DALMUNZIE'S HISTORY

Although hidden at the end of a quiet and secluded glen, Dalmunzie has been witness to many events over thousands of years. The visitor today can easily be unaware that Dalmunzie was once home to hundreds of people speaking a language that has only recently disappeared. The standing stone and burial cairn near the Glenshee parish church date from the Bronze age when people were first settling the area, and the fermtoun of Cuthil (gaelic for clearing in the forest) is of ancient origin and indicates a time when the glen was still heavily wooded. Legends and history abound in the area including the death of Diarmid and his tomb, the battle of the caterans, tales of Cam Ruadh, the mighty MacCombie Mor and the finding of the Dalmunzie sword.

Why not seize the chance to stay in one of our 17 unique, history-rich rooms, designed to reflect Dalmunzie’s original purpose as a relaxing retreat for the Laird and his family in this beautiful part of Scotland.

DALMUNZIE'S HISTORY

Although hidden at the end of a quiet and secluded glen, Dalmunzie has been witness to many events over thousands of years. The visitor today can easily be unaware that Dalmunzie was once home to hundreds of people speaking a language that has only recently disappeared. The standing stone and burial cairn near the Glenshee parish church date from the Bronze age when people were first settling the area, and the fermtoun of Cuthil (gaelic for clearing in the forest) is of ancient origin and indicates a time when the glen was still heavily wooded. Legends and history abound in the area including the death of Diarmid and his tomb, the battle of the caterans, tales of Cam Ruadh, the mighty MacCombie Mor and the finding of the Dalmunzie sword.

Why not seize the chance to stay in one of our 17 unique, history-rich rooms, designed to reflect Dalmunzie’s original purpose as a relaxing retreat for the Laird and his family in this beautiful part of Scotland.

Dalmunzie’s written record begins in 1510 when Sir William Scott is on record granting lands including Dalmunzie to John Fergusson of Dunfallandy. The first recorded Laird was Robert MacRitchie who along with his son Duncan were declared rebels in 1584 and 1589. They lived in the original Dalmunzie Castle, which stood near the 6th tee of the golf course. Robert declared MacKintosh to be his native chief in 1595 and until 1647 the Lairds were termed as MacKintosh alias MacRitchie. Whether the family were related to the MacKintosh’s or looking for protection is uncertain. A detailed account of the clan history notes “It is difficult to account for the granting of that band and the acknowledgement of MacKintosh as their ‘natyff cheiff’ unless there was belief they were bound by ties of birth and blood.”

1600's

“Cromwell at Dunbar”, by Andrew Carrick Gow

 

Robert’s Great-Grandson Robert MacKintosh, 3rd of Dalmunzie fought in the Civil war with James Graham Marquis of Montrose in 1645 and was instrumental in building Dalmunzie up to the estate it is today.

1700's

The men of Dalmunzie along with those of Glenshee were ardent Jacobites fighting at both Sheriffmuir in 1715 and the ill-fated Battle of Culloden in 1746. In those days, the glen must have been very different. Dalmunzie Castle stood on the other side of the burn above Dalmunzie fermtoun with 11 cottages, a mill and enclosures nearby. The glen between the Hotel and the gatehouse was heavily populated with perhaps 150 people living in hamlets and farms on both sides of the present driveway. Lenoch-more, Lenoch-beg & Balneton were on the south side of the burn. Sheneval, Wester Spittal, West, Mid & East Cuthell on the north side. All of their ruins can be found by walking the hill dykes on both sides of the glen, with a map and full details of the settlements available in the room compendiums.

Early photo of the hotel.

 

The MacKintosh Laird’s of Dalmunzie had moved to London by the mid 1700’s and after a turbulent history would hold onto their lands until the early 1900’s.

1782 - 1800's

Old Dalmunzie

 

However the period 1782-1813 saw them lose Dalmunzie due to financial difficulties and it was during this time in 1790 that the minister for Glenshee made the entry that 35 families were evicted from Dalmunzie. Like many other estates Dalmunzie had been driven into the improvement era with sheep taking the place of tenants who had lived in the glen for centuries. Dalmunzie castle itself had fallen into ruins and an L shaped hunting lodge built on the present site of the hotel in 1874 by Dr Charles Hills Macintosh, 10th Laird of Dalmunzie.

