Brahan House and History
Brahan (Brathainn as it is in Gaelic) is the name given to the land, which was the traditional home of the Seaforths,the Chiefs of Clan MacKenzie. Here stood Brahan Castle, which for centuries was the setting of many a romantic episode in both the Jacobite Risings and the religious struggles that seized the Highlands when the MacKenzies were at the peak of their power.
It was here, on the steps of Brahan Castle, that the Jacobite MacKenzies became the first defeated clan forced to surrender their arms and swear allegiance to the English Crown. And it was here, a few years later, that a famous royal regiment was raised, the Seaforth Highlanders, taking over 500 men from the estate alone to fight for the British Empire. The Seaforth Highlanders history continues within the British Army as one of the antecedent Regiments that are now The Highlanders, 4th Battalion the Royal Regiment of Scotland.
The Castle was demolished in 1951, the rubble unceremoniously used as foundations for the new Conon bridge, but you need only consider that today's Brahan House, grand as it is, was the original stables, to get a glimpse of those times past.
The Brahan Seer
Yet for all the power of the Seaforths, it is the mysterious power of one of their Estate workers, Kennth MacKenzie ,that has made the Estate famous the world over.
Better known as the Brahan Seer, this shadowy figure from the seventeenth century was, and still is, renowned for his many prophecies which for generations following his execution have continued to come true.
It was he who foresaw in detail the downfall of the Seaforth MacKenzies, including the death of Lady Caroline MacKenzie at the hands of her sister, the Hooded Lassie. A monument on the Estate marks the exact spot.
Today, a direct descendant of the Hooded Lassie owns the Estate, and with his wife Judith, Andrew Matheson ensures that the three demands of farm, forest and leisure management are met with little loss in the wild richness of the natural environment.
There are still beautifully overgrown gardens to explore, long driveways lined with exotic trees, dark lochs and swampy ponds bustling with birdlife, and the mature River Conon winding its way gracefully through the Estate, around secluded islands and out across its esturine mudflats into the Cromarty Firth.
Freephone: 0800 298 7388
Tel: +44 (0)1349 861150
Fax: +44 (0)1349 861745
Brahan, Dingwall, Ross-shire, Scotland, IV7 8EE