(All those named below lived in the immediate area of Coulnakyle, or in Coulnakyle House itself) James Grant of Freuchie - early 1500s Duncan Grant of Freuchie - 1565 - 1582 (Freuchie - now Castle Grant) Sir John Grant of Freuchie - early 1600s Captain Mason - 1630 Marquis of Montrose - 1644 Williamite Generals Mackay and Livingstone - 1689 'Baron Bailies' - 1690s Jacobite General Buchan - April 1690 York Buildings Company -1728 - 1737 John More (Abernethy sawmiller, builder of Dell Pipe Boring Mill) - mid 1700s James Grant of Inveroury - 1765 Marion Grant (d.1807), sister of Sir. James Grant - 180? - 1807 Lewis Alexander Grant, 5th Earl of Seafield - 1811 Captain James MacDonald (tacksman) - 1818 Mr. Richard Winsloe and family - 1834 - 1846 Mr Grigor and Mr J Stewart (farmers) - 1852 Summer visitors - 1900s Camerons - 1900s Lady Fenwick Clennel - ?year


Permanent and holiday residence Headquarters for law, business and military leaders Sporting Lodge

Built by

Original house - Grants of Freuchie Current house - John Ada

Construction date

Original house - early 16th Century Current house - 1765 Coulnakyle Farmhouse viewed from the Nethy Bridge Golf Course (photograph courtesy of Alastair McCook)

Location/map ref

Approx half a mile north west of Nethy Bridge


'There is more historical interest connected with Coulnakyle than with any other place in our parish...a centre of life and interest for more than six hundred years' (Forsyth 1900) 1226 - Identified in the Register of Moray 1539 - 'the lands of Cannocawill' are included in the Barony of Strathspey (Feu Disposition to James Grant of Freuchie) There is a legend of a ghost and the phantom clattering sound of horses and armour from Cumberland's men on their journey through to the Battle of Culloden.


Listed Building (In 2000 Malcolm Fraser (Architects) built a house nearby for the Kirkwoods which won a mention in the Civic Trust Awards 2002).

Other references

M. O'Reilly Explore Abernethy Visitor Centre linkto:[[Explore Abernethy]] Forsyth, W (1900) 'In the Shadow of Cairngorm' (Inverness) Grant, Elspeth (1994) 'Abernethy Forest - Its People and Its past' (Arkleton Trust ) linkto:[[Morayshire Electors 1852 website]] linkto:[[Malcolm Fraser Architects website (2005) website]] Munro, J (1995) Local resident Grant, A (1995) Local resident

Duncan Grant of Freuchie (d. 1582. Buried in family grave at Duthil)

Father – Sir John Grant Laird of Freuchie Wife Margaret, daughter of William Mackintosh of Dunachton. 5 sons (John, James, Patrick, Robert), 2 daughters. A highly respected man, Duncan was known as ‘Duncan of Abernethy’ or ‘Duncan of the Woods’ due to his connections with and good management of the parish. 1569 – Duncan and his fathers integrity was such that they took part in a ‘Commission of Justiciary’, instigated by King James VI for a local trial – both were described then as ‘rycht honorabill’ men. The Laird of Freuchies’ lands included Urquhart and Glenmoriston and, later Ardneidlie, Keith. Their lands were in part protected through alliances and marriages ( for example, to Chief of Kintail and Donald, son of Angus M’Alastir of Glengarry). Margaret survived him, marrying two later husbands.

Sir John Grant of Freuchie

1592 – allegiance with John Dow MacGregor 1610 – 1613 – tried in court and fined 16000 merks for his allegiance to the MacGregors (declared as rebels and fugitives) 1613 – married Mary Ogilvie, daughter of Sir Walter Ogilvie of Fyndlater 1627 – Margaret, wife of his late father, now Lady of Duffus grants him discharge of 600 merks.


Capt. John Mason

1630 – Signed a contract with Sir John Grant of Freuchie for the lease of Sir Johns’ woods for harvesting. The agreement was to last 41 years, costing 20 000 Scots pounds. He was to pay an annual duty for the logging facilities at Speymouth and for land at Coulnakyle. Further timber contracts signed here during 1669. The following years saw the establishment of military camps at Coulnakyle – Sword, found near Lurg, just outside Nethy Bridge


Mr. Richard Winsloe

Shooting tenant. English family. Seven sons (listed below) with highly distinguished military careers. Nearly all served in the Austro-Prussian War 1866 and Franco-German War 1870, four of them received, among other medals, the Iron Cross. 1.Col. R.W.C. Winsloe (Commander Royal Scots Fusiliers 1887, Turkish medal Crimea 1855-56, Zulu Campaign 1879, wounded at Ulundi – medal, Transvaal Campaign 1880-1, commander at Siege of Potchefstroom – wounded, Burmese Expedition 1886-7, commander Thayetmgo district – medal, ADC to Her Majesty 1882-90, Jubilee Medal 1887) 2.Lt-Col Alfred (born Coulnakyle) (1st Lieb Huzaren Reg – Germany, Equerry to HRH Grand Duke Mecklenburg Strelitz) 3.Col. George (Commander 16th German Lancers 1887-90) 4.Lt. Herbert (22nd German Dragoons, first officer killed Franco German war – Nieder-bron, Alsace 1870. Monument erected) 5.Maj. Edward Von Winsloe (Capt 22nd German Dragoons, Staff Major, Hof Marshal to HSH Prince Schaumberg Lippe) 6.Maj. Arthur (Maj. 9th German Dragoons) 7.Capt. Frederick (7th German Lancers, many orders and medals for distinguished service).


