In its long history, The Kinnaird Estate has hosted two of Scotland’s most significant 19th century literary figures at important points in their careers.
Mr Chalmers Izett, a prominent Edinburgh hatter, bought the estate in 1798 and his wife Eliza took a great interest in the work of James Hogg, the Ettrick Shepherd, friend and protégé of Sir Walter Scott.
Hogg was a regular visitor to Kinnaird and on a visit in the summer of 1814, he caught a severe cold and remained at Kinnaird for several weeks to convalesce. Eliza Izett suggested he should write something ‘to prevent his mind from rusting’, inspired by the surrounding scenery. The result was the beautiful poem, ‘Mador of the Moor’, written in the style of Scott’s ‘The Lady of the Lake’.
‘At eve, they lean’d upon the flowery sward,
On fairy mound that overlooks the Tay,
And in the greenwood bowers of sweet Kinnaird
They sought a refuge from the noontide ray.’
From ‘Mador of the Moor’ by James Hogg.
From 1823-24, Kinnaird was leased by the Buller family of Edinburgh. During this time Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish satirist, historian and philosopher, was employed as tutor to Charles Buller, later a distinguished Liberal MP. While here, Carlyle wrote most of his ‘Life of Schiller’ and the first part of his translation of ‘Wilhelm Meister’.
In 1927, Atholl Estates sold Kinnaird to Sir John and Lady Ward, who used it as a sporting estate and lodge. The estate passed down to Reginald Ward who, in 1975, married Mrs Constance Cluett Ward. Mrs Ward transformed the house into a five-star luxury hotel which opened in 1990.
The estate was sold in 2016 and although Kinnaird House has now returned to being a family home, the estate continues to provide outstanding sporting opportunities and delightful accommodation in beautiful surroundings.