The History of Heathpark Lodge
The following has been compiled from research done since 1991 when it became of interest to me.
Heathpark Lodge is situated in Rosemount, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland and in 1745 the whole area was open grazing land. Coupar Angus Road was a one lane road built for the use of coaches and horse traffic connecting the towns of Coupar Angus and Blairgowrie.
According to historic records the Duke of Cumberland's (known as the Butcher of Cumberland) cavalry camped on the actual site of the Heathpark estate for a period of around 6 weeks, before their final push to Inverness, where they won the battle of Culloden against the 'rebel' Scots. The Duke himself did not stay here but enjoyed the more sumptuous accommodation of Newton Castle set at the top of the town!
Heathpark estate is thought to have been built between 1837 and 1841. Records show that the land was bought in 1837 by John Thain, a ship owner from Dundee and the very first census taken in 1841 lists Heathpark Lodge and the occupants. In the mid 1850s the owner of R & R Clark, a very reputable printing and publishing firm in Edinburgh, purchased the whole estate. His family occupied the 'big house' during holidays and the estate manager, his wife and children lived here in the then three roomed Lodge. The back of the original house is evident in the present hallway.
Soon after Mr Clark arrived, others purchased land, built houses and this resulted in the village of Rosemount.
The Clark family kept the house for a number of years until Mr Clark died (he is buried under an impressive headstone in the old churchyard at the top of the town). Early in the 1900s the whole estate was sold to a lady who was Lord Lt. of Perthshire; namely a Miss Guthrie. Records show she employed a gardener and wife who lived here in the Lodge. (The appointment of a female as Lord Lt. was extremely unusual - it is still a male dominated post today, so she must have had something going for her!)
When Miss Guthrie died in the late 1930s the whole estate was bought by the local veterinary surgeon who ran his surgery (including large operating theatre!) from the back of the 'big house' and resided in the front part. His mother lived here in the Lodge and we have been told there were many fine musical evenings here as both the vet and his mother were talented fiddlers.
In the late 60s the vet's mother died and he sold the Lodge to a private buyer; thus the division of the estate commenced. In 1980 the then owners of the 'big house' sold off much more of the land, including a wonderful walled garden, to a property developer but fortunately this did not affect the Lodge in any way.
Since the house was first privately owned and therefore nothing whatever to do with the 'big house' there have been 3 owners. We purchased the house in 1991 and extended it to its present size in 1992, trying our very best to ensure the extension was sympathetic to and in keeping with the charming original property.
The garden has evolved in the past years since we took over - then it was just grass and stones. The beech hedge seen at the roadside was over 15 feet high when we arrived and it also ran along the back of the house. Thankfully it is now a manageable size and hopefully compliments the garden rather than buries it!
Note of interest: When we were digging to install our flagpole many years ago now, we discovered a blue bottle which was intact. It has since been inspected by both Dundee and Perth museum staff and it appears to be a hand blown medicine bottle, which would have belonged to an army officer, and dates around the mid 1700s.
Some Historic References in the 1850s
Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1838
David Livingstone explored Central Africa
The sewing machine had just been invented
Lord John Russell (Whig) was Prime Minister of Britain - 1846 to 1852
Russian threat to Turkey leads to Crimea War (1854)
Population of Britain set at 27 million
Great Exhibition (1851)