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Bourtreehill (also known as Bowtree Hill)


All that survives of the Bourtreehill estate is a wooded hill, now surrounded by housing development on three sides. There are some 18th-century plantings on the hill and remnants of the ruined 17th-century house.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

Access contact details

Most of the grounds are open to the public throughout the year.


14th Century

The first recorded owner of Bourtreehill was Robert the Bruce. His seizure of the estate, which had previously fallen under the hereditary possession of King John Balliol, helped give rise to one of the world's longest running Royal Dynasties.

Bruce awarded the estate to his grandson Robert, High Steward of Scotland, in lieu of the throne. The Steward rented Bourtreehill to one Alan de Blair in 1363.

"In 1363 Robert the Steward granted to Alan of Blair the annual rent in return for a pair of gilt spurs or twelve silver pennies at Whitsunday yearly, if asked."

The Laird of Bourtreehill was 54 years old when he was crowned King Robert II (1371). He became the first representative of the Stewart (or Stuart) Dynasty.

He would be the last monarch to privately own the estate, but in subsequent centuries it became the residence to the Earls and Countesses of Crawford, the Earls of Eglinton, the Barons Oranmore & Browne and had varied degrees of influence over The Beatles, Charles Dickens and Robert Burns.

20th Century

In the 1960s, the estate was completely abandoned. The closest town was more than a mile away and the wooded gardens were seldom visited. Within two decades, they had become almost impenetrable.

In 1978, a modern housing project was established outside the perimeter of the estate, encroaching only on the southern quadrant where houses can be found well within the medieval grounds.

Part of the policies was built over in the 1970s and the house has been demolished.


18th Century (1701 to 1800)

Features & Designations


  • Tree Avenue
  • Description: An avenue of layering beech trees, lining a former carriageway
Key Information





Principal Building

Parks, Gardens And Urban Spaces


18th Century (1701 to 1800)


Part: standing remains

Open to the public





  • A J Morton