Bannockburn House, Bannockburn – Clan Paterson
Gaining control of the Bannockburn Estate in 1672, the Paterson family would quickly establish themselves as the main family in the area, constructing the impressive Bannockburn House a decade later.
This is not to say that the Patersons were the first family to call this area their own – as Bannockburn is, of course, an important site in Scottish history. However, they would be the first to truly establish themselves there, purchasing the estate from Andrew Rollo in 1672 to build Bannockburn House.
The Patersons would choose to settle at Bannockburn as it was close to the location of their coal mines, the business that would allow them to accrue a large fortune. This would also increase their reputation throughout the country, something that would be rewarded when Bonnie Prince Charlie chose the house as a place to stop on the way to the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
It is here that he would meet Clementina Walkinshaw, the Baronet’s niece and the future mother of his child. The prince would recuperate from illness at Bannockburn for three weeks before continuing north to the Jacobites’ ultimate demise at Culloden, however, he would also give Bannockburn one of its most famous assets as he would store the ‘Key of Stirling’ there upon his victory in the city. The Key would remain missing for over 150 years – until it was recovered from the house in 1902.
After Charlie’s demise, the house would pass from the Patersons’ control, being sold to William Ramsey of Barton and Sauchie in 1787. The Ramsays would keep Bannockburn for almost 100 years, selling it to the famous Wilsons of Bannockburn, a family known for their weaving business which produced much of Scotland’s tartan. The Wilsons would add many additions to the house, creating extensions to the building and a new porch at the entrance, they would then sell the property in 1910 to the Sheriff Substitute of Stirling, James Mitchell.
Bannockburn House has since passed between a number of different owners and was most recently put up for sale in 2016, selling for around £800,000 to a team of volunteers known as the ‘Bannockburn Trust’. Working with the Scottish Land Trust, the group would complete the largest community buyout of a property ever seen in the UK. It remains under their control today, as they have worked tirelessly to restore the interior to its former glory. The Trust now offers tours of the house for a small donation in return, a must-visit for anyone with a deep interest in Scottish history – particularly the Jacobites.