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Built in 1790's by James Macpherson, the "translator" of the poems of Ossian from Gaelic into English, at the time of the start of the Age of Enlightenment in Europe in the mid eighteenth century, James made a fortune from this and employed Robert Adam to build a house at Balavil and it was completed in 1795 or thereabouts. The house stands on the site of a former castle, the stronghold of the Mackintosh clan, and there is a headstone set above the west wing dating back to 1576 from that earlier castle.
The property passed to one of James's daughters who married Sir David Brewster, an eminent Victorian scientist who did much work in the polarisation of light, photography, etc. lie was also principal of St Andrew's University. His great grandson was Harry Brewster-Macpherson who was a well-known photographer and naturalist and published a book called 'The Home Life of the Golden Eagle' with excellent photography taken at the turn of this century. The estate was inherited by Allan Macpherson-Fletcher about 25 years ago.
The house itself was requisitioned by the army during the war and then lay empty for 20 years until it was restored by a London businessman as a holiday house. The Macpherson-Fletchers finally moved into the house in late 1993 and have completely renovated it and installed central heating throughout.
Decorated and furnished in period style and much of the furniture and paintings originate from the early period of the house. The south facing reception rooms are light and elegant and both the drawing room and morning room have open fires. The dining room can seat up to 30 people at one table and has panoramic views over Strathspey.
There are eight excellent golf-courses within a short radius of the house and outings for pony trekking, sailing, tennis, clay-pigeon shooting, curling and many more outdoor pursuits can be arranged from the house.
Strathspey is also an excellent area for those wishing to tour and sight-see with historic castles and productive distilleries, woollen mills, craft and antique shops.
Guests enjoy excellent cooking from the new kitchens and estate produce such as lamb, venison, game and fish are all prepared with style and imagination.