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Braco 200: The complete history of Ardoch House


If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that Ardoch House is a massive fascination of mine ! It began because I used to search for bones on the old Ardoch Estate, which is the nearest wood to my village, and I discovered the old ice houses there. After I blogged about that in 2011, Mr Forbes in Canada emailed me, because he had visited the old Ardoch estate in 1984 while researching his family history, found the derelict house, but when he came back in 1989 the house had completely vanished !

 I blogged about the mystery of where it had gone in 2012, and did some more research at RCHAMS shortly after. I also blogged about the old Roman Fort, which was next to the house, and how I found an ancient tunnel, as well as researching the Ardoch House murder. Every time I have done a new post I have had emails from people who have been researching their family history, and found a connection to Ardoch House.

Since then I have done a lot of research through newspaper archives, so I decided to put everything I found in one place, which I will update whenever I find something new. I know it's not bones or wildlife - but I'll be back to that with my next post !

Very important !

This Ardoch House is the one in Braco, Perthshire. It is NOT the one in Cardross, near Dumbarton, aand it is NOT the one in Glasgow.

The important dates

1793-5 a new Ardoch House was built.
1816: the stables were built.
1826: an additional bit was added onto the stables.
1828: an new east wing was added.
1842 onwards: regular curling events were held on the ponds at the estate.
1851: The Ardoch House murder !
1911: The estate was put up for sale.
1980: The house was derelict
By 1989: The house was completely demolished.

The long history of Ardoch House

1680: there was a house called Ardoch House in which Roman relics were kept after they were discovered in the Roman tunnel.

1669Sir Henry Stirling, 1st Baronet died, Sir Willian Stirling 2nd Bt inherited.

1702 - Sir William 2nd Bt died, Sir Henry Stirling, 3rd Bt took over
  • In 1715 the house was looted by Argyll's soldiers and the relics stolen according to this.
  • In 1720 the house was rented for 40 years while Sir William Stirling was fighting in Russia for the Czar's army. The tenant covered the mouth of the roman tunnel with a millstone.
  • In November 1753 - the Scots Magazine reported the death of Henry Stirling of Ardoch
1753 - Sir Henry Stirling, 3rd bt died, Sir william 4th bt took over.
  • In 1780 the walled garden was built 
  • Was the new house built in 1795 ? The National Archives of Scotland have "Policy of insurance against fire issued by the Edinburgh Friendly Insurance to Sir William Stirling of Ardoch, bt., for his mansion house of Ardoch, newly built" listed here.
  • Or was it built in 1793 ? The Scottish Architects website says so and that the architect was William Stirling I (1772-1838). It says "William Stirling I was born at Dunblane on 15 October 1772, the eldest son of James Stirling, wright and cabinetmaker, who came of a long-established Dunblane merchant family which may have had landed connections. He commenced practice as an architect builder as his father's partner c.1798, the firm then becoming James Stirling & Son, although William Stirling I practised solely under his own name from the early years of the nineteenth century. On 4 December 1803 at Kirkintilloch he married Jean Erskine, daughter of David Erskine, WS of Dundas & Wilson, who had died in 1791; her maternal grandmother was Mrs Graham of Airth, who was a Stirling of Ardoch. This brought family links with other branches of the Erskine, Stirling and Graham families, and with the related Masterton family, resulting in him gaining the architectural business of the Linlathen, Airth, Gartmore, Ardoch, Braco, Gogar and Strowan estates in addition to those of Kippendavie, Kippenross, Tillicoultry, Airthrey, Tullibody, Dunira and Cardross.

