Beaufort Castle 8178

Inverness, Scotland

Brief Description

The Castle stands on a slightly elevated rise on the south side of the River Beauly with parkland extending to its south-west and east. The landscape park extends southwards from the River Beauly to the Home Farm. Ornamental walks lead along the Bruiach Burn, southwards from the Castle to the Walled Gardens and Nursery. The policies are important scenically as they contribute to the local landscape character.

History

In 1880 Simon Fraser, 8th Lord Lovat (d.1887) commissioned J M Wardrop (1824-82) to design the existing Beaufort Castle. Wardrop, a pupil of Bryce's, designed a Baronial mansion, near to the remains of Dounie Castle, commanding extensive views over the Airds of Lovat. Lovat was chairman of the first Forestry Commission and first convener of Inverness County Council.

Detailed Description

The following is from the Historic Environment Scotland Gardens and Designed Landscapes Inventory. For the most up-to-date Inventory entry, please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website:

http://portal.historic-scotland.gov.uk/hes/web/f?p=PORTAL:DESIGNATIONS:0

Type of Site

Extensive 19th century landscape park, pleasure grounds and woodland walks, incorporating features from an earlier designed landscape associated with earlier Castle.

Location and Setting

Beaufort Castle is situated directly north of Kiltarlity, 19km (13 miles) west of Inverness and 6.4km (4 miles) south-west of Beauly. The Castle stands on a slightly elevated rise on the south side of the River Beauly with parkland extending to its south-west and east. To its east, it overlooks the junction of the Dounie Burn with the Bruiach Burn which becomes the Belladrum Burn, and issues into the Beauly. There are few views to the Castle from the surrounding landscape as woodlands and belts of trees enclose the parkland.

The policies are important scenically as they contribute to the local landscape character.

The landscape park extends southwards from the River Beauly to the Home Farm. Ornamental walks lead along the Bruiach Burn, southwards from the Castle to the Walled Gardens and Nursery. To the east the designed landscape extended to the East Lodge on the Kiltarlity road. Belladrum designed landscape to the south-east was contiguous with the Beauly policies (1872, O.S 6") thereby an extensive area of parkland and plantings define the eastern approach to Kiltarlity.

Landscape Components

Architectural Features

Beaufort Castle designed by J M Wardrop in 1880, probably includes an earlier building. The drawing room wing and entrance hall were altered and restored in 1937 by Reginald Fairlie after a fire. It is Baronial in style and built of tooled red ashlar with polished ashlar dressings.

The Home Farm, to the south-west of the Castle, is a south-facing 'E' plan steading with a bellcote and is mainly single-storey. The West Lodge is an early 19th century cottage, altered in the late 19th century with gabletted domes. The East Lodge is c 1840, a T-plan gate lodge of coursed rubble with tooled sandstone dressings. With crowstepped gables, oriel windows and finials, the gate lodge incorporates two pairs of square ashlar gate piers.

The Walled Garden, early-mid 18th century, has rubble walls and is rectangular with curved brick-lined walls. It is some 300m in length from east-west.

The Gardens

By the mid 19th century there were a series of Summer Houses laid out within the pleasure grounds along the Bruiach Burn. Other Summer Houses were laid out along the banks of the River Beauly . A formal walk led along an escarpment to the west of Beaufort Castle, above the river (1872, OS 6"). Formal gardens lie to the south-east and east of the Castle. The parkland is informal in style with large clumps of trees and a serpentine approach drive leading in from the East Lodge (RCAHMS, Aerial photographs).

The ornamental planting includes major specimens of Caucasian fir (Abies nordmanniana), Noble fir (Abies procera), Monkey puzzle (Araucaria araucana), Crimean pine ( Pinus nigra var.caramanica), Western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) and Wellingtonia (Sequioadendron giganteum) (Tree Register of the British Isles, TROBI).

History

Detailed History

The following is from the Historic Environment Scotland Gardens and Designed Landscapes Inventory. For the most up-to-date Inventory entry, please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website:

http://portal.historic-scotland.gov.uk/hes/web/f?p=PORTAL:DESIGNATIONS:0

Reason for Inclusion

An extensive designed landscape of high scenic importance in the Aird and Beauly Firth, comprising 19th century landscape park and pleasure grounds, incorporating an earlier designed landscape associated with an earlier castle.

Main Phases of Landscape Development

Late 17th/early 18th century, 19th century.

Site History

Mention is made of the fortress of Beaufort, Downie or Dounie Castle when it sustained a siege during the reign of Alexander I (1106-24). It is said that the defensive trenches can still be traced (NSA, 1845). Later, the castle was seized and blown up by Oliver Cromwell.

Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat (c 1676-1747), 'The Fox', succeeded his father as 12th Lord Lovat in 1699. A Jacobite, he was implicated in the Queensberry Plot and fled to France. When his cousin, who held the Lovat estates joined the Jacobites, Lovat returned in 1714. In reward for government support, Lovat obtained a full pardon and possession of the estates. But after the Battle of Culloden, following his support for the Jacobites, Dounie Castle was burnt and razed by Cumberland, while Lovat was captured. He was sent to London and in 1747, beheaded on a charge of treason. The only remains of Dounie Castle now surviving is a 11m long stretch of wall set with a plaque relating that it is 'the ruin of Castle Downie, the ancient stronghold of the Frazers of Lovat, built c 1400, and destroyed by Cumberland after the battle of Culloden'.

A small stone house was built on the site to accommodate the factor of the Forfeited Estates Commissioners. General Simon Fraser, Lovat's heir, raised 4,000 clansmen and other Highlanders to fight for King George in Portugal and at Quebec, thereby earning the return of his estates in 1774. Plans and illustrations for an unexecuted 'new Design for Bewley Castle' dated 1777 survive (Soane Museum). All Lovat's sons died without issue, resulting in the estates passing to Thomas Fraser of Strichen in 1815. He invested in the estates by planting, fencing and building estate houses. He was created a peer in 1837 and thereafter the ancient Scots title of Lovat was returned to him. He commissioned William Burn to extend and alter the house in 1839. By the mid 19th century the parklands were described as 'extensive 'studded with large trees of various kinds' with a rosary and flower-garden laid out in the vicinity of the castle by Lady Lovat (NSA, 1845).

In 1880 Simon Fraser, 8th Lord Lovat (d.1887) commissioned J M Wardrop (1824-82) to design the existing Beaufort Castle. Wardrop, a pupil of Bryce's, designed a Baronial mansion, near to the remains of Dounie Castle, commanding extensive views over the Airds of Lovat. Lovat was chairman of the first Forestry Commission and first convener of Inverness County Council.

Associated People

Just one person associated to Beaufort Castle

Contact
References

Contributors

  • Historic Scotland