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Penninghame House

A Jacobean-style country house in Dumfries and Galloway, Penninghame House lies on the west bank of the River Cree, 3 miles (5 km) northwest of Newton Stewart. It comprises a two-storey house, with attic rooms above and a three-storey square tower, constructed in whinstone with cream sandstone dressings. Built in 1869 for the Stopford-Blair family, the 13-bedroom mansion has been restored to its Victorian splendour by the Butler family, who purchased it in 2000 and now use it as an alternative healing and self-discovery centre, as well as their family home. The house had been used as a hospital during the First World War and became an open prison in 1954, housing 85 prisoners, but this closed in 2000.

Once the property of the Earls of Galloway, in 1825, the Penninghame Estate became the property of James Blair (c.1788 - 1841), who made his fortune from plantations in South America. On his death, the estate passed to his brother-in-law William Stopford, who changed his name to Stopford-Blair. In the 19th C., the estate extended to 15,082 ha (37,268 acres), including forty tenanted farms, but this area had reduced to 7300 ha (18,000 acres) by the early 1920s, and to only 49 ha (120 acres) of woodland today, most of the land having been sold to its tenants or the Forestry Commission in the 1950s.


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