Anne Stirling (owned 1799 - 1820)

When Sir William Stirling, 4th Bt of Ardoch died in 1799, it was inherited by his daughter Anne Stirling (1761-1820). In 1778 she had married Col Charles Moray (1746-1810)
  • 1808 Mansion house of Ardoch advertised to rent, furnished "fit to accomodate  large family" a two scotch acred walled garden. . Contact Col Moray Stirling. James Kinross, overseer at Ardoch will show the house. The post passes the gate twice every day. Fishing and shooting of muirfowl and partridge."
  • In 1815 the village of Braco was feued, on land given by the neighbouring Braco Castle estate.
  • In 1816 the stables were built.
  • In the 1820s, James Monteath, a simpleton, began doing odd jobs on the Ardoch Estate. He would be there until his death in 1851. 
  • 22nd May 1820 - Anne Stirling died

William Moray Stirling

(Major William Moray Stirling was in charge of the estate 1820 -1850)

In 1820 Anne Stiring died, and the estate passed to her youngest remaining son, Major William Moray Stirling (1785-1850). Some accounts say he didn't inherit until the early 1830s, but he certainly had by 1834. Major Moray Stirling not mentioned in newspapers before 1821

Major Moray went to Edinburgh to complete education then joined the army at 14. one of his first campaigns was in East Indies. He spent five or six years there, then served ten years in India, then went to South America, then was injured at Waterloo
  • In 1824 Major Moray Stirling's servant died when coming home with horse and gig from Bridge of Allan, and a dog scared the horse, throwing the rider 30ft off a bridge.
  • 1826 October 18 - Major Moray Stirling married Hon Frances Elizabeth, at Bothwell Castle.
  •  In 1826 there was an additional bit was built according to RCAHMS. This seems to be another bit added to the stables and they were designed by William Stirling.
  • In 1828 a new wing was added to the house and was designed by William Stirling II (1789-1876). This brought the hose to a dining room, drawing room, library, smoking room, 11 bedrooms, 5 dressing rooms, 4 bathrooms
  • September 1833 - The gamekeepers deputation for Major Moray Stirling was said to be.  Joseph Hume.
  • In 1834 there was the first mention in the Caledonian Mercury of Sir George Murray who visited Ardoch House on a way up north and was well received by Major M Stirling and Lady, then heard sermon at Ardoch Chapel.
  • In 1836 Major Moray Stirling's name was mentioned as an "ultra-Tory" to represent Perthshire conservatiives, alongside Home Drummond, to follow Sir George Stirling
  • In November 1838 it was reported the mail coach overturned between Bishops Bridge (six miles north) and Ardoch
  • In 1839 Major Moray Stirling' s overseer was James Bird
  • In 1840 The Sporting magazine said there was a fox hunt near the place.
  • In February 1842 there was a Grand Curling Match "on the lakes at Ardoch". Described as "Major Moray Stirling's lake" between Auchterarder and Dunblane. This probably was the ponds at the back of Ardoch House:

  • In 1842 an archway was built in the wall next to the old Roman Fort by Major Moray Stirling for a visit by Queen Victoria.
  • In Dec 1842  Major Moray Stirling sent his apologies for not attending an event in Crieff because he was away in England,
  • In August 1843 there was a dinner to honour Major Moray Stirling from his tenants in Robertsons Inn, Crieff. He was described as "one of the best and most popular of landlords" 
  • In 1844 the Free Church was built in Stirling
  • In January 1844 a curling match won by the Ardoch team on the pond at the back of Ardoch house. The hospitality of Major Moray was noted.
  • In January 1845 a curling game took place "on the large and beautiful pond in front of Ardoch House between Ardoch and Blackford, one of the seats of Major Moray Stirling." The game ended in controversy, with claims that Ardoch would have won "as usual" if Blackford had been honourable.
  • In July 1845: Mr Oswald of Ardoch House won second prize at Crieff Horticultural Society.
  • In October 1847 two post boys of Mr Stirling ofDunblane took the horses into the river to wash them after coming back from Ardoch House but due to heavy rains and flood in river both were washed away, only one body found.
  • In 1849 Mr McLaren, the former landlord of the Ardoch Inn, moved to the New Inn  at Allanbank, about a mile south of the village.

