Exploring Abandoned Creepy Madman’s Dream Mansion

As we traveled week after week down
small farm tracks or trails over rolling hills and mountains through valleys and
woods one location States sharpen our minds standing out as our ultimate goal
among the lost mansions of Scotland today we take you deep into the
highlands to this amazing rarely visited seldom photographed and barely recorded
clan seat to my knowledge no recording as comprehensive has been made of it
until what I show you today the original fortified house on its site is long
since gone but would have looked something like this one before us built
around the same time in another part of the country the reasons for the
destruction of the original house and the fall of the current house we take
you to shortly are tied to a history of tragedy untimely deaths and conflict
that spans centuries abandoned tenants lager mansion a madman’s dream our tale
begins in the days of the old Highland clans during the cloudy years of rule
under Kenneth MacAlpin first true king of Alba the Picts united with the Gaels
of the kingdom of Dal Riata in the West forming the basis of modern Scotland
Kenneth’s descended King Malcolm the third’s own descendant Stout Duncan
became the first official chief of Clan Donnachaidh, or the children of Duncan he was
to support Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn and methan the
clans fourth chief Robert became enraged at the killing of King James the First
who was murdered in a church he hunted down the killers and captured sir Graham
who was then executed at this time the family was granted the barony of Stroman
for their good deeds and many in the clan began to go by the modern name of
Robertson over the years the lands of the clan were drawn into the Jacobite
cause they fought alongside Charles the First and the Marquis of Montrose
against Cromwell and then later again to in-state Charles the Second as King on
the overthrow of James the second the most famous clan Robertson member who
was to be the catalyst for the building of the mansion made their entrance chief
Alexander Robertson was famous as a larger-than-life poet
fought in every Jacobite uprising in support of the deposed Stuart royal
family line of Scottish Kings in 1689 he led the clan to fight at Keeley cranky
to reinstall James the second is King Harry was captured and exiled to France
until 1703 when he was pardoned in 1750 he again rose and fought at the Battle
of Sheriffmuir on the side of James’s son and was again captured but then
rescued by his sister and escaped to exile during this time his sister took
care of the lands and on his return he imprisoned her on a remote island his
own mother had starved his uncle to death and in local legends she was said
to be followed by crows who would call out her guilt due to this he would never
trust women though they often helped him still in his years as chief amazingly
Alexander rallied the clan again for the Battle of Prestonpant in 1746 at the
age of 76 supporting Bonnie Prince Charlie the grandson of the deposed
James the Second, it was recorded at this time that the Duke of Perth who had been
staying at Alexander’s castle was unable to fight for weeks due to the heavy
drinking he had done with him there Alexander returned from his last battle
in the coach of the English general wearing his captured wolf fur coat yet
it was here he caused the clan to lose it all for when the Jacobites failed in
their final rebellion the English burned his tower house called The Hermitage to
the ground and his lands were seized the wash and debts he would die just three
years afterwards and his body was carried by 2,000 clansmen to its last
resting place after his death a large tower house called Mount Alexander was
built on the ashes of the Hermitage in 1801 in 1845 in 1854 the land suffered
from clearances where many clan members were forced by their own leaders to
leave their houses and move overseas to allow cheap to graze their lands at the
same time the area’s suffered the Highland potato famine which had spilled
over from Ireland and depopulated the region sadly the last lands were sold in
1853 due to rising debts by the 18th clan chief to one general Macdonald the
commander of the Scottish army. The general was a huge man he wore a sword across
his back and he had fought in many campaigns against Napoleon and then
wounded many times in battle was once the Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica and
an aide to the Duke of Wellington under the general the Robertson family seat
was demolished in 1859 to make way for a new palatial and ornate mansion designed
by architect Andrew Heaton and finished in 1862 it is this amazing 43 room 3
tower building that we will explore with you today
sadly the general was to die in 1866 just four years after completing the
house and barely having been able to enjoy it in his retirement his son then
lived in the house entered the military and also became the commander-in-chief
of Scotland’s army he later built a huge steam yacht that could carry 360 people
across the nearby Loch the local town however refused the ferry services
operation and the boat was used as a personal yacht for entertainment in 1882
the ship sank in a storm and in great debts he sold the estate and mansion to
the man now famous for the most popular beer in Scotland Hugh Tennent of Wellpark was from a brewing family his father and grandfather had tragically
died when he was just one year old and their brewery was held in trust for him
until he was 21 years old he had travelled to Bavaria to study lager
making and began production of tenants lager in 1885 having just taken over the
business it was to revolutionize the industry by making a dedicated lager
brewery the newspapers called a madman stream however that year sadly he died
at the age of just twenty-seven due to an enlarged heart and with no hair only
having owned the mansion for nine years during that brief time he was known to
have tried to have the general MacDonald’s family crest removed for the
front of the house Hugh Tennent’s brewery – was to leave the family and is now run
by another in time the empty mansion was bought by Mr. Bunten, a railway magnate
and owner of the Anderson foundry his daughter then having married
inherited it upon his death but had trouble up keeping it after World War One
due to manpower shortages caused by the potato famine Highland Clearances
and war deaths by this time the local Robertson clan was officially gone
having sold all their lands in 1926 due to large debts by the Second World War
the military took the house over as a school for displaced Polish refugee boys
and girls it became very successful and was well known for spreading Polish arts
and culture by 1943 its staff and students expanded until its final
closure in 1951 during its years as a school a fire occurred damaging the
house and destroying priceless artworks inside after closure in the 1950s the
houses contents were sold and it was essentially abandoned by the 1960s
thieves stole the lid from the roof and it entered a decade’s long period of
decline and here it sits today as this pile of a mansion looms into sight it’s
