|Killiechassie is a country estate and house near Weem,
about a mile northeast of Aberfeldy, in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. The
estate lies on the banks of the River Tay in some 12 acres, about 74
miles (119 km) north of Edinburgh. It was owned by the Douglas family in
the latter part of the 19th century, and a new house was erected in
1865. A dovecote by the house was listed as Grade B on 9 June 1981. The
house was purchased by author J. K. Rowling in 2001.
Killiechassie Estate has existed for centuries, and historically fell
within the civil parish of Logierait. The name Killiechassie means "the
church of the steep face" which refers to a church which stood on the
hill there. This was part of the earldom of Atholl and was then granted
by Máel Coluim, Earl of Atholl, to Scone Abbey in the 12th century.
An Ordnance Survey map of 1862. Features marked include a fountain,
kennel, mausoleum and well. The River Tay is shown running to the east
of the estate.
In the 17th century the estate was
owned by members of Clan Murray who were the Dukes of Atholl. Later
proprietors of Killiechassie included the Robertson family, who belonged
to the house of Struan. In 1727 the estate was owned by the Reverend
Robert Stewart, who left money for a chapel to be built there. On his
death in 1729 he was buried here, followed by his wife, Anne, a year
later. According to legend, Bonnie Prince Charlie was reputed to have
sheltered in a sycamore tree here on his retreat to Inverness during the
Jacobite Uprising in 1746. A small loch in the vicinity, is also,
according to superstition, occupied by a Celtic water spirit.
1850 the estate was documented to be held by a Miss Fleming, when it was
described by poet David Millar as "almost opposite Aberfeldy, a sweet
place, but capable of much greater embellishment." In the later 19th
century the estate was owned by the Douglas family, and
Douglas (1830-1890), nephew of John Douglas, 7th Marquess of Queensberry, held it in
1871, and Hannah Charlotte Douglas by 1892. In 1865 the older house was
replaced with a new one.
Edward, and his wife (and cousin)
Charlotte, daughter of Sir George Henry
Scott-Douglas (1825-1885), 4th baronet of Springwood Park, had no
On 26 December 2001 British author J. K.
Rowling married Neil Murray at Killiechassie, the ceremony being held in
the library. She had bought the estate a month earlier as a retreat from
press and public intrusion. She was reported to have paid £440,000
(£500,000 according to some) for another house which shared the same
drive and then paid around £1.5 million for 72 acres of farmland
adjacent to the property.
The current house was built in 1865. A
freestanding dovecote, built from rubble at this time, is a grade B
listed feature, having a "Gothic, symmetrical frontage with centre tower
and pyramid roof", with jerkin-head gables. However, the house remains
classified as a Georgian property, and Country Life notes that it
retains the feel of a Georgian building, although with intensive
alteration, and now features double-glazing, "mock-Georgian" doors, and
"fake stone cladding".
There are two halls, a dining room, a
drawing room, a morning room, and seven bedrooms, with a two-bedroom
extension on the west wing. The swimming pool is covered with copper
domes. Since Rowling has acquired the property she has undertaken
extensive security measures, with a state-of-the-art electronic security
system, including six foot high gates and a CCTV camera, and guards 24
hours a day, seven days a week.
Sources for this article include:
• "Rowling retreats to banks of the Tay Author pays £500,000 for
historic Perthshire house". The Herald (Scotland). 21 November 2001.
• Sexton, Colleen A. (2006). J. K. Rowling
Historical Society, Killiechassie, Explore Scotland
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