Christian Moray

(Christian Moray was in charge of the estate from 1850-1864. Her husband was Henry Home Drummond Home)

When Major Moray Stirling died in 1850 the male line ended, because he had no children, and his brothers James and Charles had died in 1840 and 1820 respectively. His sister Christian (1779-1864) inherited. She married Henry Home Drummond Home . From here"George Stirling Home Drummond, of Blair-Drummond, and Ardoch, b. on 1 March, 1813, and succeeded to these lands. He m. firstly on 11 August, 1840, Mary, daughter of William Hay, of Drumelzier and Duns (she d. in 1855), and secondly at Haddington on 7 May, 1863, to Kalitza, daughter of Robert Hay, of Linplum (she d. in 1876). He dsp on 3 June, 1876."
  • In November 1850 Isabella Skinner (18) joined the staff as a maid.
  • In March 1850 the gamekeeper was Charles Stewart whose daughter was Isabella Stewart
  • In 1851 staff included: James Monteath, a 60yo labourer who had learning difficulties; Duncan Bennet, Labourer (used to sleep in the main house 11pm - 6am), Margaret Malcolm (housekeeper, began about 1848), Elizabeth Stewart (housemaid, began 1848-9); Isabella Skinner the maid, and George Riddle (servant boy, 18)
  • In February 28th 1851 maid Isabella Skinner was arrested for the murder of James Monteath.  I blogged about it here.
  • On 17th February 1853 there was the Grand Caledonian Curling Match at Carsebreck
  • In 1856 in a newspaper report of  a ploughing competition it was remarked that Duncan Bennet, servant to H Home Drummond, won 8th place, This was his 33rd prize, since he gained his first ploughing prize 47 years ago,
  • In July 1858 there was a news report in the Inverness Courier of D. Macintyre, gamekeeper, Ardoch Lodge, near Braco shooting a "rare" osprey with 5ft wing span.
  • In 1859 Patrick J Stirling, a solicitor  was quoted giving a speech in the Stirling Observer said only about a third of the tenants on the Ardoch estate were left.
  • June 1861 - a letter in the Stirling Observer From H Home Drummond and G Home Drummond calling a meeting of the road trustees on the 27th June for rebuilding the bridge over the River Knaick.
  • On the 9th February 1864, the Stirling Observer reported that there was a wedding at Ardoch House between Mr T Hardie and widow Merope Ourat of Florence
  • In August 1861  it was reported in The Scotsman that Major Moir and G H Drummond had moved to Ardoch for the shooting season.
  • 21 November 1861 - the bridge collapsed over the Knaick, injuring a workman.
  • 12 June 1862 - the Knaick bridge was finally completed at a cost of £800. 
  • On May 14, 1863, the Perthshire Advertiser announced wedding celebrations between George Home Drummond to Christina Elizabeth Erskine Hay

George Stirling Home Drummond 

(George Stirling Home Drummond was in charge of the Ardoch Estate 1864-1876)

  • In September 1865 - Ardoch Farmers Club met in Greenloaning, under the chair of G K McCallum. The meeting was concerned about rinderpest, (cattle disease), which wasn't present yet but there are concerns that it may soon be.
  • This is from a map from 1868:

  • In January 1870 G.S.H Drummond gave his tenants a ball. There were 150 present. It was reported that Mrs Walker was the then housekeeper, Mr Dingwall was the head gardener and Mr Tovani - house steward or head-butler.
  • Mr Tovani had several children with his wife Elisabeth (b. 1828). His eldest son Luigi , who was born in 1852, was accepted to St Andrews. He also had younger sons George, (b.1856) and William, (b.1864) and Mesopina (b. 1859). His wife Elizabeth wrote a book of poetry in 1862 " Stray thoughts: a collection of short poems"
  • The Perthshire Advertiser wrote in 1871 that Ardoch House gardener George Dingwall had grown strawberries "which for beauty, flavour and size we have seldom seen surpassed".
  • In August 1872 there was a strong wind which shook slates from the roof, according to many newspapers.
  • On 7th Dec 1875 there was a curling match on the Ardoch Estate with 12 clubs, 200 curlers + large number of spectators, for which snow had to be cleared from the ice.

