MHG8618 - Tarbat House - Kilmuir Easter


Tarbat House in Kilmuir Easter

Type and Period (1)

  • COUNTRY HOUSE (Post Medieval - 1560 AD to 1900 AD)

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Full Description

Built to replace old Tarbat House at NH 77SE 9 in 1787.

Cromartie muniments-Tarbat House Contracts. Three contracts for iron and mason work specified and detailed, for alterations to Tarbat House, 1723-9 GD305/1/147/63-65

Country Life, Sept 19th 1977 Lord Tarbat's Development of Cromarty Firth by Monica Clough

The site was visited by the North of Scotland Archaeological Society on 3rd May 2019. Research and evaluation by Roland Spencer-Jones;

Sir George Mackenzie, 3rd Earl Cromartie and grandson of the George Mackenzie who built New Tarbat (MHG8610), took the Jacobite side in the ’45, was captured at Dunrobin on the eve of Culloden, and was subsequently imprisoned then exiled in England. His estate of Cromartie was forfeited. However, after his own death in 1766, it was returned to his son, Lord John Macleod, in 1784. Almost immediately, Lord John started building a new house, called Tarbat House.

This new house lies 250m west of the old New Tarbat House, on the same raised beach, with formal gardens and a walled vegetable and fruit garden to the south. The locally quarried sandstone from the old House was used in the construction of the new.

The following comes from the HES Listed Building page:
Probably James McLeran, Edinburgh, 1787. Austere classical mansion: finely tooled ashlar, polished ashlar dressings; harled rear. 3 storeys and attic, 7 bays. Slightly advanced pedimooted centre 3 bays with centre corniced and pilastered doorpiece in ground floor; double leafed panelled door; band course above; (later side entrance in projecting porch at east elevation). Long corniced 1st floor windows linked by moulded cill band to similar windows in 3-bay east and west return elevations; smaller windows in 2nd floor; moulded architraves to all windows except in rear.

Rear elevation; slightly advanced outer 2 bays; centre tripartite 1st floor half landing; Venetian window in similar position, 2nd floor, both lighting stair well; cill bands to both. 12-pane glazing throughout, 6-pane to 2nd floor windows (4 right windows, 2nd floor lront. Replaced by casements) 2 segmental headed dormers, front, 3 similar in east and west. Moulded and dentilled eaves cornice; some original fluted lead rain water pipes; & symmetrical corniced stacks; shallow piended platform slate roof. Interior; fluted columned and pilastered stairwell and landings; cast-iron stair balusters with palmeite detailing; decorative plaster ceilings and cornices; panelled doors and window shutters.

Stable and carriage house; to rear of mansion, 6-bay stable and carriage house; harled with ashlar margins; originally symmetrical 5 bays, with centre pedimented bay with round-headed carriage entrance and round-headed loft door above, flanked by 2 long similarly detailed windows; additional pedimented bay added to east gable, detailed as before; blank round-headed margined recess in east gable; piended slate roof. No interior fittings.

The house is roofless, with large trees growing inside the rooms. The front is faced with limestone on a sandstone base, whereas the rear is plastered sandstone. Trees shroud the eastern part of the south façade, although the original door is just showing.

• Monica Clough: Two Houses. Aberdeen University Press 1990
• Eric Richards & Monica Clough, Cromartie: Highland Life 1650-1914. Aberdeen University Press 1989

Sources/Archives (1)



Grid reference Centred NH 7701 7361 (33m by 29m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NH77SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY

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Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

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