Ballindalloch Castle

Ballindalloch Castle, known as the 'Pearl of the North' is located on the Speyside Way, at the confluence of the Rivers Spey and Avon, 9 miles (15 km) northeast of Grantown-on-Spey and the same distance WSW of Dufftown. It has been the home of the Macpherson-Grant family since 1546. Originally a tower-house, built on the Z-plan, it has been developed into a comfortable country house. In 1645, the Castle required major restoration after it was plundered and burned by James Graham, 1st Marquis of Montrose (1612-50). General James Grant (1720 - 1806), hero of the American Wars of Independence, added two new wings to the house in 1770, one to house his favourite french chef. Further extensions and a major refurbishment were begun in 1850 under the direction of architect Thomas MacKenzie. Between 1965 and 1967 one of the wings added in the 19th Century was demolished and the castle modernised. Today Ballindalloch includes some fine rooms, furniture and a collection of 17th-century Spanish paintings. Ballindalloch Estate is the home of one of the oldest cattle herds in the world, the famous Aberdeen Angus herd established by Sir George Macpherson-Grant in 1860, from a number of beasts bred by William McCombie (1805-80).

Within the grounds are a 17th-century doocot and an early 20th-century rock-garden, the estate being watered by the Spey and Avon rivers which offer excellent fishing.

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