Saturday, December 12, 2015

Lochbuie House - 3 Generations

Moy Castle, which stands above Loch Buie on the south of Mull, was the home of the Maclaine chiefs from about 1400 to 1752. The site was an important one long before the 1400s, as about four hundred yards to the north is an impressive stone circle. To the dismay of many visitors Moy is kept locked. But I was fortunate to be given a tour of the inside in 2003. One highlight of the tour was seeing the pit-prison: a deep hole half filled at high tide, with a rock for the unfortunate prisoner to stand on. You can read more about the castle's history at this link. The castle was also a focal point of the 1947 movie I know where I'm Going (see this I know where I'm Going website).

Moy Castle
Looking into the pit - the light is the reflection of the camera flash on the water
In 1752 the Maclaines must of had some cash on hand, for they abandoned the drafty castle (with its creepy pit prison) and built the first version of Lochbuie house (see this CANMORE page for more on old Lochbuie House). The house probably looked better when Johnson and Boswell stayed here in 1773 than it does today; for they've bricked in the upper windows and it's now used as a farm building. However, Boswell did not think much of the house at the time:

'It was strange to see a man of his fortune...have a poor house, though of two storeys indeed. The dining-room, where we sat, has a bed in it; and neither the ceiling nor the walls were plastered, though they were prepared for it.'

A plaque mounted above the door reads: After leaving Moy Castle the Lochbuie family resided in this house from 1752 to 1790 and it was in this house that Dr. Johnson and Mr. Boswell were entertained in 1773 by John Maclaine XVII laird of Lochbuie.

Old Lochbuie House
Plaque above door of old Lochbuie House
Around 1792 the Maclaines built the current Lochbuie mansion house, 100 yards to the northwest of the old house. And in the late 1800s they added the flanking wings you can see in the next photo. No Maclaines live at Lochbuie these days, for they lost the estate to debt about a hundred years ago. See this Clan Maclaine page for a history of the Maclaines of Lochbuie. See the May 7, 2015 post for the story of Ewen Little Head, the headless horseman of Lochbuie, who is said to still haunt the house of Lochbuie.

Lochbuie House

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