Charles S. H. Drummond-Moray 

(Charles S. H. Drummond-Moray was in charge of the estate 1876-1891)

On 3rd June 1876  George Home Drummond died and the estate passed to  his brother Charles S. H. Drummond-Moray (1816-1891). I found this out about him from here"Charles Stirling Home Drummond Moray, b. on 17 April, 1816, and succeeded to the lands of Abercairney in 1864 and also to those of Blair-Drummond, Ardoch, Millearn and Douglas House on the death of his elder brother in 1876. He m. on 11 December, 1845, to Anne Georgina daughter of William Douglas, 5th Marquess of Queensberry and d. on 24 September, 1891."
  • The Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland says that in 1885 "Ardoch House, ¼ mile E of Braco village, is a modern seat of Charles S. H. Drummond-Moray, Esq., who owns 24,930 acres, of a yearly value of £14,311;" (Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.)
  • In 1878 there was a newspaper report which mentioned a gardener called Dingwall. The following year a report said there was a hardener called "Dingle", so it was possible it was the same man.
  • In October 1880 Charles Stirling Home Drummond Moray sent a letter to his tenants published in Dundee Advertiser, changing their lease terms,  giving them full power to shoot rabbits and hares on their land, but that they would no longer get compensation for crops eaten by rabbits or hares.
  • In April and May 1881 grouse shootings at Feddal, on the estate of Ardoch, were advertised. 
  • In October 1881 the Dundee, Forfar, Fife Peoples Journal  reported that around 100 "Sunday scholars and friends" visited the roman camp, then were conducted by Mr and Mrs Bulloch, the current occupants, and then took the 6.13 train back from Greenloaning. 
  • In October 1881 - there was a dinner to celebrate Mr Stirling Homs Drummond Moray by his tenants and feuars. Mr Matthew Bulloch , the tenant at Ardoch House, sent his apologies.
  • In 1882 A Mr Lawrie of Ardoch House judged a ploughing competition at Harperstone Farm.
  • 1883 -  MR Bulluch provided lnch to the Glasgow archeological society.
  • The 1884-1885 Post Office directory lists a Matthew Bulloch of Ardoch House.
  • In July 1885 - a Sunday school trip visiting the roman camp was given tea by Mr Bullock, Ardoch House.
  • In August 1885  a M. Blooch of Ardoch House was listed as being at Crieff Highland Games
  • In May 1886 George C Dingwall was listed as gardener at Ardoch House
  • In 1886 there was a petition to Charles Stirling Home Drummond Moray of Blair Drummond and Abercairny from tenants on Ardoch estate seeking a substantial and permanent reduction in their rents. The petition has 24 signatures and has marginal annotations concerning individual leases and rents. It is endorsed with copy of a letter from W Ballingall to [?]Kinross, 11 Dec 1886, noting that each case would be considered on its own merits.
  • 1887 1887, Dec 10. Cutting from the "Strathearn Herald" reporting a rent abatement granted by Mr Drummond Moray to his tenants in the light of the agricultural depression.
  • In August 1888 a M Bulloch of Ardoch House shown as an honoured guest at Crieff Highland Games.
  • February 1889 - Matthew Bulloch, shooting tenant of the estate of Ardoch sued Mr William Brydie (farmer) for £1 4s 6d for setting snares on what Matthew Bulloch thought was moorland, but the farmer said was farmland. The sheriff agreed with Brydie. The same sheriff disposed of an action brought by Brydie against a under-gamekeeper to Mr Bulloch for £1 1s 6d as damages. Three people saw the under-gamekeeper kick the snares.
  • Charles Stirling Home Drummond Moray died on the 24th September 1891. It was reported on his death that he devoted all his time to the estate, was "one of the GB's most popular landlords" and visited each tenant at least once every year. The report also said "it is understood he once refused a peerage".

Henry Edward Home Drummond

(The estate was run by  Ltc-Col Henry Edward Home Drummond from 1891-1911)

From Wikipedia: Lt-Col Henry Edward Stirling Home-Drummond-Moray (15 September 1846 – 16 May 1911) was a Scottish soldier, politician and landowner. The son of Charles Stirling Home-Drummond-Moray of Abercairny and Blair Drummond and Lady Anne Douglas, daughter of 5th Marquess of Queensberry, he was born in Edinburgh and educated at Eton College. He served in the Scots Guards from 1866 to 1880 rising to rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1877 he married Lady Georgina Emily Lucy Seymour, daughter of Francis Seymour, 5th Marquess of Hertford.He dropped the name of Moray on succeeding his father in the estate of Blair Drummond in 1891. He was Conservative Member of Parliament for Perthshire from 1878–1880 (elected with 2483 votes vs 2255), and Vice-Lieutenant and Convener of Perthshire.

