Dumfriesshire: About 2.5 miles west of Moniaive, on minor road just south of B729, north of Craigdarroch Water, at Craigdarroch.
Private NX 741909 OS: 77 DG3 4JB
Craigdarroch House is an elegant classical mansion, built by William Adam in 1720. An L-plan tower or old house is incorporated into the building, including a turnpike stair and heraldic panels dating from the 17th century. The building was later altered and, although damaged by fire in 1984, was restored and is still occupied.
Pont’s map is somewhat confused but it appears a large tower of three storeys with a courtyard or outbuildings is marked on his map of Nithsdale, as well as on Blaeu, as ‘Kragdarrach’.
The lands were held by the Fergussons of Craigdarroch, who may have been descended from the 12th-century Fergus, Lord of Galloway, and are on record in the 14th century. Robert Fergusson of Craigdarroch is mentioned in documents in the 1640s, and in 1662 was part of a commission for the trial of the burning of the gates of Drumlanrig. John Fergusson of Craigdarroch, Robert’s son, was a colonel and was slain fighting against the Jacobites at the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689.
Alexander Fergusson of Craigdarroch built the mansion, and married Annie Laurie from Maxwelton, the subject of the famous song. The Fergussons continued to oppose the Jacobites, and fled from the house in 1745 when Bonnie Prince Charlie arrived here on the long road back from England looking for lodgings. The house was left in a terrible state. It was restored, was used by the Norwegian army during World War II and is still occupied.
The Fergussons held Craigdarroch until 1962, when it was sold to the Sykes family.
The house is said to have been haunted following the death of John at Killiecrankie (mentioned above), centred on his saddle, either by the spirit of his wife (although she remarried after his death) or his mother. The ghost is reported to have been exorcized in 1920, since when there have apparently been no further manifestations.
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