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The Invergordon Archive

Invergordon Castle
The Invergordon Archive
Invergordon Castle

Invergordon Castle shown facing the avenue of trees known as 'Lime Avenue', pictured just before the first World War.
Picture added on 18 April 2004
The open area in front of the Castle became the Games field. The avenue of trees ran from this to the ridge, south of the Castle, along which Gordon Terrace now runs. It is interesting to note that the line of the trees pointed straight to the location of the railway station although a map of 1880 shows the tree avenue stopping at the aforementioned ridge.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 15 June 2004
I remember a Lady Anderson being the occupant of what was previously the castle..was always driven by her chauffeur in what looked like a Rolls Royce touring car. I also remember one time that she took a pair of rabbits from me, claiming that I had caught them on her land...I had not, but it didn't matter she took them anyway....different times back then.....does anyone remember the road that was called The Horseshoe Bend? that went around at the end of the Castle road...
Added by Harry O'Neill on 30 September 2004
Yes I remember the Horseshoe Bend it had the best wild blackberries growing in the hedge. The Polish camp was near there and my mother used to do their laundry. She used to push me there in the push chair then load the washing on, leave me there while she took it home then come back for me later. I remember being lifted up to look into the water tank that was there. Also remember helping to paint the stones round the huts white. I can't have been more than two or three as my youger sister wasn't born.
Added by Meg MacDonald on 30 September 2004
Meg, you bring back memories for me...I too used to look into the water tank, and can clearly remember the white stones..remember the blackberries, do you remember the Walnut trees, wonder if there are any of the trees left...wasn't the water tank made of corrugated iron?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 01 October 2004
Yes I remember the walnut tree and wasn't there what we used to call the punching tree? The water tank was made of corrugated iron and it was round. Glad to remind you.
Added by Meg MacDonald on 03 October 2004
Well for heavens sake, yes there was a punching tree, soft bark, kids used to punch it like a punching bag..If you search the site for Polish camp you will see a good pic of hut and the white stones..
Added by Harry O'Neill on 03 October 2004
There was a punching tree on fifth hole of the golf course - only 9 hole course then. probably very useful for poor golfers.
Added by Brian Mckenzie on 04 October 2004
Good one Brian, may be a few clubs wrapped around it by now..if it is in the location of the horshoe bend then it could be the same one....
Added by Harry O'Neill on 04 October 2004
There's an icehouse marked on the 1880 OS map just to the north of the castle. Does anyone know if it's still there and if so what condition it's in? Thanks.
Added by Estelle Quick on 01 June 2005
I am researching Roderick Macleod of Cadboll's 3 daughters, Margaret, Elizabeth and Anna Maria Isabella, all born 1814-1821. They all seem to have gone to Italy in the 1840s where 2 of them married and Margaret became a permanent resident, spending some time in Devon where she inherited property. Why did they all go to Italy? Two of them were born in Edinburgh. Presumably there was no building on the castle site when they were born, between the fire and the later rebuilding? Is there an archive in the town which I could visit which might hold information about the family? It is Margaret who particularly interests me.
Added by Rosemary Yallop on 27 November 2006
I think the "punching tree" referred to in some of the entries must refer to the Sequoia tree growing near the old games field. It is a type of pine with a very soft and thick bark. This tree is native to California and will become very very big if allowed to continue. Hopefully it is still there and has a preservation order on it. One day Invergordon may be able to claim having the highest tree in the UK.
Added by Bill Geddes on 28 November 2006
The 'punching tree' that I remember was definitely on the fifth hole of the old nine hole golf course - I certainly bounced a few balls off it!
Added by Fraser Dryden on 30 November 2006
The punching tree is indeed on the golf course....on what is now the 10th hole - a short hole across the dyke. The American Garden originally part of the Castle Garden is also part of the golf course.
Anonymous comment added on 02 December 2006
Catherine Mackenzie (Clark) has put me onto an article in the Press and Journal, regarding the removal of trees on Castle Avenue. Where exactly? Is there a picture? I hope not too many were chopped down....
Added by Harry O'Neill on 20 October 2007
Harry, if you have a look at picture #840, it shows a part of the now "Castle Avenue"; in our younger days we called it Castle Road. Do you remember the "white gates" at the manse and also up by the old lodge? This "road" has changed quite dramatically in the past 50+ years.
Added by Duncan Murray on 21 October 2007
I remember the wonderful trees on the Castle Road, Beech mostly I think. Even as a kid they struck me as impressive. Many had lovers messages carved on them and these had expanded with age into quite big writing. Its a shame if they have gone but then trees do not live forever. I just hope that for the future they are replaced with something which will, in time, replace them. On Games days it was quite special to see hundreds of people walking down the Avenue, it really had a special feel to it. Thanks Harry for passing on the P&J info.
Added by Bill Geddes on 23 October 2007
Hi Duncan, yes I remember the gates at the Manse and Lodge. I was curious re the felling of trees as the article is dated Oct 20 and they say it has changed the look quite substantially. Have you had a look?
