Bonnie Prince Charlie HQ Bannockburn House saved with Â£650k grant
Bannockburn House, a 17th Century mansion near Stirling, has a rich history linked to the Prince but has laid empty for several years.
The Scottish Land Fund has now awarded the Bannockburn House Trust, a community group dedicated to bringing the house back into use, £648,300 to help buy the property.
Earlier, the trust announced that the owner, who lives in the south of England, had agreed to take the mansion off the market and sell it to the trust for £800,000.
Alan Marshall from Bannockburn House Trust, said the community was now in “touching distance” of buying the house.
“This is fantastic news, not just for the members of the Trust, but for the whole community who have been a part of this project since day one.
“On behalf of everyone involved, I’d like to thank the Scottish Land Fund for this hugely significant grant which takes us to within touching distance of securing this strategically important property for the whole community.
“We do have further sums to raise to meet the agreed purchase price, but make no mistake, this award was make or break to the eventual success of the project, so to hear that we have been successful is just fabulous.
“As well as thanking the Scottish Land Fund, we would also like to thank Stirling Council for their support in helping us with the bid. We couldn’t have done it without them, or without the many volunteers and helpers who worked tirelessly to get us to this point.”
Bonnie Prince Charlie spent a night at Bannockburn House in 1745 during his march to the south to gain support for the Jacobite cause.
Then, in January 1746, following Christmas in Glasgow, he was invited to stay at Bannockburn by Sir High Paterson, a loyal supporter of the Stuart cause.
Unwell with flu he stayed for three weeks and made the three-storey mansion his headquarters ahead of the Battle of Culloden. It was during this spell that he met his mistress, Clementina Walkinshaw, a niece of Sir Hugh.
He was to briefly return to the house following his defeat at Culloden. A bed found in the house was thought to have been slept in by the Prince, but expert analysis later showed it to date from a later period.
The Bannockburn House Trust is now forging ahead with its plans to turn the site into both a major new visitor attraction for Stirling and a valuable space for the community where events, including weddings, can be held.
Included in the sale will be 25 acres of land.
John Watt, Scottish Land Fund Committee Chair, said: “Today’s award to the Bannockburn House Trust represents an important milestone in their pursuit of community ownership.
“We were impressed by their community consultation which showed a real desire by local people to bring the historic building into community use. The Scottish Land Fund recognises the long term benefits of projects like this and so we are delighted to be able to help this enterprising community turn their ambitions plans into reality.”
Cabinet Secretary for Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Thanks to the support of the Scottish Land Fund, this historical 17th century mansion will move a step closer towards community ownership.
With anywhere between £4m and £10m required to repair and maintain the home, fundraising will be an ongoing mission.
The trust looking to the Scots diaspora, particularly in the United States, to help support the project.