The House from an 1860s photograph
Built / Designed For: Sir Alexander Gordon of Midmar, son of the first Earl of Huntly
House & Family History: In 1848 Prince Albert took a 40-year lease on the Abergeldie Estate from the Gordon family, primarily because Abergeldie was close to Balmoral and provided good game. In 1849 Prince Albert purchased the freehold of the nearby 6,500-acre Birkhall Estate from Michael Francis Gordon, 15th Laird of Abergeldie (Birkhall remains today in the ownership of the royal family; Prince Charles spends considerable time here, as did his grandmother, the late Queen Mother). Abergeldie received frequent visits from royals over the years (the royal family leased it from 1848 until 1970), including the Duchess of Kent (Queen Victoria’s mother); Empress Eugénie (widow of Napoleon III), who spent October 1879 here, following the death of her son, the prince imperial, in June of the same year; Edward VII, who loved to shoot here; and George V, who also enjoyed the hunting on the Estate. Abergeldie means "Confluence of Geldie" in Pictish. Local legend states that Katy Rankin (a French serving woman also known as "French Kate") was tried as a witch and kept chained in the Abergeldie dungeon before she was hanged on the nearby hill. Not surprisingly, considering that this is Scotland, one of the most haunted countries in the world, Katy's ghost supposedly roams the halls of Abergeldie Castle.
Garden & Outbuildings: The Abergeldie Estate spans approximately 12,000 acres, part of which (primarily for game) is leased to the Balmoral Estate.
House Listed: Category A
Park Listed: Not Listed
Seat of: John Howard Seton Gordon, 21st Laird of Abergeldie; Gordon family here since 1482.
Past Seat of: Sir Alexander Gordon of Midmar, 16th century.
Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust
Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home
House Open to Public: No
Historic Houses Member: No