  • 1891 Census for Ardoch: Ardoch House - Janet Forbes, 35, head, housekeeper, domestic servant, b Ardoch, Muthill and Blackford, Perthshire. Janet H Bayne, 12, niece, scholar, b Muthill
  • In March 1893 the Edinburgh Evening News reported that the mansion house of Ardoch, Braco, "with extensive shootings" has been leased by Lord Provost Bell, Glasgow.
  • August 1893 - Mr and Mrs Bell of Ardoch House listed as guests ata  birthday party for a 
  • October 1893 George Miller took on Garrick farm, ardoch estate
  • 1894 - a report of the Braco show said the Lord Provost Bell of Glasgow was at present residing in Ardoch House, and Col Home drummond (Henry Edward ?) was the proprietor
  • 1895 Sir James Bell mentioned as tenant of Ardoch House, and Col Home Drummond was proprietor.
  • In January 1895 there was a curling match at Ardoch Estate
  • In 1896 there were excavations at the Roman fort:

  • In January 1897 there was a curling competition at Ardoch.  Dunblane Thistle won.
  • August 1900 - Sir James Bell, tenant of Ardoch House mentioned in three categories of prizes at Strathearn Show.
  • December 1900 - the nearby Braco Castle Estate (2000 acres) was put up for sale.
  • 1901 Census for Ardoch: Ardoch Mansion House - Rooms with one or more window: 43. Janet Forbes, servant, single, 45, caretaker and laundrymaid, worker.  born Ardoch, Perthsire.  Christina Cameron, servant, single, 22, laundrymaid, born Rannoch, Perthshire.
  • Also in the census are listings for Ardoch North Lodge, gardener's cottage, butler's cottage, overseer's house, coachman's house, keeper's bothy and keeper's house.
  • In August 1902, Mr and Mrs JJW Miller of Ardoch House were guests at Crieff Highland Games, and Mr JJW Miller acted as chieftain.
  • In September 1903 Mr and Mrs Miller were at Auchterarder Fete
  • In August 1904 Col Home Drummond and JJW Miller of Ardoch House attended a meeting of Ardoch Agricultural Society.
  • In August 1906 Garrick Farm was advertised to let (92 acres), and the contact was W M Richardson
  • In May 1904, the following farms on the Ardoch Estate were to let: Faulds (155) current tenant David Thomson, who was retiring; Gunnocks (93 acres), current tenant was William Findlayson; Blacklands (73 acres) current tenant was James Meiklejohn.  The contact for all of these was WM Richardson.
  • Nov 1904 - West Perthshire Conservatives held annual meeting in Perth. and Ardoch House tenant JJW Miller was present.
  • Dec 1904 - In the council elections, in Ardoch: J.W. Stirling got 99, J.J.W Miller 77. 
  • Feb 1907 - lease for Garrick was taken on by Mr Barnett.
  • July 1907 - JJW Miller presided over a luncheon at the Braco Show.

  • September 1907 - plans begin for the Rhynd Lochs (above) on the Ardoch estate. Two dams were to be made, flooding the valley and creating two new fishing lochs. Constructed by GD Malloch, the lochs cross to separate estates (Ardoch and Blackford). Malloch had the lease for 19 years, after which they revert to Ardoch and Blackford Estates. I have blogged about the Rhynd Lochs here.

