The Lanrick Estate lies on the south bank of the River Teith between Doune and Callander The estate was formerly part of the great Earldom of Menteith and it subsequently became the seat of the Haldane family. In the 18th century the estate was forfeited to the Crown as a result of the Haldanes supporting the Jacobite cause. It was later sold (twice), ending up with Sir John Murray MacGregor, 18th Chief of Clan Gregor. Today the estate is run by the Dickson family, looking after 1500 acres of farmland and forestry. They also offer luxury tree houses for rent, holiday cottages, longer term lets and weddings. For details.
Lanrick House was a large country house on the estate, It was probably built around 1790, and battlements and turrets were later added, after which it was known as Lanrick Castle. Further alterations were made in the later 1800’s, and in 1900. In recent times it was still sometimes referred to locally as Clan Gregor Castle or Castle Gregor, although the MacGregor Chieftains now live elsewhere.
In April 1994 the castle was gutted by fire and lost its roof. In February 2002 the remaining structure was demolished.
The Lanrick Estate holds one of the most unusual monuments in Scotland, commonly referred to as the MacGregor Monument. It is situated in woodland and despite its height (see below) the structure is not easily visible because of the surrounding trees.
As far as is known, the monument was constructed between 1800 and 1825 although the reasons remain somewhat obscure. It may commemorate the history of the Chief’s family, the lopped off branches and scars on the trunk of the ‘tree’ signifying those members of the family who perished during the turbulent years of the Clan’s history. This was especially the case following the imposition of the harsh penal laws which were passed against Clan Gregor in the 16th and 17th centuries, including the proscription of the name MacGregor and its derivatives. These laws were not finally repealed until 1774 and it may be that the Monument was built as a belated celebration.
The majority of the monument is in the form of the bole of a large oak – the plant emblem which features in the Arms of the Chiefs of Clan Gregor. The Monument is around 18m high, rising from a base approximately 6m in diameter, and it is constructed of quarried blocks of red sandstone.
The first 9m in height is in the shape of a tree trunk with branch stumps and scars. At the top of this section is a massive crown of pyramidal stone points each more than 0.9m in long and bending outwards. Within this are three vertical pillars, each about 4.5m in height, supporting a circular dish or platform. Originally, there was also a central pillar, but this has fallen and now lies in pieces at the base of the Monument.
On the platform above the pillars are three short ornamental pieces, each capped by a flame-shape. A central pillar rises a further 4.5 m from the platform, and used to be topped by an acorn-shaped top-piece which has now broken off.
Photograph courtesy of HoleOusia.com