Added by Harry O'Neill on 23 October 2007
The big house at the back of the games field, does anybody know the name of the property or who owns it? The cottages too, what are they called?
Added by MacCoinnich on 21 May 2009
The big house is called "The House of Rosskeen" and as far as I know is still lived in by Mrs Daphne Mackenzie, widow of Major HAC Mackenzie former owner of Dalmore distillery. The cottages are the "Castle Cottages" and are on what Harry calls the Horseshoe. There used to be a cottage there also called Honeymoon Cottage; it was derelict last time I saw it.
Added by Liz Taylor (nee Askew) on 22 May 2009
Would the Honeymoon cottage be what I grew up calling 'The haunted house'? The last I heard, it had been burnt down by some local youths.
Added by MacCoinnich on 23 May 2009
I believe that nowadays the "House of Rosskeen" is actually the "Kincraig House Hotel", very posh and with double rooms starting at £150 a night!
Presumably the Mackenzies sold up at some point?
I recall that once a year the house and grounds were turned over to charities for a Garden Fete. The lady of the house looked like the Queen Mother of the day and appears on this site at picture #812 where she is 2nd on the left at the back. She was one of the Judges for the fancy dress Competition - maybe she should have entered herself....toffs get all the fun!
Added by Bill Geddes on 24 May 2009
Possibly, it is years since I saw it last and the windows were out then. I remember the Hay family lived in it about forty years ago as Laura Ann, James, William and Joan Hay were in school in Invergordon before moving to Alness.
Anonymous comment added on 24 May 2009
The Kincraig House Hotel is mid way between Invergordon and Alness just off the A9 and isn't the house I am thinking of. The house I mean is right next to the golf course in Invergordon and just behind the games field. Right next to the large house are two small cottages and then another that was on its own: 'the honeymoon cottage.'
The Kincraig House Hotel was built in 1800 and has always had that name as far as I know.
Added by MacCoinnich on 25 May 2009
Sorry Bill, they are two different houses. Kincraig House is the Hotel and is between the Achnagarron road and Tomich farm, on the back road to Alness, now the A9. House of Rosskeen is where the old castle was and beside the former games field.
An old pic of Kincraig is picture #626 on the site and picture #787 shows Sir William Martineau of Kincraig.
Added by Liz Taylor (nee Askew) on 25 May 2009
Sorry Billy but your info is a bit out, Kincraig House Hotel is a bit further north as the crow flies from "House of Rosskeen". It’s on the north side of the A9. Kincraig House has been a fancy Hotel for a number of years and Rosskeen House is still beside the old games field.
Added by Duncan Murray on 25 May 2009
Hi Bill, I can see where you are coming from. I ‘googled’ the name Martineau and came up with the family tree of the Mackenzies/Martineau and a clip from the P&J about the sale of Kincraig and how it was the Mackenzie clan seat; I did not realise that. I remember my father telling me how he helped carry Lady Jean out of the house to be taken to hospital when he was on his post rounds.
The link is below:
Added by Liz Taylor (nee Askew) on 27 May 2009
Apologies to all! I can see now that I got mixed up between these 2 houses. I am glad to hear that Rosskeen House is still as it was. I have conributed a picture of this house and it is picture #1224 on the site.
Added by Bill Geddes on 27 May 2009
Hi Bill, still confused. When did Kincraig House become Rosskeen House?
Always knew it as Kincraig House and it is now known as Kincraig House Hotel. It is the house located on the "backroad" to Alness across from Kincraig farm...
Anonymous comment added on 28 May 2009
Kincraig House was built after the Invergordon Castle was demolished, I think.
Added by Shaun Davis on 02 January 2015
This morning on the BBC's website I came across an article entitled "The schoolboy sailors who died at Gallipoli". (I'm unable to post a link due to this site's submission restrictions.) In it is a cursory mention of the castle as the home of Torquil MacLeod, a young lad who died on HMS Goliath a century ago. For me, this rendered the photo above all the more poignant, as it helped contextualize the house in its final days of happiness, before the outbreak of the war.
Added by Stephen Wynne on 23 March 2015
Stephen, that's what brought me to this page after reading the BBC news article. Do you know if Torquil Macleod's name is on the war memorial on the High Street. I must look next time I'm home.
Added by Robert Ritchie on 23 March 2015
Robert - Great question! I'm not certain about the placement of Torquil's name on the memorial. I'm actually an American, and unfortunately have never been to Invergordon. I do, however, harbor strong proclivities toward Anglophilia, and manage to get over to the UK every couple of years; the next time I do, I'll search for Torquil's name on the memorial.
Thanks for that idea!
Added by Stephen Wynne on 24 March 2015
Midshipman Macleod T, Royal Navy is on the Invergordon War Memorial, 1914-1918.
Google Names on Invergordon War Memorial.
Added by Harry O'Neill on 24 March 2015
I live just round the corner from the war Memorial and was just about to walk round and check it out for Robert/Stephen only to find that Harry has beat me to it despite being thousands of miles away in Canada.
Well done Harry ... impressive!
Added by Graham MacKenzie on 25 March 2015
That's great! Thank you, Harry and Graham!
Added by Stephen Wynne on 26 March 2015
I am trying to find out about a possible Entrance Arch to the Invergordon Estate which was possibly at the Western Entrance to the Estate, which would have been built in the early 1860s. Any assistance would be gratefully received.

