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Craigmillar Castle Park: Design Parameters in a Historic Designed Landscape and Scheduled Ancient Monument: Planning to Restore Attraction to a Dilapidated Park

The castle of Craigmillar was begun in the late 14th century and was developed until the late 17th century when it was abandoned and the lands surrounding it which today comprise Craigmillar Castle Park (CCP) developed into a picturesque park and a plant nursery. This land has been a retreat from Edinburgh's city center recorded as early as the time of King James the IV of Scotland, six centuries ago (Tabraham, 2003). The castle and its parkland have seen significant development of the gardens in the Tudor, Restoration, Georgian, Regency, and the Victorian British historical periods. The park like setting was a palette for developing into a Landscape Garden with Picturesque and Beautiful elements. It has since been the subject of hundreds of landscape paintings and drawings (CEC, 1994). As lately as fifty years ago it was a day out destination for city residents, but it has since seen a dramatic decline in visitors (McGowan, 1999). This result of post inudstrial decline, specifically for Craigmillar the cessation of coal mining in the region, contributed to making planning for Craigmillar Park a low priority for the City of Edinburgh Council. Now, as the adjoining neighborhoods are undergoing major redevelopment (CEC, 1998), CCP is ready for a new era of use and enjoyment by locals and tourists (CEC, 2002b). This plan proposal both makes longer term recommendations about the future form of the park and provides immediate design solutions for infrastructure improvements that enable broader access and will encourage visitation by adjoining neighborhoods, Edinburgh residents, and tourists from the city center.
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