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Bighouse

A B-listed mansion and sporting estate on the north coast of Sutherland, Bighouse Lodge lies on a small peninsula at the mouth of the Halladale River, a half-mile (0.8 km) east of Melvich. This plain five-bay grey-harled mansion comprises two storeys above a basement, and was built in 1765. Once the home of the Chief of the Clan Mackay, the property was sold the Sutherland Estates in 1829 and the house extended in the mid-19th century. Passing through various hands thereafter until, in 2001, the house was redeveloped as a commercial venture with a £300,000 refurbishment to providing accommodation for the sporting customers of the estate, conference facilities and corporate hospitality. The new facility was opened by Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace (b.1954).

There is also a former barracks, which is thought to have housed government troops during the '45 - the Mackay chief was no Jacobite - and an ice-house. An A-listed walled garden, which features an unusual two-storey pavilion, extends to over 0.4 ha (1 acre).

Now in separate ownership, the 10,895-ha (26,922-acre) estate offers deer stalking, shooting for partridge and grouse, together with fishing for salmon on the Halladale River.


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