Bannatyne House & Gatelodge
The village of Newtyle lies largely to the east of the Alyth to Dundee road (B954). Bannatyne House is within easy walking distance of local amenities which include a Post Office/newsagents, grocer and butcher, and the local primary school.
It is in an enviable rural location, surrounded by beautiful countryside, yet within easy commuting distance of local towns, with everyday amenities found in Coupar Angus or Alyth.
The elegant city of Perth, astride the magnificent River Tay, lies 18 miles to the south west, and the thriving city of Dundee is about 10 miles to the south east.
There is a wide range of recreational activities to be enjoyed in the locality. As well as traditional country pursuits, golf courses may be found nearby at Alyth, where there are three courses, Perth and Rosemount (Blairgowrie), whilst the famous championship courses at St Andrews, Gleneagles and Carnoustie are all within 40 miles. Winter sports may be enjoyed at Glenshee, about 35 miles to the north. First class grouse and pheasant shooting, deer stalking, trout and salmon fishing are all available in the district, and there are sailing clubs on the Tay at Broughty Ferry and Perth.
Primary schooling is available in Newtyle, with secondary schooling at Blairgowrie High School, for which a bus service is provided. There are a number of excellent private schools in the area
including Craigclowan Preparatory School, Strathallan, Kilgraston and Glenalmond near Perth, and Dundee High School.
The approach to Bannatyne House is by a short gravel drive with a sweep at the west front. On the east side of the house, the drive forks to the east gate (by the gatehouse) leading to the church, the Dundee road and the village which is five minutes walk. The north fork leads to a gate into a tree lined drive which joins the road to Coupar Angus and Perth.
The house is built of stone, the white harled 16th century walls being as much as 3 feet thick. The slate roof has been well maintained and the crow stepped gables and turrets provide true character. The interior was modernised (rewired, replumbed and centrally heated) in the early 1970's and great care was taken to preserve its character.
The front door is approached from the gravel sweep across a stone paved courtyard with a small round tower, once a doo-cot.
The front door gives access into the reception hall off which there is a cloak cupboard, a storage cupboard and a cloakroom with WC and wash basin. Off the hall, with windows to the south and east overlooking the courtyard, is a sitting room with fitted bookshelves and storage units. The kitchen has been recently upgraded and is fitted with base and wall mounted units, a breakfasting island, and there is also ample space beside the window overlooking the gardens for a dining table. It includes a built-in two oven Aga, plumbing for a dishwasher and a built in storage cupboard. It also houses the oil-fired Worcester boiler which was replaced in 2009 and supplies the central heating system and domestic hot water. The beautifully proportioned dining room overlooks the lawns and gardens to the north and west and has an arched alcove and a large storage cupboard.
The delightful drawing room is also well proportioned, mirroring the footprint of the dining room below. It also has a large storage cupboard and an open fireplace with ornate white marble chimneypiece and enjoys beautiful views over the gardens and surrounding countryside. There are two double bedrooms on the first floor, one of which has direct access into the bathroom. The second bedroom has a period stone fireplace and a small circular watch chamber within the wall of the south east corner and a garde-robe within the wall in the north west corner. The bathroom comprises a WC, wash basin and bath with Mira shower attachment above.
From the first floor a turnpike staircase leads to the second floor. A door at the foot of the staircase can be used to close off the upper floor if so desired. There are three further bedrooms on the top floor, one of which is the most important historical room in the house. It opens off a half-landing on the stairs and in the corner is a garde-robe which had an escape chute to the garde-robe in the bedroom below. In the corner are three steps leading to a turret which lends great character to the room. The bathroom has been recently upgraded and comprises a WC, wash basin, free-standing bath and cupboard.
The detached gatehouse is built of roughcast stone under a slate roof and was extended in 2013. It has also been modernised within the past 10 years, including the installation of new fixtures and fittings, a central heating system and brand new French windows. The accommodation comprises sitting room, dining room, kitchen and shower room on the ground floor, with two double bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor.
A substantial summerhouse, built of harled brick and timber lined with a slate roof, is situated on
the north side of the garden and has power, light and a wood burning stove.
Situated to the north of the main house are two offices and a laundry room which have been
recently developed from an existing garage block.
Gardens and Grounds
The overall site extends to 3.15 acres. The gardens are extensively laid to lawn with a number of mature trees and ornamental shrubs. The lawns are bordered by flower beds and protected by yew trees. To the west of the house, beyond the main lawn, lies a beautiful walled garden with fruit trees, soft fruit, greenhouse and a timber potting shed. It has a water supply.
During the first half of the 16th Century, John Bannatyne acquired the lands of Kirkton of Newtyle which later became part of the Barony of Newtyle in Strathmore. He was a man of many parts - keeper of the King's Comptes and Deputy Justice Clerk; and Procurator to the Earl of Douglas.
At the Kirkton of Newtyle John Bannatyne built a small tower house which was first referred to as "the Mansion House of the Kirklands", then, in typically Scottish fashion, it became know as
"Bannatyne" after its lairds. That is still its official designation although it is also called "Bannatyne House". It was originally a simple three storey tower house which could be defended against marauders.
It is recorded in "The Master Masons to the Crown of Scotland" that the tower house was
improved in 1589 by several additions, including a wing to the south and a "doo-cote". Despite
further alterations during the next four centuries, the old house retains much of its original character.
As well as being of architectural interest, the house has been associated with a number of
distinguished Scotsmen. The Bannatynes of Newtyle produced several eminent lawyers, four of whom became judges of the Scottish High Court. It also occupies a niche in Scottish literary history because, during the 1567 plague which raged in Edinburgh, George Bannatyne took refuge at Bannatyne where he occupied his time writing out his voluminous collection of Scottish vernacular verse, much of which had never been recorded. His manuscript is now in the National Library of Scotland. The tradition is that George carried out his great task in the small north-east turret room.
In the mid 17th century Bannatyne was acquired by Sir George Mackenzie (nephew of 1st Viscount Tarbat) of Rosehaugh in the Black Isle. He became a High Court Judge, a Privy Councillor and finally Lord Advocate. Because of his severe sentences he became know as "Bluidy Mackenzie", but is remembered, more kindly, as the founder of the National Library of Scotland. His son, also Sir George, inherited Bannatyne. He was an ardent Jacobite and was "out" with Prince James Stuart (the Old Pretender) in 1715. The property passed to his nephew, the Hon James Stuart Mackenzie (nephew of the Marquis of Bute), who in 1761 became Lord Privy Seal. When he died in 1800 the house passed to his descendant, the 1st Earl of Wharncliffe. In 1887 the Earl of Wharncliffe sold Bannatyne which then passed through various hands until purchased in 1962 by Lt Colonel James Bannatyne who represented the senior line of the Bannatyne family.
Leaving Perth, take the A94 to the town of Coupar Angus. At the first set of traffic lights in Coupar Angus turn right onto the A923. Continue for one mile and turn left, signposted for Kettins and Newtyle. Continue through the village of Kettins and on leaving the 30 mph zone travel for a further 3½ miles. On reaching Newtyle, and passing under the stone arched bridge, the tree lined access drive to Bannatyne House is the first turning on the right. At the top of the drive, enter the grounds of Bannatyne House through the white gate.
From Dundee and the A90 (Kingsway West). take the A923 Coupar Angus road. At Muirhead, take the right fork signposted B954 Meigle/Alyth and continue to Newtyle. Turn left at the crossroads in Newtyle, and the entrance to Bannatyne House is on the left, immediately before the bridge.