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Killiechassie is a country estate and house near Weem, about a mile northeast of Aberfeldy, in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. The estate lies on the banks of the River Tay in some 12 acres, about 74 miles (119 km) north of Edinburgh. It was owned by the Douglas family in the latter part of the 19th century, and a new house was erected in 1865. A dovecote by the house was listed as Grade B on 9 June 1981. The house was purchased by author J. K. Rowling in 2001.

Killiechassie Estate has existed for centuries, and historically fell within the civil parish of Logierait. The name Killiechassie means "the church of the steep face" which refers to a church which stood on the hill there. This was part of the earldom of Atholl and was then granted by Máel Coluim, Earl of Atholl, to Scone Abbey in the 12th century.

An Ordnance Survey map of 1862. Features marked include a fountain, kennel, mausoleum and well. The River Tay is shown running to the east of the estate.

In the 17th century the estate was owned by members of Clan Murray who were the Dukes of Atholl. Later proprietors of Killiechassie included the Robertson family, who belonged to the house of Struan. In 1727 the estate was owned by the Reverend Robert Stewart, who left money for a chapel to be built there. On his death in 1729 he was buried here, followed by his wife, Anne, a year later. According to legend, Bonnie Prince Charlie was reputed to have sheltered in a sycamore tree here on his retreat to Inverness during the Jacobite Uprising in 1746. A small loch in the vicinity, is also, according to superstition, occupied by a Celtic water spirit.

In 1850 the estate was documented to be held by a Miss Fleming, when it was described by poet David Millar as "almost opposite Aberfeldy, a sweet place, but capable of much greater embellishment." In the later 19th century the estate was owned by the Douglas family, and Edward Octavius Douglas (1830-1890), nephew of John Douglas, 7th Marquess of Queensberry, held it in 1871, and Hannah Charlotte Douglas by 1892. In 1865 the older house was replaced with a new one.

Edward, and his wife (and cousin) Charlotte, daughter of Sir George Henry Scott-Douglas (1825-1885), 4th baronet of Springwood Park, had no children.

On 26 December 2001 British author J. K. Rowling married Neil Murray at Killiechassie, the ceremony being held in the library. She had bought the estate a month earlier as a retreat from press and public intrusion. She was reported to have paid £440,000 (£500,000 according to some) for another house which shared the same drive and then paid around £1.5 million for 72 acres of farmland adjacent to the property.

The current house was built in 1865. A freestanding dovecote, built from rubble at this time, is a grade B listed feature, having a "Gothic, symmetrical frontage with centre tower and pyramid roof", with jerkin-head gables. However, the house remains classified as a Georgian property, and Country Life notes that it retains the feel of a Georgian building, although with intensive alteration, and now features double-glazing, "mock-Georgian" doors, and "fake stone cladding".

There are two halls, a dining room, a drawing room, a morning room, and seven bedrooms, with a two-bedroom extension on the west wing. The swimming pool is covered with copper domes. Since Rowling has acquired the property she has undertaken extensive security measures, with a state-of-the-art electronic security system, including six foot high gates and a CCTV camera, and guards 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Hannah Charlotte DouglasAwaiting transcription




Sources for this article include:

•  "Rowling retreats to banks of the Tay Author pays £500,000 for historic Perthshire house". The Herald (Scotland). 21 November 2001.
•  Sexton, Colleen A. (2006). J. K. Rowling
•  Breadalbane Historical Society, Killiechassie, Explore Scotland

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Last modified: Tuesday, 01 February 2022