Dunalastair – The skeletal remains of the once great house in Pitlochry

Dunalastair – The skeletal remains of the once great house in Pitlochry

The home of the Clan Donnachaidh of Scotland, which includes names such as Robertson, Duncan and Reid. This family lived there until the 1850s, and there is a burial ground of the chiefs of Clan Donnachaidh in the grounds.

The great poet chieftain, Alexander Robertson of Struan, a staunch Jacobite, lived in a house called the Hermitage which is thought to have been on the site of or near to the present Dunalastair House. This was destroyed by fire after the 1745 uprising. A double tower house was built on the site in around 1800 which was known as Mount Alexander.

Dunalastair House, Dùn Alastair (Scottish Gaelic), meaning “fort of Alexander” – Image: via holeousia.com (see more photos)

In 1853 the Estate was sold by George Duncan Robertson, 18th Chief of Clan Donnachaidh, to General Sir John Macdonald of Dalchosnie. He demolished the house and built the present house which was completed in 1859. General Sir John Macdonald commanded the land forces in Scotland. He also built, in around 1861, much of the village of Kinloch Rannoch including the Episcopal Church in the square and the MacDonald Arms Hotel (now called the Dunalastair Hotel Suites and no longer belonging to the estate).

Dunalastair House was designed by Andrew Heiton, a Perth-based architect, who also designed the Atholl Palace Hotel and Dunkeld railway station. It was really only used as it was built to be used up until the First World War because after that the staff needed to run such a big house were no longer available.

During the Second World War it was requisitioned and used first as a Polish boys’ and then girls’ school and during this period it was considerably damaged.

Featured Image: Dunalastair House / Image: via derelictplaces.co.uk (see more photos)

Websites: dunalastair.com


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