Ballindalloch Castle – A Proud Legacy of Scotland
The Macpherson-Grant family has lived in Ballindalloch Castle continuously since 1546. Popularly known all over Scotland as the Pearl of the North, Ballindalloch is located in the heart of Speyside with the Rivers Spey and Avon flowing through the estate. Surrounded by majestic hills, the estate is in whiskey country being close to the famed distilleries of Glenfiddich, Glenfarclas and Glenlivet. The Macpherson-Grants are the proud wearers of moss green with navy blue and red checked tartan.
The Castle was originally built in the traditional Z plan, but has been transformed over the centuries from a fortified tower house of 16th century Scotland to the elegant and comfortable Victorian country house in the Highlands. Every occupant has left his or her mark in some way on the estate which now depends extensively on tourism for its upkeep. The castle has fifty to sixty rooms and many of them are open to the public.
The Hall, with its grand staircase and its most unusual umbrella design and fan vaulting was part of the 1850s renovations. The elegant drawing room, dining room, library and nursery are much appreciated by visitors. The current family Clare Macpherson-Grant Russell and her family try to renovate a room a year. They discovered a fine collection of 17th century Spanish paintings in the attic, collected by Sir John Macpherson-Grant in the mid 19th century and have now displayed them.
The garden and estate of Ballindoch Castle is a matter of great pride to the family. The exquisitely planned rock garden, with its tumbling spring water, was laid out in 1937. The walled garden, a haven of beauty, fragrance was redesigned in 1996 to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the Castle. The Estate consists of farmland, woodland, a world class golf course, and several lodges and cottages that are available on rent. It is the perfect location for a golfing, shooting and angling vacation.
General James Grant is perhaps the most famous of the Macpherson-Grants. He fought in the American Wars of Independence and was Governor of Florida between 1763 and 1771. He was succeeded by his grandnephew who became Sir George Macpherson-Grant, 1st Baronet of Ballindalloch. Sir George Macpherson-Grant 2nd Baronet was one of the pioneers in breeding the Aberdeen Angus, a breed of cattle now known all over the world.