Clunebeg History

 

Clunebeg is Gaelic for 'Green Meadow'. The earliest mention of Clunebeg in local archives indicates it was inhibited by a local family of some note back in the 1400's. Not that we have any evidence that any of the current buildings go back that far! Local habitation of the area dates back to the Iron Age as evidenced by the hill fort just the other side of the Glen.

 

We have heard from local historians that following the destruction of Urquhart Castle, Clunebeg House like a number of other local buildings was constructed at least in part from stones taken from the Castle remains. No wonder that the walls in places are nearly a meter thick - much to the chagrin of some of the workmen we have had facing the challenge of installing satellite and network cables through these walls!

 

Put together; the thickness of the walls, the distinctive hexagonal tower, its prominent raised setting affording it a panoramic triple aspect view of the valley and the arrangement of the attached buildings in a square formation surrounded by walls are all indicative of a fortified homestead construction or Bawn House.

 

Ordnance Survey map of 1871

 

The first Ordinance Survey dating back to 1871 above shows the current site well developed with the main house fully constructed and a number of other buildings present including one on the site of the newly constructed Lodge of the current times

 

At this time it was occupied by Joseph Mitchell one of the Victorian engineering geniuses responsible for the design and construction of the Caledonian Canal among many other feats of Civil engineering completed in the heyday of the industrial revolution around the Country at that time.

 

Before his occupation another prominent Victorian Civil Engineer J. E. Elliott responsible for the construction of the Highland Railway Network north of Stirling purchased Clunebeg Estate in 1852. He undertook the amalgamation and extension of the existing farm cottages to create the main House as it currently stands as well as extensive modernization to the surrounding estate constructing bridges and drainage schemes.

 

Ordnance Survey map of 1871