Alexander MacDougall 23rd Chief of the Clan MacDougall began the house in about 1745 for his wife Mary and their children.
The estate of the Clan MacDougall had been forfeited due to Alexander's father, Iain Ciar's active role in the Jacobite uprising of 1715.
Alexander and his family had been living in Edinburgh. When the Estate was returned to the Clan in August 1745, Alexander and Mary chose not to support Bonny Prince Charlie in the Rising, and instead built a new unfortified Laird's house instead of reviving Dunollie Castle which was by now virtually a ruin.
They built onto the Laich Biggin (Low House) dates from at least 1617. It now houses the museum store of the Hope MacDougall Collection. The gable end room was once a Dairy, the room next to it a Laundry.
The rooms have changed use over the 250 years since being built. Some have remained the same for example, The Old Kitchen. There would also have been a Sitting Room and Bedrooms for Alexander, Mary and their 15 children.
Alexander extended the house adding The North Wing sometime around 1780, and then John MacDougall, grandson to Alexander completed the Main House in 1836. The 1745 House became servants' quarters; note the servants' bells in the downstairs corridor.Their sitting room is now the Exhibition Room.
The 1745 House is full of character, and it is still possible to see how it functioned both as an 18th Laird's house and as servants' quarters.
Come and visit and see our first exhibition entitled 'The 1745 House', and tells the story of the turbulent times that surrounded the building of this peaceful house, drawn from the archives and collection of the Chiefs of the Clan MacDougall.