Prestonfield House is now a five star boutique hotel in grounds which lie at the foot of Arthur’s Seat to the north. Once it was a Cistercian monastery founded by the Earl of Northumbria in 1150 and the first house here was built in 1510. This was burned down during Catholic rioting in 1681 (some sources say 1670) but a replacement was built by Sir William Bruce soon after and is the main fabric we see today. The house was converted into a hotel in the 1960’s.
In the grounds are 4 yew trees, 1 near the entrance to the hotel and 3 others in the garden to the south. Of these 1 has been felled leaving a stump height of 217 cm (SYTHI 2019) covered in what appears to be white dead sapwood. However, despite the decapitation, the yew is sprouting flourishing sprays of bushy new growth. It is a marvellous example of the regenerative capacities of yew trees despite experiencing such extreme circumstances.
The smallest girth of these yews was recorded at a height of 100 cm was 300 cm and the largest 430 cm (SYTHI 2019) suggesting their planting date was probably in the 17th century when the house was rebuilt.