9. Craigellachie House

Craigellachie is believed to be the oldest house in Newtonmore. It is possible that an inn was established here after the bridge over the Spey opened in 1765.

In 1822 the land was leased by James Macpherson of Belleville, son of “Ossian” Macpherson, to his sister. This marked the establishment of his new village.

The following year a new inn was built on the site at the junction of the Perth road and the road from Fort William which had been completed in 1818. The inn was advertised as:
“A capital new house on the Moor of Banchor, Badenoch, at the adjoining roads to Fort William and Perth, to be Let for an Inn… consisting two large public Rooms, four good Bed Rooms, with Garrets and a sunk Cellar, Family Room, Kitchen, and Pantry with Garrets; Stabling for six Horses, a Hay Loft, Barn and Byre; with a Plot of Ground behind for a Garden.”

In the mid-nineteenth century the inn was run by the Rose family. By the late 1880s the innkeeper was Sam Macdonald, who around 1889 transferred his expanding business to the building next door (see Mains House Care Home). In 1903 the house was bought by Benjamin Grant, a draper in Inverness. It is possible that it was named Craigellachie during his ownership as “Stand fast Craigellachie” is the slogan of Clan Grant. The draper’s shop was run by Alexander Macdonald, known as the Boomler, from the Gaelic bumailear meaning a clumsy man or bungler.

From the 1940s till 1970 Craigellachie housed a pharmacy run by Jean Scobbie. It has also been used a tea-room, antique shop, electrical shop and bed and breakfast. Rob Ritchie remembers taking up the floor of the house after a flood and finding a tattie store under the kitchen, which may have been the original cellar. In 1992 a hostel was opened in the garden, so Craigellachie continues its original purpose of providing accommodation for travellers.


Local residents
Inverness Journal
Census records
County directories
Ordnance Survey name books
Valuation rolls