Gogar Castle for sale

I just noticed that Gogar Castle is being sold by Savilles. At £2.9+ million I’m not really in the market, but have passed on details to my older brother who is more flush. According to the Wikipedia Gogar Castle remained in the hands of the Gibson-Maitland (later Ramsay-Gibson-Maitland, and later Ramsay-Steel-Maitland) families for 200 years until the death of Brenda Steel Maitland in 2002. She left the castle and estate to Gordon Stewart who looked after her in later life (see more here).

The Wikipedia account is is only partly true because my 6 x gt grandfather William Ramsay of Barnton bought Gogar House (as it was known then) for £37,000 in 1789. He was an Edinburgh banker, and a director of the Royal Bank of Scotland, who also owned Barnton House, Bonnyfield Lodge and Drylaw House. Sadly, the Ratho Local History site doesn’t seem to be online any more, but they had records showing that William Ramsay’s brother Peter the stabler is buried at Castle Gogar. The records also showed that my 4 x great grandmother Susan Ramsay of Barnton had a child at there. She was the granddaughter of William Ramsay, and she married Alexander Maitland in 1819. I’m not sure if the child born at Castle Gogar was my great great great grandfather George Ramsay Maitland. I’m presuming the castle remained in the estate of the Ramsay family until the death of Charles William Ramsay Ramsay of Barnton in around 1861 as a result of a coaching accident. He was only 21 and was unmarried, and the estate then devolved to his cousin, Sir Alexander Charles Maitland, 3rd Bt, (brother of my 3 x great grandfather George Ramsay Maitland).

It thought one of my Macdonald/MacNab ancestors may have also lived at Castle Gogar, or Gogar House as it was formerly known. I found the following snippet about my 4 x great grandmother Jessie Macdonald who married John MacNab, of Shenaghart in Kintyre, in the The Jacobite Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage, and Grants of Honour, Extracted… by Melville Henry Massue Ruvigny Et Raineval:

The elder (and only one who left issue), Jessie, was born at Garvabeg in the parish of Laggan, 1779, and died at Gogar, near Stirling, 27th May 1859, having married at Laggan, 1801, John MacNab of Shenaghart in Kintyre, and of Sherrobeg in Badenoch, by whom, who was born 1765, and died at Sherrobeg, 10th April 1847, she had with five sons an only daughter, Christina, wife of Angus Macdonell, twentysecond Chief of Keppoch.

I’d found a record in the archives of the Blairlogie village website for a Mrs MacNab at Gogar House in 1857 with a note saying “Gogar House for rent”. However, Blairlogie is in Sterlingshire whereas as Castle Gogar is in Rigg near Edinburgh, so it’s not the same place and may not be the same Mrs MacNab. I wonder if Jessie was living with one her children when she died. The Blairlogie Village site archives list an “Alex McNab as “resident of Blairlogie Mains” in 1852 Blairlogie Mains. Maybe this is the same Alex MacNab my cousin Hamish has listed as one of the children of John MacNab and Jessie Macdonald as follows:

  1. Duncan MacNab b: 24 FEB 1805 in Laggan, Inverness, Scotland
  2. Alexander MacNab b: 29 JAN 1806 in Laggan, Inverness, Scotland
  3. John MacNab b: 29 APR 1807 in Laggan, Inverness, Scotland
  4. Alexander MacNab b: 25 MAR 1809 in Laggan, Inverness, Scotland (think this should be Archibald not Alexander see here)
  5. Charlotte MacNab b: 16 DEC 1810 in Laggan, Inverness, Scotland
  6. Ronald MacNab b: 29 AUG 1812 in Laggan, Inverness, Scotland
  7. Francis MacNab b: 9 JAN 1815 in Laggan, Inverness, Scotland
  8. Christina MacNab b: 9 NOV 1816 in Laggan, Inverness, Scotland
  9. Allan MacNab b: 2 DEC 1820 in Laggan, Inverness, Scotland

They might provide me with some more MacNab leads, although I may have to renew my subscription to Ancestry.com. I’ll add Castle Gogar to my fantasy road trip to the Scottish Lowlands when I get round to planning that one. Hope I’ll get another invite for tea from the new owners.

9 thoughts on “Gogar Castle for sale

  1. Abiutt the Laggan connection, Sherrabeg was formerly the tacksmans house, it’s now unoccupied. The laird in Dalchully House was a MacNab, it was him who built the RC chapel, demolished when the Spey Dam was built, for the Crathie folk whose fields were flooded by the dam.
    Have you not confused Blairlogie, for Blargie the farm across the Spey from Dalchully?
    The Laggan Heritage Group might have more info’.

    1. Thanks for your comments. Think Mrs MacNab of Gogar House might be a red herring. Captain Archibald Hearne MacNab lived at Dalchully House, Laggan Kingussie. He was grandson of my ancestor John MacNab of Sherrobeg or Sherrabeg. I’ll drop the Laggan Heritage site to see if they can shed any light on tracing John’s ancestry.

      1. Cheers Justin, Sherrabeg’s a fine house but going to the dogs. Needs a new owner, the estate is owned by Rio Tinto. How’s your piggy bank? :)



      2. Forbes, Been about 35 years since was in the part of world, and only for a short spell then, but would like to visit again. Not really in the market for another as I have enough renovation going on with this one right now ;-)

        Best and cheers


      3. Thanks Forbes, and we have the builders in here too and I’m destroyed after helping them move railway sleepers from the garden.

        Most of my ancestors around this area were MacDonalds/McDonnell/MacDonell of Keppoch, but also Inch/Insh and Garvabeg. The Inch farm is basically other side of Roybridge from Keppoch House where my great great grandmother was born:


        There was also a Macintosh of Balnespick who married one of my MacDonald ancestors (Rev. Patrick of Kilmore), but he was born in Durness, and we don’t know her Christian name. Balnespick is even further up the Spey, but is closer than Durness and Kilmore.

        Looking at the map Garvabeg and Sherrabeg seem to be in the middle between Roybridge and Balnespick. We think that my 4 x great grandfather John MacNab of Shenaghart in Kintyre, and later of Sherrabeg in Badenoch, was born in Callander in 1765. We found a John Macnab being baptized in Callander who was son of Duncan McNab and Christian Wright. Records also show that Duncan & Christian were married in Callander in 1752; he of Callander parish; she of Aberfoyle. John Macnab Married Jessie Macdonald who was daughter of Alexander Macdonald of Garvabeg (son of Rev. Patrick MacDonald of Kilmore and his second wife Charlotte Macdonell of Keppoch). I’m guessing that John MacNab moved to Sherrabeg after his marriage to Jessie.

        We think that the grandfather of John MacNab was the Alexander McNab, who commanded the clan through the Jacobite Rebellion, and who may have also accompanied my other ancestor Angus ‘ban’ Macdonell of Inch/Insh (natural son of Keppoch chief who died at Culloden) who accompanied the bonny Prince in his wanderings after Culldoen. We haven’t established this, but it’s a nice story.

  2. Justin, the long dispute between the Mackintosh & Keppoch, over non-payment of rents by the latter, came to a head at the Battle of Mulroy. Garvamore & Garvabeg were the duke of Gordon’s so maybe not directly involved. The Gordon’s gave preference to MacDonald’s there as the MacPherson’s had tried to murder the factor Gordon of Glenbucket. I believe that when a light appeared on the hill above Garva Bridge a death in the MacDonald family soon followed.
    The present Garvabeg dates from the 1880’s.

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