It is believed that in 1509, King James IV granted the lands of Kingairloch to Ewen MacLean, son of Hector MacLean in exchange for the services of a well-equipped galley of 22 oars. The MacLean’s of Killmalieu and Kingairloch owned the estate until 1800.
In the 18th century the Macleans built Kingairloch House as a replacement for their summer dwelling. The prior main house was along the coast on the shore of Loch Linnhe and was in the township of Airigh Shamhraidh. During the winter months it was continuously battered by storms, so they choose to site their new main estate residence in a more sheltered location at the head of Loch a’Choire.
You are welcome to visit the ruins of Airigh Shamhraidh by walking the coast towards Glensanda. History has well reported the effect of The Highland Clearances (1750 -1860) and Kingairloch too changed from having Township areas to one landholding.
Above painting circa 1900 by Victorian landscape artist Mr Louise B Hurt. Mr Hurt was related to the Strutt family and was a regular visitor at Kingairloch having painting these scenes while on holiday here.
Above painting circa 1900 by Victorian landscape artist Mr Louise B Hurt.
Above image of deer spotting on Kingairloch House front garden circa 1902.
Kingairloch House has been remodelled several times through changes of ownership, with the most notable taking place in 1903-1904 when the Derbyshire cotton mill magnate George Herbert Strutt enlarged the house to three stories with a side wing and turrets for use as their shooting lodge.
In 1964-1965 the house was drastically reduced in size by George Herbert Strutt’s son Arthur, due to the emergence of dry rot and the increasing running costs of such a large property. George Herbert Strutt’s son Arthur married a New Zealander, Patricia Kebbel.
Arthur and Patricia Strutt also owned neighbouring Glensanda. In 1982 Patricia Strutt sold this land to John Yeoman. John Yeoman was the owner of Foster Yeoman Ltd and went on to develop the coastal quarry in Glensanda that continues to operate today.
In 1989 after a long Strutt association at Kingairloch, Foster Yeoman Ltd also went on to purchase Kingairloch Estate, although Mrs Strutt retained management of Kingairloch until her death in 2000.
Above image of Kingairloch House circa 1900.
In 1996 Susan Larson (daughter of John and Angela Yeoman) started an agreed process of restoring the properties on Kingairloch. The premise behind the restoration projects was to achieve a time when Kingairloch could stand-alone and be financially viable.
Foster Yeoman Ltd was sold in 2006 and Mrs Angela Yeoman and Mrs Susan Larson bought Kingairloch Estate to take it forward into the future.
Although tourism now played a major role at Kingairloch, the estate had also diversified into renewable energy, commercial and native forest whilst maintaining traditions as being a magnificent deer forest offering first-class red deer stalking.
Seaview Cottage, Ghardail Cottage, Pier Cottage, The Old Post Office and Elastic Cottage have all been renovated in a slightly different way but the central stone construction was retained with stone likely quarried from The Pier Quarry.
They wish to carry on the fantastic work and guardianship that the previous owners have undertaken and have set out following 4 guiding principles for their stewardship of the estate:
Historical photos and paintings courtesy of local historian Iain Thornber. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.