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The Invergordon Archive

Kincraig House
The Invergordon Archive
Kincraig House

This postcard of Kincraig House is postmarked 1907, and is printed by MacPherson's who printed a lot of the early Invergordon photos. This is particularly interesting in view of the way it looks now.
Picture added on 14 February 2005
There is further information about Kincraig House and Sir William Martineau in Invergordon Museum and Heritage Centre.
Added by Rona Thomson on 15 February 2005
This castle, lands and villages of Kincraig were acquired by Colin MacKenzie, the second son of Rorie Mhor MacKenzie of Redcastle. Colin died in 1649, so he probably came to Kincraig about 1630.
Colin's great-grandson, John V of Kincraig, made over Kincraig to his distant cousin Roderick Vll of Redcastle in 1760. This Roderick gave Kincraig to his second son John who made money in India and, in 1800 rebuilt Kincraig as a square Georgian mansion with two wings on its present site.
When Sir William Martineau, John's great-grandson, inherited the house, in 1919, he converted it from red sandstone to the white-harled building in Scottish Baronial style that we see today. This was completed in 1923.
Added by Rona Thomson on 15 February 2005
I wonder if someone could be kind enough to help me?

I am writing a book (which I hope will be published by the Tain & District Museum) about the Maitlands of Tain, a dynasty of architects who designed many of the fine Victorian and Edwardian buildings in Tain and elsewhere in the Highlands, including Invergordon. Kincraig House, or rather the Kincraig Castle Hotel as we now call it, is one of the most distinctive buildings associated with the Maitlands and I have been researching it and the family who lived there.

In 1872 Andrew Maitland Senior was commissioned by Captain Roderick Mackenzie of Kincraig to design alterations and additions to Kincraig House, originally built about 1800. The result is generally accepted to be the Scottish baronial style building that one sees to-day, with, in the words of the architectural historian John Gifford, "a steep gablet to the south front flanked by conical-roofed bartizans and dormer windows and a round tower at the south west corner”.

This image of Kincraig House here is a post-card from Macpherson's Series 158, and it is postmarked 1907. It does not show any of the above baronial features but rather a Georgian style building. It has one or perhaps two wings which are not attached to the main building. This configuration seems exactly to match that in the first 25” Ordnance Survey map, which would have been surveyed before the Maitland alterations.

I am wondering therefore whether the postcard, though posted in 1907, shows what was then a historical view of the original mansion-house before the Maitland alterations. This supposition appears to be supported by the look of the photograph, which lacks the clarity one would expect of photographs taken in the Edwardian period and has more the appearance of the glass plate photographs of the 1860s. Is it possible to look at the back of the postcard to see whether there is any indication of the date or provenance of the image? Or does anyone have any knowledge as to whether Macpherson's Series 158 showed historical rather than contemporary views?

Kind regards and congratulations on a fine archive.
Added by Hamish Mackenzie on 23 December 2016
Hi Hamish, Did you ever resolve the date of this postcard? I had a similar doubt about a Macpherson postcard of our Kirkmichael (just across the firth from Kincraig. The stamp on the back was datestamped 1906, but we did wonder if the photograph was from some years earlier as there is a wall that we thought may have come down in the 1890s. This postcard said Macpherson's Series No. 91 (I had assumed the number referred to the particular photograph rather than a series of photographs, I had to say). Jim
Added by Jim Mackay on 03 June 2018
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