Estate History

The Estate, which is approximately 30,000 acres in extent, was historically part of the Clan Matheson lands that extended west to the Kyle peninsula.

The central part of the house was built in 1755 as illustrated by the love stone over an upper window, which shows a Donald Matheson marrying an Elizabeth Mackenzie. In the early nineteenth century John Matheson was forced to sell Attadale having bankrupted himself trying to improve local farming methods. One of his sons, Alexander, sailed to India to join an uncle.  He met a Captain Jardine who provided a ship to take opium from India to Canton.  Their company Jardine Matheson still flourishes today.   Having made a great fortune, he returned to Scotland as a relatively young man. He set about re-acquiring the former Matheson properties including Attadale. He was also responsible for building the railway from Inverness. The original intention was that it would terminate at Attadale but the ferries from the islands could not reach the shallow east end of Loch Carron and the line was taken on to Strome.

Sir Alexander (as he became) died in the 1880's and Attadale was subsequently leased by Baron Schroder, of the German banking family, and finally bought by him in 1910. The baron's son, Captain William Schroder, was responsible for laying out the garden and was a keen collector of plants. He died in 1945 and in 1952 the present owner's father, Ian Macpherson, whose family had left the Island of Skye in the early years of the nineteenth century, bought the estate.

The Schroders Grave

The Schroders Grave

Most of the Estate is bare hillside with about 200 acres of flat ground covering the floor of the Attadale glen. Such properties today have to produce whatever income they can from a variety of sources. Some of the old estate workers cottages have been converted into holiday cottages for let; other cottages are still lived in by those working on the estate as well as being let to local families. The farmland is now leased. The gardens are open to the public from April to October and have featured on both Scottish and English television garden programmes. The house was featured in the television series 'Hamish Macbeth'. There is a restaurant, a craft shop and gallery at Camallt located on the main A890 road a mile from the estate entrance towards Strathcarron.

There are two Munros (hills over 3000ft) which are amongst the most inaccessible of such peaks requiring a ten-mile hike from the main road. There is a car park provided for walkers at the entrance to the estate. There are many hill lochs with trout fishing accessible to the energetic walker. Fishing on the River Carron is also available with day passes available from Roddy MacLennan on 07818 032 368 in Lochcarron on the North side of the loch. The family and their friends retain the deer stalking.

 

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Life on the West Coast

'West of Inverness' is a film from 1939 with shows life in and around Strathcarron and Attadale.