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Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hideout for sale

Monkstadt House

Monkstadt House

  • by ALISTAIR MUNRO
 

A MANSION which became the hiding place for Bonnie Prince Charlie following his defeat at Culloden is going under the hammer at offers over £1.3 million.

Monkstadt House on the Isle of Skye played a major role in one of the most famous episodes in Scotland’s history.

The Young Pretender escaped from the decisive battle near Inverness in April 1746 and, with the help of devoted supporter Flora Macdonald, famously fled over the sea to Skye, before finally returning to the continent.

As they were being frantically hunted by government Redcoats, they sought refuge at Monkstadt House, in Kilmuir, at the north end of the island.

The B-listed property is the most expensive that seller Auction House Scotland has had on its books, and goes under the hammer tomorrow at its sale house in Glasgow’s St Vincent Street.

Ross Harper, managing director of the auctioneers, said: “Monkstadt House is a truly magnificent opportunity to purchase a piece of Scottish history.

“The former house for the Macdonalds of Sleat sits amongst some of the Isle of Skye’s most stunning countryside.”

He added: “The principal property has undergone extensive renovation and comprises three spacious public rooms, kitchen/dining, six bedrooms and ample en-suite facilities.

“Externally, there are an additional nine holiday homes which take regular bookings throughout the year.”

During the prince’s brief stay, it was owned by Sir Alexander Macdonald, who supported King George II, but whose wife Margaret was Flora’s aunt and a strong supporter of the Jacobite cause. Jacobites had hoped to see the prince – grandson to King James II – reclaim the throne on the United Kingdom.

Bonnie Prince Charlie had been dressed as a woman, pretending to be an Irish maid called Betty Burke, and was provided with food and shelter at Monkstadt.

His sanctuary – in a cave next to the house – was fraught with danger as soldiers on his trail were also staying at the house.

The site is on the Trotternish peninsula, close to the village of Uig where a ferry service runs between Skye and the Outer Hebrides.

Current owner Ian MacQueen has spent years renovating the property.

Mr MacQueen’s late father, James, purchased the property three decades ago.

He said: “My father had a great interest in history. He had his family tree done and discovered his roots lay in Skye.

“During a family holiday there, he visited Monkstadt and liked it so much he offered to buy it there and then. We moved here in a caravan.

“I’ve done everything I wanted to do and achieved what my father wanted to do, to see the restoration of Monkstadt.”

SEE ALSO:

• Bonnie Prince Charlie was ‘drink-soaked brute’

 

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