Added by John Roake on 04 September 2015
The West Lodge is at Rosskeen which has an arch bridge over the railway at the entrance. It is visible on this image from Google streetview - www.google.co.uk/maps/@57.6923688,-4.2006824,3a,75y,24.23h,70.02t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sj2ed_vnid7_aV20zHTRDSA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

Added by Kenny MacCormack on 10 September 2015
Thank you, Kenny, but............... from the Google info' you have given me I cannot locate West Lodge, I keep being diverted to West Lodge, Contin! Can you perhaps give me details by road?

Added by John Roake on 15 September 2015
Kenny - sorry, as soon as I had sent off the previous whinge, I found the bridge to which you refer. Which then brings me to my next question. Due to the growth of the foliage, I cannot see the centre of the bridge, which means that my next query is..... is there a Coat of Arms on the bridge at that point, from either side of the bridge?

Added by John Roake on 15 September 2015
Yes there is a coat of arms on it.
Added by Shaun Davis on 15 September 2015
John, take a look at the latest picture (picture #1678) on this site kindly provided by Kenny MacCormack. If you click on 'View Large Version', as suggested in the description of the picture, you will find a picture of the crest that you are looking for.
Added by Malcolm McKean on 15 September 2015
I am most grateful to you all. I was looking for a "free-standing" arch, not a railway bridge!!

Added by John Roake on 15 September 2015
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