A larger L shaped lodge was built over this in 1884, a Victorian wing added in the 1890’s and the building and estate leased for shooting parties. Hugh Richard Duncan Mackintosh, 11th Laird of Dalmunzie was the last MacKintosh, dying childless in London in 1916. It was over this period that the Gaelic language which had been in use for thousands of years in Glenshee finally disappeared.

1900's

Sitting Room, early last century.

 

Over three hundred and fifty years of ownership by the Macintoshes came to an end when Dalmunzie was purchased in 1920 by Sir Archibald Birkmyre who had leased the property as a shooting retreat since 1907. Sir Archie who had received a Baronetcy for service in WW1, immediately built a new driveway, Britain’s highest golf course, a spectacular 2 1/2 mile railway to Glenlochsie Lodge and extended the main house. This included the large Edwardian wing, the imposing oak tower,and the conversion and expansion of the stables and staff cottages into the engine house fortrains. The house was a thriving home during the holidays, with many notable visitors making their way to Dalmunzie for the parties and shooting expeditions.

1921 Golf staff

 

Dalmunzie was used as a base for a mountain artillery regiment during the second world war, with the Birkmyre family selling the estate in 1946 to Dennis Winton, a decorated WW2 fighter pilot. DW as he was known transformed Dalmunzie into a country house hotel. The hotels reputation as a special retreat was built over the next 30 years with some families returning for many decades. The novelist Alexandra Raife was a manager during the 1960’s, and many of her books reflect her experiences during those days. The railway was removed in the 1970’s and Dalmunzie Castle Hotel sold to the Campbell family in 1980. The hotel was purchased in 1987 & operated by Simon & Alex Winton until the decision was made to sell and concentrate their energies on Dalmunzie Estate in 2004. In August 2013 the hotel was owned by Dr. Roger Aston. He has fallen in love with Scotland, and so it has been always his ambition to own this hotel. He has got an extensive refurbishment plan in place.

Dalmunzie postcard of days gone by.

 

Remarkably, they discovered the 7th Laird of Dalmunzie, Lachlan Mackintosh, Minister for Dunning, Perthshire had married Scottish ancestors, James Graham & Janet Neil in 1716. Brianna’s family – the Stewarts, are originally from Blair Atholl only several miles away. A major refurbishment of all public rooms was carried out in March 2004 and a full refurbishment of all bedrooms throughout 2004 and 2005. The bedrooms were re-tiered and themed after the families relevant to Dalmunzie’s long history. The Poole’s had been searching for a quintessential Scottish property for many years and believe they have found it here. The setting, location, history and house complement each other perfectly, and they thoroughly enjoy operating Scotland’s leading heritage hotel in this beautiful and hidden part of Perthshire.

Dalmunzie’s written record begins in 1510 when Sir William Scott is on record granting lands including Dalmunzie to John Fergusson of Dunfallandy. The first recorded Laird was Robert MacRitchie who along with his son Duncan were declared rebels in 1584 and 1589. They lived in the original Dalmunzie Castle, which stood near the 6th tee of the golf course. Robert declared MacKintosh to be his native chief in 1595 and until 1647 the Lairds were termed as MacKintosh alias MacRitchie. Whether the family were related to the MacKintosh’s or looking for protection is uncertain. A detailed account of the clan history notes“It is difficult to account for the granting of that band and the acknowledgement of MacKintosh as their ‘natyff cheiff’ unless there was belief they were bound by ties of birth and blood.”

1600's

“Cromwell at Dunbar”, by Andrew Carrick Gow

 

Robert’s Great-Grandson Robert MacKintosh, 3rd of Dalmunzie fought in the Civil war with James Graham Marquis of Montrose in 1645 and was instrumental in building Dalmunzie up to the estate it is today.

