Prestonfield was built in 1687 for Sir James Dick, Lord Provost of Edinburgh from 1679 to 1681 during which time he used his own money to clean up the filthy streets of Edinburgh. The by-product was spread on his lands at Prestonfield - no doubt why later it was so fertile for his grandson, Sir Alexander Dick’s rhubarb, who inherited Prestonfield in 1746.
Dick was President of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, and staked his medical reputation on rhubarb. Dr. Mounsey of St. Petersburg is thought to have brought him the seeds of True Rhubarb from Russia and Dick was first to cultivate rhubarb in Scotland. There are many references to him giving rhubarb to the great and good of 18th century Scotland, selling it to pharmacists and even sending a box of rhubarb to the Pope!
Prestonfield is now a private hotel with the Prestonfield Rhubarb in their walled garden where their chefs have access to it and diners enjoy it.
Thanks to their enthusiasm they intend to grow more and share if/when they can. Plants have already been shared with a few Slow Food chefs in the community. This is not available for sale but can be enjoyed on their menus in season.