Tel: +(44) 01561 320417
In 2017 Arbuthnott House is open for hourly guided tours from 10am-2pm on 14 April & 2, 3, 9, 23, 24 June. And from 2-5pm on Sunday 16 April & 11, 18, 25 June.
The Garden at Arbuthnott is open in May and June 9am-5pm. Admission £2.50 (children £1.00).
Free Parking but please, no dogs
We welcome visitors to the garden and for tours of the house throughout the rest of the year by prior arrangement. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Arbuthnott Estate is situated in North-East Scotland, three miles from the coast, some two hours north of Edinburgh and half-an-hour south of Aberdeen. There is a good road network around Arbuthnott making it an ideal location from which to explore much of Scotland. The East Coast Railway Line runs from Stonehaven or Montrose (both about 12 miles), and there are airports at Aberdeen and Edinburgh.
Early documents refer to the area as ‘Aberbothenoth’, and this has been translated as either the ‘mouth of the stream below the noble house’ or ‘meeting of the small stream with the river’.
A charter of c 1170 – c 1174, mentions the land being granted to Osbert Oliphant, Sheriff and Forester of the Mearns as a knight’s fee by King William the Lion. OIiphant was known as “the Crusader” for his famous and valiant exploits in the Holy Wars, in which he later died. Osbert left his nephew Walter as the temporary keeper and executor of the lands, until Osbert’s daughter married Hugh de Swinton , to whom the lands passed c. 1188. De Swinton took the title of 1st Laird of Arbuthnott.
Over the past 800+ years, there have been additions and subtractions to the area of land owned by the family. The farms, woodlands, water-courses and roadways of an agricultural and forestry estate came into existence in the seventeenth century. The greatest extent of the estate included, Allardice and most of the parish and estate of Catterline with a commercial fishing harbour.
There was a family interest in the harbour at Gourdon, from which some coastal trading and passenger activity developed as well as in-shore fishing. Gourdon also had the family store-houses where coal, timber and other necessities were held on arrival by sea before transport to the manor house. Another purely agricultural estate was owned at Fordoun. It had its own dwelling house which still exists but that house and all the lands were sold in a major sale in 1920.
The present Viscount established Arbuthnott Wood Pellets in 2007 as the first wood pellet producer in Scotland. The raw material is sourced from the Estate and from neighbouring sustainable woodland.
James Leslie Mitchell, alias the famous writer Lewis Grassic Gibbon (1901 – 1935), grew up on the Arbuthnott Estate. Kinraddie, of his Scots Quair, is modelled on Arbuthnott. The Grassic Gibbon Centre, opened in 2002, stands within two miles of the farm croft where Mitchell spent his boyhood, and yards from the parish school he attended. The former village school has now been converted into three individual luxury holiday cottages.
The estate offers stunning scenery and has enormous potential for outside studio filming. Arbuthnott House and its seventeenth century walled garden with 1920s Arts and Crafts planting make an ideal location for period and contemporary film.