Captain James MacDonald.

1818. He paid a rent of 213 pounds 6s 4d, although the land may have been more extensive than presently. Four daughters. Sons – eldest James (Major General in the Indian Service) and Donald (died in India as Surgeon-Major). Grandsons included Major Dugan (accidentally killed in fall fom horse in Hyde Park) and Sir Claude (Her Majesty’s Representative in China 1900). Memorial plaque to Major Dougan J. MacDonald, Abernbethy Old Kirk


Sir James Grant of Inveroury and family

First Wood Manager on the Grant Estate 1765 – new house built here for him. Probably designed by John Adam (who was at the time supervising the extension of Castle Grant). 1807 – death of Marion, daughter of Sir Ludovick, at Coulnakyle 1811 – Lewis Alexander G

Summer visitors

Early 20th century. House rented for several months. Visitors arrived from various locations, eg:Edinburgh, with family, servants, pets, etc. Husband often commuted to work from the holiday home.

Mr. Cameron

From Badenedin and known as ‘The Baden’. Farmer and winter tenant (Grant, Munro).


General Buchan (Jacobite forces, under King James)

1690 – Staging post for his attack, at Cromdale, upon the forces of Sir Thomas Livingstone. Livingstone, accompanied by 300 Grant clansmen, routed Buchan’s men.


General Mackay

1689 – Apparently suffering dreadful weather, this site was perhaps chosen partly because it was well defended from Dundees’ forces by forest and the rivers Spey and Nethy. At various times joined by Sir Thomas Livingstone’s Dragoons and Capt. Forbes of Culloden. In 1690 he wrote from Coulnakyle to the Clan Chief Cluny, demanding for his army – ‘200 Cowes and 600 Sheep at Rivan (Ryvoan?) in Badenough…and you shall have reddy money for them. If you fail in this, I assure you, I will turn the army loose upon the country, who will not spare neither houses nor cowes.’ Mackay described Coulnakyle as a summer dwelling of Grant’s, where there were some meadows and fields of corn proper for the nature of the party, whose strength was most in horse’ (1833).



1644 – in command of the Royalist forces. They had been diverted from their way south and were seeking shelter in the ‘Wod of Abernethie’. Soon forced out of the house by pursuing Argyll forces.


The ‘Baron Bailies’

These were the courts tasked with maintaining order and dealing out punishments and fines in rural areas. They were held at various locations in the parish, including Coulnakyle. Early 1690s – Regality of Grant erected by Royal Charter. Early form of the Baron Bailies instituted. The Bailies obtained money for themselves in various ways, including – – The ‘Bailies Darak’ – entitlement to one days labour from every tenant on the estate – Confiscations from offenders receiving capital punishment – All fines from poaching or cutting green wood – The ‘Herial Horse’ – confiscation of the best horse, cow, etc from an estate tenant at the time of his death (this practice abolished by Sir Ludovick Grant in 1738). Forsyth (1990) mentions records of a court held at Coulnakyle during 1690 -1704. Presiding at various times were Lt Colonel Patrick Grant, acting on behalf of Sir Ludovick Grant, Grigor Grant, Procurator Fiscal and William Grant of Lurg. Various crimes and punishments included – Theft: – of cows, sheep, horses, plough irons, cheese, wool (various fines and hanging for persistant offenders) – of socks (ears nailed), – of Pine and Birch wood, apples, lime for cement (pay compensation and then, depending on the number of offences, fines, imprisonment and/or scourging, followed by banishment) Killing deer (fined 50 Scots Pounds) Assault (fined) Trading on the Sabbath (fined 20 Scots Pounds) Peeling Birch bark (various fines or confiscations) Swine (pigs) left unringed and straying Burning heather (ears nailed) However, the Bailies also provided for the locals and implemented laws, for example – -compensation for sheep lost to foxes or eagles, or payment for killing of such predators -provision of school meals -relocation of a mill from the Braes of Abernethy to Clachaig -fixing of tailors and wrights wages (2-5s per day depending on workmanship) -use of shielings for cattle grazing – ‘rendezvous in Highland garb’ by order of the Laird of Grant (with gun, sword and pistol ‘when called upon 48 hours advertisement within the country of Strathspey’) In 1748 the Regality Courts were abolished and the Baron Bailies ceased.


York Buildings Company

1728 – The YBC and Sir James Grant signed a timber harvesting agreement. The mains and meadows of Coulnakyle were included in the agreement, being leased for 25 pounds per year and this was to be the base of operations. An important sawmill was located alongside the Nethy to process the timber floated downstream. It is said to have been located roughly where the current sewage works are.