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History of Glengarry

For getting the most out of your visit to Glengarry there is an excellent Heritage Centre in the Community Hall, some 500m from Craigard House, which has material and documents relating to the archaeological and historical development of the glen. To visit their web page click here

In summary the history of the glen largely mirrors the wider history of the Highlands with clan disputes, rebellions and then emigrations and finally a rich landlord. The glen is very much associated with the clan MacDonnell, stretching from the late 14th century through to the 19th century when the land was sold. During this period Invergarry castle was built and then subsequently ruined a couple of times. The MacDonnell period was marked, as is other parts of the Highlands by bloody inter clan fighting and rebellions for and against the crown. MacDonnell ownership came to an end as a result of mismanagement, it was then sold to Edward Ellice.
By then most of the population had been forced out to make way for sheep, however unlike many other glens that were taken over by incoming landlords the Ellice family went about building what could be termed a "model" village in Invergarry. The Ellice family built a bank, village hospital, village store, tailors shop, church and school.
The nephew of the original purchaser of the estate also an Edward Ellice, learnt Gaelic and as a result wrote a book "Place Names of Glengarry and Glenquoich”. Its importance is in preserving the gaelic place names which were being lost as depopulation took its toll on the collective memory. As a result Glengarry has a historical record that is unique among the glens of the highlands.

History of Craigard House
The house was first built as part of a farm in the 1840's and occupied by the Rhodes family at about that time, they were carpenters on the Caledonian canal with Thomas Telford, thankfully it has retained many original features. Originally from Bradford, James Rhodes, was appointed Canal Superintendent at Invergarry. The only remaining part of f the farm, is the old cowshed, attached to the side of the house.
In the 1860's the house was was incorporated into the Glengarry estate. At this time it became the Factor's house and office. The Factor, George Malcolm, lived here for over 30yrs, he was viewed with a great deal of respect within the community. The house stayed within the estate until the 1940's when it was sold to the government department developing the hydro schemes in the glen and surrounding area. It then became the engineers offices. It became a guest house in the late 1960's.
Most of our bedrooms still have their cast iron fireplaces with stone fire surround intact, although in working order they are not now required to heat the bedrooms. The lounge and dining room still have their original wooden shutters and in the lounge the victorian owners, husband and wife have initialled one of the window panes!

Craigard Front
Craigard, details
Craigard Lounge
Craigard Guest House, Invergarry, Inverness-shire, PH35 4HG
Telephone: +44 (0)1809 501 258 Email: andrew@craigardhouse.co.uk