Trustees and its objectives are:

  • To arrange for the buildings and grounds to be used for the advancement of arts, heritage and culture.
  • Providing facilities for the arts and providing heritage benefit to the community by preserving the listed building of Shambellie House (including any outbuildings or associated buildings and grounds).
  • To arrange for the buildings and grounds to be used for the advancement of education, in particular arts, culture and the environment.
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