Wester Elchies House, Aberlour

The mansion of Wester Elchies was built in 1681.

The nearest village is Archiestown, the only village in the parish of Knockando which was founded in 1760 by Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk, who had inherited his highland estate on his marriage. Planned villages were mushrooming in the North East of Scotland and Sir Archibald an improver, followed suit establishing it as a community of linen weavers. A fire in 1783 destroyed many of the houses.

Sir Archibald sold part of his estate to a local lad who had made his fortune in Canada and London. Robert Grant became first Laird of Wester Elchies in 1783 and lived at the mansion house. His son Charles inherited the estate and founded Charlestown of Aberlour in 1812. He died unmarried in 1828 and his brother James William became the third laird, and though he was an absentee landlord who worked in India until his retirement, he cared deeply for the estate and its people. He was sympathetic towards their financial needs and provided land and materials for churches in Archiestown and Aberlour following the Disruption.

His unmarried son William continued to live at Carron House when he inherited the title, as did succeeding lairds. The mansion of Wester Elchies was sold to Gordonstoun’s Kurt Hahn for a prep school and was finally demolished in the 1960s.

The last laird, Archie, died without heirs in 1951.

Aberlour AB38 9PT Scotland GB
Get directions
There is nothing left of the original Lodge however some outbuildings and a large abandoned walled garden can be found nearby. Access to the site is not as straightforward as a map may suggest. Lanes leading to the site are very bumping, particularly from the south. The least bumping lane leads from the north. This involves taking a turn off from the B9102 signed posted 'Wester Elchies' (the sign is a very small white one as easily missed). Continue along this road for approx two miles until you see a small green sign post for 'Footpath to Archiestown' on your left indicating a lane on your right. Take this lane and the area where West Elchies Lodge stood is twenty metres up the next lane on your right. The abandoned walled garden is on your left.