Since the 17th century it has been fashionable for country landowners to develop the grounds or 'policies' associated with an important house or castle for pleasure and/or productive purposes. The lands incorporated into such a scheme can cover a considerable area, being laid out consciously for artistic effect over quite a distance. Designed landscapes may include parklands, walled gardens, water features, formal avenues and walkways, as well as pavilions, lodges and other buildings.
Redevelopment of parts of designed landscapes around old mansion houses is common, with some areas reverting to agricultural use while others are now built-up areas, Country Parks, or golf courses.
The designed landscape at House of Dun in Angus has at its core the formal layout of an early 18th century design. Today the policies are surrounded by more recent fields, the former parkland now being cultivated, thereby masking the original area of the grounds. In this instance, the extent of the design that is recorded in The Inventory Gardens and Designed Landscapes is more fully mapped by HLA because it is based on the depiction on historic OS mapping.