William Augustus Drummond Moray

(Captain William Augustus Drummond Moray ran the estate 1911-1939)

Former Ardoch owner Col Henry Edward Home Drummond died of a heart failure at Blair Drummond, aged 64 or 65. He was the chairman of Unionist Association (now called the Scottish Conservatives) and convener of Perthshire country council since 1893. He was also chairman of General Accident Assurance Association.
  • In 1911 the estate was for sale according to RCAHM, as was Blackford Estate (which was next to it)The official sales literature says the whole estate was 6150 acres, including the Wester Feddal and West Third of Rottearns (which are not within the main estate, but were also being solld at the same time), and that the estate brought in £3824 19s 11p the year before. Of this, £1000 was rental of the furnished house and shooting rights. Water is described "by gravitation", house lit by acetylene gas, there a flower garden close to the house with a fruit and veg garden 300 yards away with a vinery and hothouse. The rooms were: a dining room, drawing room, library, smoking room, 11 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 5 dressing rooms, stabling for 10 horses, a coach house and a motor garage.
  • In Feb 1911 the current tenant of Ardoch House was listed as A. R Wilson Wood.
  • May 1911 - farms to let on the estate included Carsemeg (128 acres) and Loig (213 acres)
  • In 1912, the largest ever Unionist meeting in the district took place at Ardoch House, hosted my Mr and Mrs George Hayes, "urging the advantages of imperialism."
  • In 1914, the Perthshire Advertiser notes a G. Hayes of Ardoch House who donated some papers tp an infirmary in Perth
  • Sep 1914 - Overardoch to rent. 150 acres. App W. Richardson, overseer.
  • May 1915 - Three grass parks to rent, apply to Richardson, overseer
  • October 1915 - it was reported in the Stirling Observer that the son of george Hayes, Lt Richard Hayes, 1st Black Watch was killed in France,
  • Sept 1915 Private John Cameron of Braco killed. He was gamekeeper on ardoch Estate 1899-1914.
  • August 1916 - a garden fete at Ardoch House by Mr George Hayes "a shooting tenant" to enable the ladies of Braco to provide their good work to the soldiers. Lady Georgina Home Drummond was present.
  • Dec 1916 - estate labourer William Taylor (75) was injured when a tree he was felling fell on him at Townhead
  • April 1917 - farm of Gunnocks advertised to let, 95 acres
  • June 1917 - a "portion of ardoch estate" was put up for auction: "Farm of West Third of Rottearns, 253 acres (160 arable), lease expires martinmas 1917, gross rental £151 5s; public and parochial birdens and Feu-duty year 1916-17 was £13 13s, upset price £2800.
  • In September 1920 the gossip column in the Sunday Post said that Ardoch House was being leased by Colonel Sir Theodore Brinkman, and that his son, Mr Theodore Brinkman and Miss Gretta Cameron.
  • In September 1921 Sir Theodore Brinkman's  shooting party of five from Ardoch House bagged 61 brace grouse 15 hares and 5 rabbits on Carim Moor.
  • September 1921 - Dundee Evening Telegraph reported that the Home Drummond family were thinking of selling the Ardoch Estate under the headline "Historic Perthshire Family to sell part of estate - effect of heavy land taxation" 
  • September 1921 - The Courier advertised to let, from 28th November 1921, the arable farm of Overardoch, (193.5) acres. Was let in October to Messrs Robertson and sons.
  • November 1921 Sir Theodore Brinkman was appointed hon president of Scottish Central province curling group
  • August 1922 - James William Stirling Home Drummond Moray had a "coming of age" party (the previous year it wasn't convenient to mark the event)
  • May 1923 - Alexander Cameron, the oldest tenant on the ardoch estate retired.
  • Sep 1923 - Perth Hunt Ball - attended by Miss James, Miss Ismay, Mrs Anderson from Ardoch House
  • The Glasgow Herald says that in 1924 the estates of Abercairney, Blackford and Ardoch were formed into a joint stock company.
  • July 1924 - Bruce Ismay shooting at Ardoch for third year.
  • August 1924 - Bruce Ismay was shooting on Ardoch Moors
  • Sept 1924 - Miss Ismay of Ardoch House mentioned as attending the Perth Hunt Ball. 
  • October 1924 - Three potato workers - Catherine Nelson, Annie Miller, Mary Melson. -appeared in court having stolen a blanket, two skirts and a pillowcase from Greenbrae farm, Ardoch.  "The girls appeared to treat the whole matter as a joke and were admonished". Sentence was deferred on Nelson and Miller for 3 months. Nelson remarked "it's the cruelty that should be sent out to see the beds we had to lie on"
  • November 1924 - seven cows stolen from Mill of Ardoch, put on train to Perth, and sold. William Ralston, formerly of the parish, now of Dumbarton was sentenced to four months in prison. 
  • June 1925 piece in Dundee Courier says shootings on Blackford estate have been let to Bruce Ismay.
  • August 1925 Stirling Castle garden party, present with Mr, Mrs and Miss Ismay of Ardoch House
  • In Sep 1925 - Perth hunt ball mentions Mrs Ismay from "Ardoch House"
  • In May 1926 the Dundee Courier reported that Mr J. Bruce Ismay of Ardoch House Braco left for the south. 
  • August 1926 - Shielhill to let, 223 acres, current Hugh Cameron, E Chick. Also :was long associated with the name of Mr William Brydie and has recently been in the occupation of Mr Hugh Cameron.
  • August 1927 Mr Ismay is listed as an occupant for shooting at Ardoch, also a Mr RG Pilkington of Liverpool
  • November 1927 - T McNaughton was mentioned as a gamekeeper at Ardoch, who coaxed away a collie after it stood over the body of Mrs James Ruddick (50) of Blackmill, Braco, who drowned in the Knaick.
  • In April 1928 the Dundee Evening Telegraph reported that the Watching and Lighting Committee of Perth Council received a report from the firemaster on fire protection for Ardoch House.
  • In 10 April 1929 the Dundee Courier reported that Michael Lubbock 1906 – 1989 and Diana Crawley would be married by the Archbishop of Canterbury, then spend their honeymoon at Ardoch House
  • July 1929 - to let, broomhill, 127 acres, current occupant John Osley
  • July 1929 to let Gunnocks, current Donald Robertson, 95 acres.
  • July 1931 - to let Berrydyke, current occupied by Strath Watson, 139 acres, two miles from village.
  • In 1932 a fete at Ardoch House raised about £200 for Braco and Greenloaning Nursing Association.
  • May 1932 - To let, clattronford farm (1 mile form Braco, 125 acres), Dochlewan and Over Ardoch. Contact E chick.
  • Jan 1933 - Newspaper report on curling on the loch, says curling has taken place on one or other of the lochs at ardoch for many years. Ardoch and Blackford tied for third place. 
  • 1933 - John Thomson was the gardener at ardoch
  • June 1933 - Ardoch estate hosted Scholars Picnic of 100 children from Crieff.
  • Sep 1932 - there was a water shortage in the village of Braco.
  • Oct 1932 - To let, Doclewan farm, 90 acres. E chick.
  • October 1933: Alexander McGregor 64 of Kilmaurs, Ayrshire was charged with poaching 53 rabbits on the Ardoch estate, using a hired motor car. He was fined £7 and gear forfeited.
  • In 1934, Ardoch House looked like this:

