house and grounds
The World Peace Prayer Society bought Allanton, to be their European home, in November 1998.
The house was built in the Georgian era and rebuilt, after a fire, in 1906. The stately house of a relatively small estate, it has been home to many families over the years. Including the artist Dora Holzhandler and her family from 1971-75. She was greatly inspired by the natural setting of Allanton, writing about the place:
“Set in twenty acres of landscaped gardens, including a beautiful walled garden covered in roses and flowers and wild fruits. If nothing else the children played in paradise”.
Earlier in the 20th Century, Allanton was home to The Verona Fathers. Known for their missionaries, here they followed their ecclesiastical work teaching a school for boys. They were well thought of by the community and had frequent football matches with the local boys. Their then chapel space is now our Peace and Reception rooms.
Allanton retains the character of a grand house with large, light and airy rooms. Their expansive windows have beautiful views across our grounds. The styles of our rooms incorporate the beauty of old and new alike.
We host groups throughout the year. Please see our Bookings page for more information.
garden and grounds
Our World Peace Sanctuary is nestled within 18 beautiful acres of garden, parkland and woodland. There are plenty of opportunities for lovely, relaxing, and meditative walks.
The grounds are home to the biodiversity of Dumfries and Galloway, including red squirrels, buzzards, frogs and newts, butterflies and moths, diverse fungi, and so on. We have both mature and young native woodland. The younger trees, planted in 2000, made a wildlife corridor to increase and support the biodiversity. Our Wildlife Woodland Walk path was opened in 2015.
At the heart of our grounds is our Peace Pole Henge, which consists of a double circle of 204 Peace Poles, with one for every recognised country of the world. Here, in Dumfries and Galloway, there are many ancient stones and henges. Our Peace Pole Henge connects with this ancient spiritual energy of the land to create a focus for world peace.
We are in the process of creating 7 spaces for reflection, positive thought and gratitude. These spaces will include our Peace Pole Henge, Labyrinth and Pyramid.
We use our grounds in all our activities and events, including our annual International World Peace Festival. The Flag Ceremony is an important part of our activities, and is available to all visiting groups.
There are Forest School sessions (Fridays, term time), where young people are encouraged to appreciate nature, their connection with the natural world and learn to love the outdoors.
In our garden, we grow organic salad, vegetables and fruit, which provide delicious food for our guests and volunteers.