Gartmore Estate has played a significant part in Scottish History. Since the atmospheric house was built in 1793 it has witnessed the formation of the Labour Party and it was the home of a founder of The Scottish National Party, Robert Burns has written and entertained in the lounge and Charles Rennie Mackintosh student David Barclay has redesigned the building.
Gartmore house was built by William Adam. The house was owned by the Graham family and latterly by R. B. Cunninghame Graham: author traveller and horseman who spent a number of years in South America. A member of parliament from 1886 to 1892 and president of the National Party of Scotland in the late 1920’s. The house was then sold to pay death duties.
The house was bought by Sir Charles Cayzer. Architect David Barclay (pupil of Charles Rennie Mackintosh)
re-designed the west front, added the tower and altered the roofs. The moondial was removed in the 1950’s to the Cayzer family burial ground behind Gartmore parish church. The Cayzer family motto above the door means “Cautiously but Fearlessly”.
The army commandeered the estate and the house became a barracks until 1950. Privates were on the ground floor, officers on the first floor and they dined in the mews courtyard. After the war, the Cayzer family didn’t take it back.
Developers sold off parts of the estate.
The Archdiocese of Glasgow bought the house to establish St Ninian’s, a list D school run by the De La Salle brothers, a Roman Catholic religious order. The outbuildings were added to provide classrooms.
Developers sold off the houses.
The estate lay dormant.
The Way in Great Britain bought the house for their European base.
Once again, the estate lay dormant.
Cloverley Hall bought the house and it became a Conference and Activity centre.
Cloverley Hall was bought out and Gartmore House ran as a charitable trust with a Board of Directors, namely George Russell (formerly of Scotland the Brand), Peter Taylor, (hotelier) and Peter Sunderland.
Sadly, Chairman of the board, George Russell passed away in September 2004. Peter Kimber (formerly chief executive Scottish Curriculum Authority and Scripture Union, England and Wales) and Rev Mike Parker (director of the Evangelical Alliance, Scotland) were invited onto the board.
Gartmore House began to grow as a conference centre and destination for activity holidays.The activity centre was refurbished to provide wheelchair access and dormitory accommodation for schools and youth groups.
A CHP (combined heat and power) system was installed. This system allow us to generate more electricity than we require to run the estate, allowing the excess to go back into the grid.
The estate is now very popular with educational groups, conferences and activity breaks, with packages available to suit all budgets and group sizes. Today the house is also sold to individuals looking for short breaks in The Trossachs.