  • Dec 1934 - a trial heard that Thomas McNaughton, gamekeeper, Ardoch kennels, Braco had a gun pointed at him by Allan Fotheringham (18) of Westerton Farm (on the Ardoch estate) after catching him poaching.  Fined £6 or 30 days. Other gamekeepers named were Robert Shearer and Donald McKerracher.
  • At 5am, 24 June 1935 the bridge from the South Lodge was washed away during a sudden storm. This is what remains now:

  • June 1935 - Dochlewan Farm (90 acres) for rent. Peter Brough, current occupant. Ardoch Estate. Two miles from Braco, three from Greenloaning.
  • Sept 1936 engagement of James and jeanetta Stirling Home Drummond Moray. James - educated Newbeacon School, Kent, and Eton, Sandhurst. 
  • August 1936 Abercairney Estates Ltd - Ardoch Estate - estate of Over Ardoch to let, 193 acres. John McDowall is current occupant.
  • January 1937 - Captain James S. Drummond Moray (eldest son of Captain Stirling Home Drummond Moray) married Jeanetta Ruth Montagu-Douglas-Scott, twin daughter of Lord George William Montagu-Douglas-Scott. They had a son the following year.
  • July 1938 - Ardoch Estate - Shiellhill, currently occupied by Andrew Swan, to ley. 223 acres. Ernest Chick will show people round.
  • 21 February 1939: the Dundee Evening Telegraph announced the birth of a daughter at Ardoch House to Jeanetta, wife of Captain James S. Drummond Moray. 

