Doune House, Rothiemurchus

[dropcap]D[/dropcap]oune House is the traditional family home of the Grants of Rothiemurchus and forms part of the Rothiemurchus Estate. It has been under the stewardship of the Grant family since the 16th Century and has a wealth of history before this.

The ‘Dun’ meaning fortification was originally owned by the Shaw Clan. The fortification was burnt to the ground by the Comyns Clan in 1411. The Shaw Clan continued to hold the site afterwards but eventually lost it to the Gordons in 1540 who then lost it to the Grant Clan in 1542.

The Shaws continued to fight for the site only giving up their claim in 1570 when Alan Shaw was outlawed for the murder of his stepfather, escaping the country in 1586.

In 1574 Patrick Grant, was designated “of Rothiemurchus” by King James VI and moved to The Doune from Muckrach Castle near Dulnain Bridge in 1597.

Patrick Grant 6th of Rothiemurchus known as ‘McAlpin was born in 1665 and in the late 17th he is said to have moved from the Dell of Rothiemurchus to the ‘fine house’ he built at the foot of the ‘Dun’, taking with him a carved armorial stone celebrating his great grandfather’s marriage in 1590 to Jean Gordon.

About 100 years later in the 1780s, Dr. William Grant anticipating a much longer tenure undertook many improvements.  To the end of the old house opposite the black kitchen he stuck “an outrigger of an overwhelming size containing a dining room, and a library with cellars below”.  “A couple of good bedrooms above reached by a turning stair” were built to form a Georgian front to the house.

By 1803 further “great changes” had been made by his son, Sir John Peter Grant, the 9th Grant of Rothiemurchus, an English Barrister, Scottish Advocate and Whig M.P. which continued until 1821.  He added a staircase, morning room, more bedrooms, a new kitchen wing and a third floor to the original house.  The ‘new’ Doune House exterior restoration has returned the main front of the house to this period.


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