Invery House

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Invery Invery 


 The lands of Tilquhillie and Invery came into the ownership of the Douglas family in the 16th century when David Douglas was granted former Church land in the aftermath of the Reformation. In 1576 his son John built Tilquhillie Castle, which still stands today. These lands swept round from the River Feugh to the River Dee, where there is an Invery beat. In 1760, in more peaceful times the Douglases decided to build a more comfortable residence at Invery.

By 1800 Invery belonged to James Skene. His son William, the eminent Celtic historian was born there in June 1806. James Skene was a close friend of Sir Walter Scott, who was a frequent visitor to Invery and is said to have written parts of Marmion at Invery. Scott’s introduction to canto iv of Marmion is dedicated to James Skene.

In 1816 James Skene sold Invery, moving to Edinburgh. Among many other notable achievements, Skene designed Princes Street Gardens. The original house was a classic Georgian rectangular house facing the river, using an existing 16th century cottage as its service wing. In 1904, a new wing was added, in keeping with the Georgian original and the front entrance was repositioned between the old and new parts of the house.

In the 1920s, Invery House and its policies were bought by members of the family behind the Paisley based Coats Paton thread manufacturers. It changed hands again in the 1970s before being bought by Stewart and Sheila Spence in 1986. The current owners bought it privately from the Spences in 1994, since which time it has been their family home.

Invery occupies a secluded setting on the outskirts of Banchory, the gateway to Royal Deeside, yet is only approximately a 1 ¼ mile scenic walk from the amenities of the town.

dresser  dreser  oak dresser 

The Tilquhillie Dresser
This classical ornament was fashionable in Scotland long before the Adam Brothers and is seen on this dresser in the column legs and carved cornice. It would have been dressed with silver vessels on fine linen cloth, demonstrating wealth and hospitality. The carved heraldry represents the original owners John Douglas the 5th of Tilquhillie and Mary, daughter of Peter Young of Seaton, who were married in 1595(1) and lived at Tilquhillie Castle in Kincardine. This is the only surviving Scottish Dresser with a canopy. This feature is an ancient expression of high status; it was probably made in Fife.  The dresser was in Invery before it was donated to the nation.  In 2023, it is on display in the V&A Museum, in Dundee.

1.  Elsewhere, the Douglas Archives records the marriage date as 1594, in Holyrood, Edinburgh. The dresser, itself, is dated 1613, the significance of which  I have not discovered.




Sources for this article include:

• Prospectus for sale of Invery House

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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024