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History of the Estate

The mansion house or “big hoose” was built by the Third Earl of Breadalbane in 1754.  The Earl was an incredibly wealthy man and Auchlyne House would have been one of his many hunting lodges. He may not have frequented it often, as he owned a strip of Scotland from the east coast to the west and was probably a very busy man.  What we nowadays call Breadalbane does not stretch this far, but is nonetheless a diverse area in terms of heritage and cultural, wildlife and landscape.


Various families have been connected with the house and estate over the years.  In 1847, the Grenville family, Dukes of Buckingham, leased the house and commissioned a household inventory and valuation in 1847, which is retained by the National Archives of Scotland.  There is reference to Auchlyne in an item in a catalogue of 1848, which details the receipt by the Dukes of Buckingham and Chandos, under the title "Marquis of Chandos", of a powder flask and shot-belt from some "obliged friends" in August 1847, no doubt after a days grouse shooting on or after the Glorious Twelfth.  These dates suggest that the 1847 inventory and valuation was in preparation for the 1848 sale.  The sale was necessary due to the combined extravagances and follies of the first and second Dukes.

Auchlyne House was rented in 1858 from the Earl of Breadalbane by Maharajah Duleep Singh, reputed to be the first Indian prince to visit Scotland.  His father was Ranjit Singh, the legendary Lion of the Punjab, who ruled the Sikh kingdom in India.  

He took Auchlyne from Lord Breadalbane when his lease of Castle Menzies expired, but in 1860 moved to England.  He was known for a lavish lifestyle, shooting parties, and a love of dressing in highland costume and soon had the nickname "the Black Prince of Perthshire".

​Duleep Singh was a founding member of the Old Hawking Society (now the The British Falconers’ Club) in 1870 and it is possible that he used Auchlyne to enjoy his love of falconry.

The mansion house on the Breadalbane Estate was rented by Mr John M. Crabbie, of Crabbie's Green Ginger fame, in 1888.

It was rented later, in 1893, by John Crabbie's son, Captain Crabbe. The discrepancy in the surnames arose because Captain Crabbe had to change his name after being blackballed from the New Club in Edinburgh because his family were in trade.  

John Gordon Crabbe (the tall kilted gentleman in the photo to the right) bought Auchlyne estate in 1939 and Suie Estate in November 1942. His descendants have lived there ever since.

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