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Arbuthnott House

The Builders of Arbuthnott House

There has been a house on the site of the present Arbuthnott House for 800 years but nothing remains of any building prior to the 15th century. At that time a typical tower-house existed, but only parts of this early building can be seen within the east wing of the present house.

This fortified keep was built by Hugh Arbuthnott in 1420. His great-great-grandson, Robert, completed the castle between 1470 and 1500 by adding a hall, kitchens and a courtyard with entrance gateway and battlemented containing wall. He also built the Arbuthnott Aisle adjacent to the parish kirk about the year 1500. After further alterations in the 16th century the drawingroom wing of the mansion house was probably erected as the first purely domestic residence by Sir Robert Arbuthnott (father of the 1st Viscount) in the early 17th century and was later embellished by the 2nd Viscount who put in the plaster ceilings and laid out the gardens in the period 1660-1670. The present Georgian front of the house and the north wing were built by the 5th Viscount in 1754 and finally the front door and main staircase was added to this portion in 1820 when the existing drive and bridge were all constructed by the 8th Viscount. This front door stands in the opening that originally led the visitor through a pend under the first floor and into the castle courtyard at the back. At that time the front door of the house was in the old 15th century wing where it can still be seen. With the 18th and 19th century additions most traces of the old courtyard type castle had been erased and little evidence is left of it today. Nevertheless it is easy to see from what remains how the history of the family, the house and the Scottish rural scene has developed by the succesive periods of domestic building on this site.

Arbuthnott House Index
Clan Arbuthnott


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