A RURAL mansion which played host to Bonnie Prince Charlie in 1746 is to open its doors to the public for the first time in living memory.
The Category A-listed Bannockburn House in Stirlingshire, privately-owned for the past 70 years, will be open free to the public this weekend as its owner seeks to attract potential buyers for the 17th century property.
Event organisers are looking to attract between 600 and 800 visitors to the historic abode over the next two days, as volunteers prepare the property for viewing.
The house, which dates back to the 1600s, was used as a military headquarters by Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1746 and later as a safe-haven prior to the Young Pretender’s exile to France.
Speaking to the Daily Record, Bannockburn Councillor Alasdair MacPherson who is part of the steering group which has been set up by organisers said: “This is very exciting news for the whole community. This Category-A listed building has been behind lock and key for decades and people will now have the chance to look around.
“The two stone staircases inside lend themselves perfectly to an event such as this, with a volume of people visiting. We’re hoping to have information sheets and catalogues to hand out on the day.
“There is a lot of history attached to the house and it really is worth seeing. I would like to thank everyone who has come forward to offer their support. We have been inundated with help.”
As part of the open weekend, historians from the Jacobite Society will be in attendance to provide information and background to the history of the house and its links to the Stuart dynasty, while a man impersonating Bonnie Prince Charlie will be on hand to entertain guests.
The house, which had badly deteriorated in recent years, has been put up for sale by owner Peter Drake for around £1.5m.