James William Stirling Home Moray

(Captain James William Stirling Home Moray was in charge of the estate 1939-?)

On 7 March 1939 - the Dundee Evening Telegraph announced the death of "noted Perthshire Laird" Captain Drummond Moray (b 1852) who m. in 1899 the Hon Gwendolen Edwardes, eldest daughter of Lord Kensington. His elder brother was the late Col Home Drummond, Conservative MP for Perthshire 1878-1880. This means James S Drummond Moray inherited the estate. James Stirling Drummond Moray was said to reside at Ardoch House in March 1939. Hon Gwendolyn passed away Sept 1940, 18 months after her husband.
  • There is almost no history I can find of the house in World War II, but it is said the Women's Land Army used the house and land for training.
  • October 1941 - advert for let of Garrick and Muirhead farms at Ardoch;  apply to  E. Chick, head forester. Unclear whether on the estate.
  • September 1943 - Garrick Farm to let, Ardoch estate, app E. Chick, Chief forrester. 123 acres. Present tenant Mr Forsyth.
  • June 1946 - items auctioned at Abercairney belonging to Major James Stirling Home Drummond Moray.
  • 1947 - last mention of E Chick, so he may have retired or moved away.
  • 2 July 1948 - death of Robert Scobie of Ardoch Lodge, Braco, buried in Ardoch church
  • September 28, 1947 - several Ardoch estate workers were knocked down at the road leading to Woodside Farm, Greenloaning by a motor car driver David Walker Ward, while walking home from a dance. Two were killed, three injured. The Ardoch Estate workers were Annie English, aged 19, agricultural worker (injured) and Nora McNamara (killed). One charge deserted, the other not proven. 
  • In 1949 the nearby estates of Greenscares and Corriour sold off (These are both now large woods where I do a lot of my walking !) Sold by MargraEstates, Leeds, who had bought them from the Major Moray Drummonds. Bids were low, Mansion house of Orchil went for £1800. Drummond Moray bought the trout lake south of the Orchil - 12 acres for £2100. bennie, Greenscares and Over Ardoch farm unsold. 
  • June 1950 - Advert for Abercairney Estates Ltd, Ardoch Estate - to let, Gannochan farm currently occupied by John McNaughton
  • 1959 - Ardoch Farming Company was established.
  • By 1964: (Added in June 2014) I go an email from Jeremy Price who wrote: "I read your piece about Ardoch House while researching my former home, Little Ardoch, in Braco. I'm expecting to re-visit Scotland later this year after an absence of 50 years. My father, John Price, was General Manager of Kier and Cawder Estates which with Ardoch Estate was owned by Col. William (Bill) Stirling at the time. I was free to roam over the estate provided that I behaved myself and didn't upset the gamekeeper.
    I recall that the cellars at the rear of derelict Ardoch House were used as an enormous silage pit; I remember the ice-house next to the lake where I was allowed to use the dinghy to fish in the long summer evenings provided the laird didn't want to use it. Old Tom McNaughton was the gamekeeper before he retired early in the 60's.
    Also, I remember the Forbes family children Ronnie and Wendy and an older brother who studied Medicine at the time. I'm not sure if that is the same Forbes family to which you refer.
    Anyway, Ardoch House was standing in 1964 and being put to agricultural use."
  • AROUND 1975 - Blackford farms, owned by Mr Al-Tajir, Scotland's richest man, bought the Ardoch Estate.
  • In 1980 it was derelict, but still had some internal floors, and some glass in the windows.
  • In 1984 the house was a derelict shell:

  • In 1989 the house wasn't there any more. It was demolished into the huge cellars, and bulldozed over.

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