clear just how ornate it was the first gothic spire with a roof of tiles still
attached jabs in the air the outside doors are still attached
while the insides appear to be in a state of great decay but once we reach the front it’s clear
just how remarkable this place is the front tower entrance is striking
heavily carved and nothing like anything I’ve seen before the crest of General
MacDonald still sits above the door despite the efforts of Hugh Tennant to
remove it scanning up the tower a tiny window and
an insanely vent spike sit at the very top the crest reads inland / moiré / terrace
by sea and by land the clan macdonald motto house dangerous keep out the atmosphere is palpable it’s an
incredibly photogenic place this building dwarfs you the more photos I
took the more detail popped out like a carving over a window the winds pick up blowing from the locks
and mountains as we head along the opposite side of the house this balcony would have afforded
commanding views for the general to oversee his lands most of the older
buildings in the nearby town in fact were built by him near it an enigmatic
crest with no symbol or writing possibly defaced by Hugh Tennent we walk further along the side looking
for the back in the distance above the mansion looms
what the locals call the fairy mountain it’s a spellbinding scene
at the backside of the grand house are smaller outbuildings and unnatural
earthworks possibly linked to the original houses likely home to workers
places for storage or linked to everyday servant duties the house also had a
large stable block which is not far from here but is still in use a glimpse inside shows plant growth and
fallen timbers we head into the right hand side down what looks like a major
hallway from the number of fallen boards stone
and plaster it seems the house was fully there when it decayed to its current
state metal grates fallen beams and sharp broken boards fill the hall
further in making passage difficult we turned back to try another route that
might be easier the interior mixture of mortared granite
fueled stone does not match the outside carved sandstone this makes it highly
probable the chief Alexander Robertson’s large tower house was cannibalized by
the general when this was built on top of it another collapsed roof out building
stands to the left side but we spy a second way in from here through this
arch is a small courtyard of entrances these long corridors choked with beams
remind us of a giant abandoned mansion we explored to the north of here two
years ago this large brick fireplace gives us an
idea of the type of furnishings inside Irian quiet was shifting footing and
crumbling walls a place to move slowly through rocks and would occasionally
clatter underfoot breaking the spell in this room a large arched window and two
almost perfectly fallen windows neatly arranged rusted metal cables sprout from the
ground their use of mystery the hall seems limitless with travel
slow to a crawl by the dangerous footing the inside is one of the most dangerous
we’ve traveled through the cement wall with a window to the
right seems like a very modern concrete addition very out of place a glance upward shows a remarkable sight
the underpinnings of the tower top a broken stair remarkably still held by a
few beams parts of the steer lie below in a pile in the mansion middle somehow trees grow
possibly in a miniature court as we go deeper so become the piles of
rubble and splintered wood in some parts the second floor still
exists precariously dangling jagad piles form where the weight of the
second floor’s roof fell upon the first floors roof making cones of broken doors
windows and beams above us the front main tower looms like
a distant marker a largely intact door sits weirdly
suspended in rubble here more plaster and lathes cling to the
wall than elsewhere all around us broken spires of chimneys
and towers three arched windows would have looked
down on the small interior courtyard from here they seemed to perfect as if
they remain from a past building through the piles of rubble you can just
make out the back side of the front door still painted white with a few old
panels from here we head down the halls but we aren’t done with this place quite
yet there’s one last find and we’d like to show you just how memorable this
place is from above and why it’s one of the most amazing mansions you’ve never
seen more arches are visible on what would have been the second floor rusted rich door brackets stick from the
Stone giving an idea of the immense amount spent in the construction it’s
hard not to see tragedy and sadness in this place perhaps it is abandoned
partly because of so many of these very memories it was twice burned to the
ground and was to be three times the home of families who died young lost
everything and faded into history today it stands mimicking a new madman’s dream
of hue tenon Alexander the poet chief put his own words to paper when the
English burned his home the first mansion built on this site it remains
the best farewell to this once great house he was to die three years later in
hiding at 80 years of age lying in a bed in a burned-out thatched cottage in the
nearby mountains and woods where he penned this poem with this diversity of
view oft I have waved my anxious pain when from the summit I pursue the rock
the river woods are plain lakes mountains meets fields fertile far and
night divert my gloomy thought in court my wandering I imagine then thou blest
abode ear while thy masters fond delight where he is certain to unload his
anguish spite of lawless might think on the woes our first forefathers knew
thrust out of paradise and such I feel for you soon from your native mansions
must you fly but for your rightful Lord expelled as well as I alas that I should
see an age which boundless perjury has brought that I must leave too noisy rage
the peaceful labors of my thought what Swain so void of sympathy but grieves
to think my spotless cell has made a den of thieves the groves that rapture to me
gave contemplating the works above must Harbor now each filthy slave composed of
the reverse of love the ledger on each flowery brink will hear his fulsome doxy
sing the traitors to with labouring think how to withstand their native King
abominations of such deep disgrace and now the hellish bands advance
then to destroy whatever they meet low while the furious horsemen prance poor
peasants gasp beneath their feet yet cruelty sits smiling on their cheeks to
hear the orphans cries and widow shrieks what then remains but that I go as
Argentia scent kindly bid since there’s a faith that rules below from whom
there’s nothing can be hid that fate can bear me witness of my heart how I have
loved this land how loath I am depart were track not bow soul I must perform
what destiny or dance in Providence I put my trust adieu to woods to Hills to
Plains thou envy of the turbulently great farewell my sweet my innocent
retreat you we hope you’ve enjoyed this amazing
house as much as we have please join us on our next adventure as we travel
across the lost mansions and buildings of Scotland subscribe and explore with us today