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Kinrara

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Kinrara
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Location Information
Name Kinrara
Owner private
NGR NH 87563 08094
Lon. & Lat. 57.14997,-3.86013
Council Highland
Parish Alvie
Nearby Castles Loch-An-Eilean
Year built 1804
Overview map
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Jane Gordon, (1748-1812), nee Maxwell, wife of Alexander Gordon, 4th Duke, known as the 'beautiful Duchess of Gordon' laid out the picturesque designed landscape at Kinrara. She married Gordon in 1767 from whom she became estranged in 1789, having borne him two sons and five daughters. Thereafter, her attention turned to building a country retreat at Kinrara, which became her summer residence from July to November. During the London season she lived at her house in Pall Mall, where she formed a social centre for the Tory party. She was prominent in social and political society, a spirited figure who, amongst her many activities, established the Gordon Highlanders Regiment.

After the Duchess' death in London, in 1812, she was buried at Kinrara, as she wished. The estate passed to her eldest son, George Marquis of Huntly (1770-1836) and his wife Elizabeth (1774-1864) who used Kinrara as a summer residence. The Marchioness continued tree planting on 'another piece of ground between the Spey and the approach to the cottage at Kinrara, with larch, spruce and Scots firs, which are thriving.' (New Statistical Account, 1835).

When George became the 5th Duke in 1827, regular visits thereafter ceased and the estate was let for shooting to Sir George Sitwell, Bt. In 1836, on the 5th Duke's death, Kinrara was inherited by his nephew, Charles, 5th Duke of Richmond and Lennox (1791-1860), who assumed the additional name of Gordon. Robert Roy's plan depicts the pattern of land-use at Kinrara (Roy, 1838). A series of arable fields lay alongside the Spey with a major north-east to south-west route lying along higher ground above the flood plain, and linking the Cottage, Offices and Duchess of Gordon Monument. Elsewhere there was a mosaic of 'Old Grass', presumably unimproved pasture, adjacent to the river at the north-eastern part of the site, and other areas of 'Pasture', including one to the north of the house. Torr Alvie was wooded apart from an area on its south-west slopes.

On his death he was succeeded by his son, the 6th Duke of Richmond and Lennox, created Duke of Gordon and Earl of Kinrara in 1876. The house remained let until the 1930s. In 1939, Lord Bilsland, who purchased the property from Sir Theodore Brinckman, Bt. of Nairnshire in 1937, extended the house. In 1961 the estate was sold and remains in private ownership.

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