DiCamillo Companion

Guisachan House (Guisachan)

  • Earlier Houses: There were probably a number of earlier houses, or buildings, near the site of the current house.

    House & Family History: Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, later 1st Baron Tweedmouth, of the Coutts banking family, leased the 20,000-acre Guisachan Estate in 1854 and purchased it outright in 1856. Lord Tweedmouth took the existing shooting lodge and transformed it into a country house, using the London firm of Wright & Mansfield to create astonishing interiors (W&M also designed Brook House in London [demolished 1933] for Lord Tweedmouth). Guisachan featured the earliest Adam Revival interiors in Britain and was particularly known for its upper conservatory, which had an enormous mural showing scenery of a Caledonian forest. In 1904, after the death of the 1st Lord Tweedmouth's wife, the house was sold to the 6th Earl of Portsmouth. In 1919 the widow of Lord Portsmouth auctioned the contents and put Guisachan on the market. It was ultimately purchased in 1939 by Lady Islington, who stripped and sold the interiors of the house. When the 1st Lord Tweedmouth's daughter, Ishbel, married the 7th Earl of Aberdeen (later 1st Marquess of Aberdeen) in 1877, she moved to Haddo House. It is here today that we can see a hint of what Guisachan was like in its heyday. That's because Ishbel hired Wright & Mansfield to redecorate Haddo, copying decorative elements from Guisachan, her childhood home. The library at Haddo is especially noted for its pair of Wedgwood green jasperware chimneypieces.

    Collections: Lord Tweedmouth formed one of the world's finest collections of Wedgwood at Guisachan. The drawing room, in particular, was a tour-de-force of Jasperware, with plaques incorporated into the chimneypiece and the walls. After the 1st Lord Tweedmouth's death in 1894, his son, the 2nd Lord Tweedmouth, sold the Wedgwood collection, which was purchased in bloc by Lord Leverhulme for the Lady Lever Art Gallery, where it remains today as part of National Museums Liverpool. The interiors were completely lost in 1939, when they were stripped and sold by Lady Islington.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Sired by Nous (see "Images" section), a yellow wavy-coated retriever, and a Tweed Spaniel (now extinct), the first Golden Retriever was bred in 1868 by the 1st Lord Tweedmouth at Guisachan; today international Golden Retriever gatherings are regularly held on the estate. A statue that commemorates the breed's founding was erected in August of 2014 by the Friends of Guisachan. Encompassing 20,000 acres when Lord Tweedmouth purchased the estate in 1856, by the early 20th century the Guisachan Estate stood at 7,242 acres; by the mid-20th century there were just 150 acres left (those surrounding the house). Much of the former estate is today owned by the Forestry Commission. The stables and carriage house have been converted into private residences and the dairy and steading have been converted into self-catering holiday homes.

  • Architect: Wright & Mansfield

    Date: 1860s
    Designed: Interiors for Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, later 1st Baron Tweedmouth.

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  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. II, p. 124, 1853.

  • Title: Scotland's Lost Houses
    Author: Gow, Ian
    Year Published: 2006
    Reference: pgs. 167-169
    Publisher: London: Aurum Press
    ISBN: 1845130510
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Not Listed

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSES: Hugh Fraser, 1st Lord Lovat, until 1501; Thomas Fraser, 2nd Lord Lovat, 1501-24. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth, 1854-94; Edward Marjoribanks, 2nd Baron Tweedmouth, 1894-1904. Newton Wallop, 6th Earl of Portsmouth, 1904-17.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Ruinous

  • House Open to Public: No

    Historic Houses Member: No