Blelack House , once part of the current estate, belonged to the Gordon Clan in the 1700’s. On the estate there was a hollow known as “the Seely Howe” – the Hollow of the Fairy Court. The fairies lived here and were perfectly contented and friendly. However, just before setting off to fight at Culloden in 1745 one of the Gordon Clan, Charles Gordon decided, for reasons unknown, that he had had enough of his fairy neighbours and demanded that the local wizard or Fairy Doctor, John Farquharson rid them from the Seely Howe. John using his wizardry cast a spell to get the fairies to leave. The fairies were understandably incensed and refused to leave as Farquharson had failed to find them somewhere else to live. Farquharson then commanded the fairies to flit to the Hill o’ Fare, near Torphins, just under 20 miles away. The evicted fairies hated their cold new home and so cast a spell on both Farqharson and Charles Gordon.
The spell on Farquharson;
Now we maun awa’ to the cauld Hill o’Fare,
Or it will be mornin’ e’er we get there;
But though girse and corn should grow in the air, John Farquharson and his
folk shall thrive nae mair
The spell on Charles Gordon;
Dool, dool to Blelack, And dool to Blelack’s heir
For drivin’ us frae the Seeley Howe
To the cauld Hill o’ fare!
John Farquharson allegedly suffered bad luck from the day he evicted the fairies from Logie Coldstone. Blelack fared no better as the estate was ravaged by the Hanoverian troops and the house burnt. Charles Gordon only returned to Blelack for one year, after living in hiding for his part in the Jacobite Rebellion, before he died.
Today we of course know better than to mess with the fairies and are at pains on the estate to stay on good terms with them – we’ve even built fairy houses on the estate to encourage them back!
Its a matter of record that Queen Victoria fell deeply in love with all at would become known as Royal Deeside. “All seemed to breathe freedom and peace…” she wrote. It’s a sentiment that echoes through the years and still rings true today. Royal Deeside is home to the incredible Balmoral Castle Estate, autumn home to the Royal Family and only 25 minutes drive from Cairngorm Lodges. The Blelack Estate where the lodges are located can be traced back to before the 1500s. An estate occupant in 1820 was Mr Andrew Robertson, the only medical man in the Deeside area at the time. In 1852 he gave medicine up because he was appointed Commissioner of Balmoral, a post he held for 28 years.
Here’s where it gets interesting; in 1865 he moved back to Blelack and built a house there called Hopewell. When he retired in 1875 he hired a servant who went on to become quite famous in royal history, immortalised by Billy Connolly’s portrayal in the film ‘Mrs Brown’.
Yes that’s right, Robertson recommended his servant, John Brown, to Queen Victoria for her stays at Balmoral Castle. History tells us, although it has never been confirmed, that Brown went on to become a very close friend of Queen Victoria. Brown is buried in a graveyard at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral, a short distance from Blelack.