What happened to Dunalastair House, the lost Pitlochry castle once owned by the owner of Tennent’s?

The remains of Dunalastair House are a magnificent sight, rising out of the Perthshire forest like a specter from another time.

The formerly grand manor mansion is now a haunt for urban explorers and explorers at heart.

The exterior of the gutted structure is almost unchanged from its previous state, including the distinctive conical roofs, chimneys, and coat of arms that now sits over the main door.

The once-proud building that overlooks Schiehallion now seems like a fairy-tale ruin; what happened to it?

The two-story Baronial mansion was designed by the same architect, Andrew Heiton, who was responsible for many other notable structures in Perthsire and the surrounding area.

Alexander Robertson of Struan, a Jacobite chieftain, had previously lived in a home at the location; after it was burned down during a revolt in 1745, he had a new residence built there and named it Mount Alexander.

Clan Donnachaidh Chief George Duncan Robertson sold the estate to General Sir John Macdonald of Dalchosnie in the 1850s.

In 1859, after purchasing the property, the new owner had the original home torn down and the current structure erected in its place.

Over the current entry is still the MacDonald Clan Crest and the motto Per Mare, Per Terras (By sea and land).

Hugh Tennent, the previous proprietor of Glasgow’s renowned Wellpark Brewery and lager, amazingly took over the home.

Disaster at Dunalastair: The Destruction of the Mansion
Hugh died at a young age, and his estate was sold to James Clark Bunten, the current owner’s great-grandfather and the Chairman of the Caledonian Railway Company, in 1891.

Its deterioration began during World War I, when it was called “neither a castle, nor cozy family home,” because there was a shortage of the personnel required to maintain such a prominent residence.

The building was repurposed into a school for Polish evacuee children during World War II.

It is reported that a picture by the renowned John Everett Millais was destroyed in a fire in the late 1940s.

From the 1950s onward, it fell into disrepair as more and more people moved out and the furniture was sold.

After being left for dead, vandals wreaked havoc on it, stripping the lead from its roofs among other things.

There have been a few persons interested in restoring the once-majestic building near Loch Rannoch, but none of them have lived up to the requirements of the current owner.

Nevertheless it has been suggested that they do not want the ‘fairy tale’ ruin to be destroyed.

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