1700's

The men of Dalmunzie along with those of Glenshee were ardent Jacobites fighting at both Sheriffmuir in 1715 and the ill-fated Battle of Culloden in 1746. In those days, the glen must have been very different. Dalmunzie Castle stood on the other side of the burn above Dalmunzie fermtoun with 11 cottages, a mill and enclosures nearby. The glen between the Hotel and the gatehouse was heavily populated with perhaps 150 people living in hamlets and farms on both sides of the present driveway. Lenoch-more, Lenoch-beg & Balneton were on the south side of the burn. Sheneval, Wester Spittal, West, Mid & East Cuthell on the north side. All of their ruins can be found by walking the hill dykes on both sides of the glen, with a map and full details of the settlements available in the room compendiums.

Early photo of the hotel.

 

The MacKintosh Laird’s of Dalmunzie had moved to London by the mid 1700’s and after a turbulent history would hold onto their lands until the early 1900’s.

1782 - 1800's

Old Dalmunzie

 

However the period 1782-1813 saw them lose Dalmunzie due to financial difficulties and it was during this time in 1790 that the minister for Glenshee made the entry that 35 families were evicted from Dalmunzie. Like many other estates Dalmunzie had been driven into the improvement era with sheep taking the place of tenants who had lived in the glen for centuries. Dalmunzie castle itself had fallen into ruins and an L shaped hunting lodge built on the present site of the hotel in 1874 by Dr Charles Hills Macintosh, 10th Laird of Dalmunzie.

A larger L shaped lodge was built over this in 1884, a Victorian wing added in the 1890’s and the building and estate leased for shooting parties. Hugh Richard Duncan Mackintosh, 11th Laird of Dalmunzie was the last MacKintosh, dying childless in London in 1916. It was over this period that the Gaelic language which had been in use for thousands of years in Glenshee finally disappeared.

1900's

Sitting room, early last century.

 

Over three hundred and fifty years of ownership by the Macintoshes came to an end when Dalmunzie was purchased in 1920 by Sir Archibald Birkmyre who had leased the property as a shooting retreat since 1907. Sir Archie who had received a Baronetcy for service in WW1, immediately built a new driveway, Britain’s highest golf course, a spectacular 2 1/2 mile railway to Glenlochsie Lodge and extended the main house. This included the large Edwardian wing, the imposing oak tower,and the conversion and expansion of the stables and staff cottages into the engine house fortrains. The house was a thriving home during the holidays, with many notable visitors making their way to Dalmunzie for the parties and shooting expeditions.

1921 Golf staff

 

Dalmunzie was used as a base for a mountain artillery regiment during the second world war, with the Birkmyre family selling the estate in 1946 to Dennis Winton, a decorated WW2 fighter pilot. DW as he was known transformed Dalmunzie into a country house hotel. The hotels reputation as a special retreat was built over the next 30 years with some families returning for many decades. The novelist Alexandra Raife was a manager during the 1960’s, and many of her books reflect her experiences during those days. The railway was removed in the 1970’s and Dalmunzie Castle Hotel sold to the Campbell family in 1980. The hotel was purchased in 1987 & operated by Simon & Alex Winton until the decision was made to sell and concentrate their energies on Dalmunzie Estate in 2004. In August 2013 the hotel was owned by Dr. Roger Aston. He has fallen in love with Scotland, and so it has been always his ambition to own this hotel. He has got an extensive refurbishment plan in place.

Dalmunzie postcard of days gone by.

 

Remarkably, they discovered the 7th Laird of Dalmunzie, Lachlan Mackintosh, Minister for Dunning, Perthshire had married Scottish ancestors, James Graham & Janet Neil in 1716. Brianna’s family – the Stewarts, are originally from Blair Atholl only several miles away. A major refurbishment of all public rooms was carried out in March 2004 and a full refurbishment of all bedrooms throughout 2004 and 2005. The bedrooms were re-tiered and themed after the families relevant to Dalmunzie’s long history. The Poole’s had been searching for a quintessential Scottish property for many years and believe they have found it here. The setting, location, history and house complement each other perfectly, and they thoroughly enjoy operating Scotland’s leading heritage hotel in this beautiful and hidden part of Perthshire.