CRAIGENGILLAN WAS FIRST ESTABLISHED AS AN ESTATE IN 1611, AS THE SEAT OF THE McADAM FAMILY
Held by the family for almost 400 years, Craigengillan is a rare example of a complete and unfragmented estate. It includes a Category A listed mansion house and stable court, as well as formal policies and a celebrated Pulham rock and water garden.
In 1757 John McAdam, the great engineer and innovator, took over the estate. He and his cousin, John Loudon McAdam, invented tarmac and became road and bridge builders.
John McAdam was a popular figure in the local community, providing employment and doing much good. A sponsor of the arts, he subscribed to the works of Robert Burns and invited him to stay at Craigengillan in 1786.Burns wrote a poem to McAdam, thanking him for his support.
The McAdams were enthusiastic horse breeders and sportsmen. By 1800, the Category A listed stable block was built. During the Boer War, the estate shipped 40 horses to South Africa, which were employed in the Relief of Mafeking.
In 1905, Jansen of Paris were contracted to remodel and redecorate much of the house interior. Jansen interiors can also be found in Buckingham Palace and the White House.
Kaiser Wilhelm II, Prince Rainer III of Monaco, Somerset Maugham, Prime Ministers Neville Chamberlain and Stanley Baldwin, King Gustav and Queen Helena of Sweden, Lord Halifax former Viceroy of India and Lord Redesdale, father of the Mitford sisters are just some of the guests who have stayed at Craigengillan in the last century.
“I AM NOT SURE I HAVE EVER SEEN A BETTER SPECIMEN OF OUR SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS – I WISH I HAD CRAIGENGILLAN!”
Lord Cockburn 1844
Today, Craigengillan welcomes visitors from all walks of life. When the estate changed hands in November 1999, the new owner, Mark Gibson, took down the ‘Keep Out’ signs and embarked on a policy of encouraging public access. Over 45,000 visitors now enjoy the unique beauty of this very special place each year.
‘AN AGREEABLE PLACE… THE FIELDS BEING BROUGHT TO A GOOD VERDURE AND THE RISING GROUND PLANTED. WE WERE ENTERTAINED WITH A HEARTY WELCOME’
James Boswell 1762