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Guisachan

Lord Tweedmouth developed Guisachan after purchasing the estate in 1854. Lord Tweedmouth had inherited substantial money from his father, Edward Marjoribanks of Greenlands. Guisachan  Estate (place of the firs), located near Loch Ness, southwest of Inverness, spanned about twenty thousand acres. Lord Tweedmouth developed the estate into a showpiece of aristocratic Victorian self-indulgence. The Georgian mansion had fifteen family rooms and sixteen servants rooms. The mansion was set in magnificent parkland with exotic trees from all over the world. Red deer,  grouse, squirrels and pine martens were abundant in the Caledonian Pine Forest. New stables were built for the horses, a dairy, a laundry, brewery, mill, school, and the kennels. The town of Tomich was built for those who worked the estate. The farm became well known for its purebred cattle: Highland and Aberdeen Angus. It was also renown for it’s Highland ponies.

The Frasers of Guisachan had owned the Guisachan Estate for over three hundred years until Lord Tweedmouth purchased the home in 1854. Members of the Fraser family owned and resided at Guisachan Estate from approximately 1520. William Fraser of Guisachan was the second son of Thomas Fraser, Lord Lovat  (1469-1524) and Janet Gordon. William and his younger brother, James Fraser were killed during the Blar-na-leine or Battle of the Shirts which was between the Frasers and the Macdonalds.  William Fraser the eighth of Guisachan was at Guisachan during the middle 1700’s. His eldest son, William Fraser the ninth of Guisachan built a new mansion at Guisachan after succeeding to the estate on the death of his father in 1755. The old mansion had been burned to the ground in 1746 by the Duke of Cumberland.  William Fraser the eleventh of Guisachan was only sixteen when he inherited the estate on the death of his grandfather in 1843. He was only twenty  seven when he sold Guisachan to Lord Tweedmouth in 1854.

Many famous and influential people visited Guisachan during the six-month parliamentary recess when Lord Tweedmouth was in residence. In 1897 the Duke and Duchess of York, who later became George the Fifth, and Queen Mary, visited. In 1873, Lord Tweedmouth’s son, Edward, married Fanny Spencer Churchill, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, and the sister of Lord Randolph Churchill. Fanny’s nephew, Winston Churchill, spent holidays at Guisachan.

Lord Tweedmouth died in 1894 and his widow in 1905. Guisachan passed for a short period of time to Edward and then to Edward’s son, Dudley Churchill Marjoribanks, who became the third Lord Tweedmouth in 1909. The estate was sold, and for the next twenty-seven years the property was owned by Lord Portsmouth’s family. The estate at that time was still twenty thousand acres in size. The estate was sold again in 1935 to someone named Mr. Hunter, who then resold the deer forest in the western portion of the estate and a large parcel of grazing land to the Forestry Commission. During the next twenty-five years the estate was left in disrepair in some places, and some sections were sold. In 1961 Euan Fraser purchased the now much smaller Guisachan. Donald Fraser, the younger son of Colonel James Fraser, currently owns the estate and provides self catering accommodations to visitors that visit Guisachan.

 

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