The Grand Orrery. This scientific instrument is a favourite of many visitors to Dumfries House.
The Grand Orrery is thought to have been made c.1758 in London by Benjamin Cole, a maker of mathematical and scientific instruments, but research suggests it may have been made c.1750 or slightly earlier. It is a mechanical model of the solar system showing the movements of the known planets around the sun and is wound by a handle.
Although it was in working order when Dumfries House was first placed in the care of The Great Steward of Scotland's Dumfries House Trust, it was comprehensively overhauled and conserved by the late Michael Bennet-Levy in 2015. Michael found that the teeth on the cogs were in immaculate condition indicating that the Orrery had hardly been used. It is now considered one of the finest and most important pieces of eighteenth century scientific equipment.