Raasay House

Raasay House is an A-listed two-storey Jacobean-style mansion at Clachan on the west coast of the island. It lies at the top of a slope overlooking Churchton Bay and was once the centre of the Raasay estate. It now operates as a hotel and outdoor centre, first established in 1981 but re-opened following a complete restoration of the building in 2013 by Charles Kennedy (1959 - 2015), the local Member of Parliament. Comprising a seven-bay central block with bay-windowed wings, it dates from 1747-50 but rebuilt c.1790 for James MacLeod of Raasay and altered in 1843 by the new owner, George Rainy (1790 - 1863), using the architect Charles Wilson (1810-63). Rainy had made his fortune through ownership of sugar plantations in the Caribbean. In 1876, Alexander Ross (1834 - 1925) was commissioned by Herbert Wood, another new owner, to extend the house once again and add a service block to the east.

The travellers Samuel Johnson (1709-84) and James Boswell (1740-95) stayed here in 1773. In 1911, the estate was bought by William Baird & Co Ltd, coal and iron masters based in Coatbridge, which extracted iron ore from a mine on the island. This venture was short-lived and the estate was sold to the Board of Agriculture in 1923 and, by 1937 was operating as a hotel which offered deer stalking and fishing. In 1978 the estate was bought by the Highlands and Islands Development Board, who let the then derelict house as an outdoor centre.

In 2007, the house was sold to the community who began a multi-million-pound refurbishment. However a devastating fire and the bankruptcy of the contractors delayed completion until 2013.

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