A mansion where Bonnie Prince Charlie set up headquarters just months before the Battle of Culloden and where he met his mistress could be bought for more than £1 million by the surrounding community.
Prince Charles Edward Stuart spent a night in Bannockburn House, near Stirling, in 1745 during his march south to gain support for the Jacobite cause. Then in January 1746 he made the three-storey house his headquarters during his return north from Derby, ahead of his defeat at Culloden in April that year.
The A-listed mansionwas opened up to more than 2,000 visitors last weekend for the first time in decades. Now residents have formed a development trust in the hope of buying the building.
The group will have to raise at least £1m but hopes to use the Community Empowerment Act to buy the property with the aid of a contribution from the £10m Scottish Land Fund. The selling agents have given the group until Christmas to prepare a bid.
Stirling councillor Alasdair MacPherson, who is part of the new trust, said:“The chief executive of Historic Environment Scotland attended our open days at the weekend and has given us some advice on how to move forward with this.”
The property could also feature in future episodes of hit TV drama Outlander.
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Mr MacPherson added: “We also had the location director for Outlander on site, saying he would like to consider the building for future work.
“It is clear there is a lot the community could do with Bannockburn House and we want to keep it for the community.”
According to legend, the Young Pretender was shot at while lodging in Bannockburn House and the mark made by the bullet is still shown in one of the rooms.
During his stay, the Prince also met the owner’s niece, Clementina Walkinshaw, an ardent Jacobite who would later become his mistress and mother of his daughter Charlotte, born in 1753.
The Grade A listed building, built by Sir Hugh Paterson around 1675, is on the market for £1.25 million.
Bannockburn Community Council has written to the owner, businessman Peter Drake, to formally lodge an interest.