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Coul House Hotel
Coul House Hotel history

As each year goes by.....

we learn new and interesting facts about the history of the house and its previous occupants. Most of the information is gathered from descendants of the Mackenzie family that come to stay at Coul House Intricate plasterwork is one of the stand-out features of this Georgian mansiontheir family heritage, the rest we make up.  If you know any facts about the house or it’s history we welcome your input.

1821c – Coul House was built for Sir George Steuart Mackenzie, 7th Baronet of Coul, by Edinburgh architects Robert & Richard Dickinson. George Steuart was born in 1780, his family had resided in Coul since 1560.  The word Coul in Gaelic means settlement in the narrows of the glen. Sir George was known as a just and liberal landlord, distinguished in the pursuits of science.   

1827 - David Douglas, famous Scottish botanist, plants a fir tree still standing today.

1848 - Sir George Steuart dies and his eldest son Alexander becomes the 8th Baronet at the age of 43.

1856 - William Mackenzie becomes the 9th baronet when his bother dies.

1860 - Alexander Ross famous Inverness architect makes additions to Coul House, later his office burns down and the blue prints of the house go up in the fire.

68 - Robert Ramsay Mackenzie returns from Queensland, Australia, where he was Governor General with his wife Louise Jones and their five kids, to become the 10th and last baronet to reside at Coul House when his bother dies.

1873 - Robert Ramsay dies leaving behind his wife, four daughters and one son, Sir Arthur George Mackenzie, who chose to stay and work in Edinburgh.
Queens visit to Coul House1888 - Queen Victoria visits Strathpeffer spa town and is entertained with a small Highland gathering at Coul House. A painting of the occasion still sits above the fireplace in the Octagonal Room.

1940 - British Army commandeered Coul House and used it to house the Polish mounted division who ran a light casualty hospital in the house during the war.
It is said that the Royal Family of Norway stayed here during their exile.

1949 - Coul House is up for sale for £3000. No one buys it so it is split into two halves with interior walls. Each half is made into several flats and they are rented out for long-term stays.

High ornate ceilings, unique octagonal design and views to die for 1965 - Mr & Mrs Jones purchase one half of Coul House and Mr & Mrs Macdonald the other, and both trade as competing guest houses.

1971 - Historic Scotland listed Coul House as a Grade A building.

1978 - Mr & Mrs Hill and Mr & Mrs Bryan purchase both halves of Coul House and additional 4 acres of land and set about the hard work of converting the house into a hotel, installing central heating and en suite bathrooms.  Martyn Hill and Ann Bryan stay on and run the hotel for twenty-five years.

2003 - Stuart & Susannah Macpherson purchase Coul House and set about slowly refurbishing the hotel and reinstating some of the original features of the house. 
The story continues . . .

Read The Good Hotel Guide review Britain's Finest Luxury Hotels
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Coul House Hotel, Contin, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland IV14 9ES E: T: +44 (0)1997 421487