DiCamillo Companion

Gordonstoun House (Bog of Plewlands)

  • Built / Designed For: 1st Sir Robert Gordon, Bt.

    House & Family History: Gordonstoun House and Round Square (courtyard and tower) were built in the 17th century by the famed eccentric laird, the 1st Sir Robert Gordon, Bt. (1580-1654), the Wizard of Gordonstoun and second son of the 12th Earl of Sutherland; the Estate had been purchased by the family in 1616. In 1618 Sir Robert notably made the first recognizable effort to enforce uniformity of tartans through an entire clan. Sir Robert also wrote a significant family history book entitled "A Genealogical History of The Earldom of Sutherland from its Origins to the Year 1630: With a Continuation to the Year 1651." In 1771, the 4th Sir Robert Gordon contested and lost the succession to the Earldom of Sutherland after the 18th Earl's death. In 1795, after the death of the 6th Baronet, the Estate of Gordonstoun (but not the title) passed to Sir Alexander Gordon-Cumming. Beginning in 1934 the buildings became Gordonstoun School, which was founded by the German educational pioneer Dr. Kurt Hahn. The House was badly damaged by fire during World War II. Past students include Prince Philip (the Duke of Edinburgh, who also attended Hahn's previous school in Germany, and who studied at Gordonstoun from 1936 until 1939), his sons, Princes Charles, Andrew, and Edward, and Princess Anne's two children. Recently, the school discovered what is believed to be Sir Robert's dungeon, beneath a hidden trap door; the dungeon is 14 feet deep and only two feet wide. Gordonstoun School may have inspired J.K. Rowling's (Harry Potter) Hogwarts.

  • Architect: John Baxter, Jr.

    Date: 1772-76
    Designed: Alterations for Sir Robert Gordon, Bt.

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  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - SOFTBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 1995
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 0300072074
    Book Type: Softback

  • House Listed: Category A

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Past Seat / Home of: George Gordon, 2nd Marquess of Huntly, 1616-38; Sir Robert Gordon, 1st Bt., mid-17th century; Sir Alexander Gordon-Cumming, 18th century.

    Current Ownership Type: School

    Primary Current Ownership Use: School

    Ownership Details: Since 1934 Gordonstoun School

  • House Open to Public: No

    Phone: 01343-837-829

    Fax: 01343-837-808

    Email: admissions@gordonstoun.org.uk

    Website: http://www.gordonstoun.org.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No