Ever since Gwynne and I moved into this house some 5 years ago, and started to take an interest in the ruin in the garden – actually the ruin was one of the reasons we bought the house! – I have wanted to try to find out more about its history.
First of all I did a lot of “Googling” of Roseisle, College of Roseisle, Roseislehaugh, Rosehaugh etc etc and I did manage to get the odd snippet of information, the odd name or two of people who lived or farmed on this land, from online copies of old documents or pages of old books. Then I borrowed a series of old books on local history from our local library in Burghead and extracted more snippets of information. All these snippets were filed away for future use but they were all disjointed and quite random.
Then I heard about the Local Heritage Centre based in the Elgin Library, and after repeatedly putting it off I thought I’d have a look there. Well, what a revelation that place was! I can not recommend it more highly to anyone wanting to find out more about the history of Moray! The volume of information they have is astonishing and the staff are so hugely helpful and they go way out of their way to guide you and suggest possible new leads – thank you so much!
I spent a number of fascinating afternoons looking through old documents relating to the ownership of the building and looking through microfiched documents relating to For Sale advertisements for the property. I must admit though, when the first of the old legal documents was placed before me and I realised that it was written in Latin (as they were in those days, we’re talking the 1700s here) I had this sudden regret that my schoolboy pride in being bottom of the bottom set in Latin in my school was somewhat misplaced! Luckily I could understand enough words to get some information out of it.
The next time I went I was presented with a huge pile of old documents which I manfully waded through – most being written in “Old Scottish English” which once you get attuned to it is perfectly understandable.
Next time I will get more into the precise history of the property but until then I will append the wording of an old newspaper advert from 1844 when the then owner, Archibald McPherson, tried to sell it on the open market.
“Heritable Property For Sale by Private Bargain.
Roseislehaugh, situate in the parish of Duffus, within 6 miles of Elgin, and two of Burghead, and measuring 34 Imperial Acres or thereby, with several Acres of Moss Land, and the privilege of the large Commonly adjoining, to which there is attached both a right of Sea-ware and Salmon Fishing on the coast adjacent. The land is of the best quality, in good order, and always yields superior crops.
The Dwelling House on the property consists of two Public Rooms, three Bed-Rooms, Store Room, Kitchen, Scullery, Washing-House, Dairy and other conveniences; an excellent Garden, walled in, and surrounded with Trees and Shrubbery. There is also a substantial and commodious Square of Offices, with an ample supply of water.
The situation is delightful, and the property is, in every respect, calculated to afford a most desirable residence, as well as an eligible investment for money.
Entry both to the House and Lands may be had at Martinmas next; and the Household Furniture and Farm Stocking, if desired, will be given over on valuation.
For further particulars, application to be made to the Proprietor, Archibald McPherson, Roseislehaugh, by Elgin.
N.B. Should the Property not be sold on or before the 2nd September next, it will be Let, to a suitable Tenant, for such term of years as may be agreed upon with entry at Martinmas; and offers will be received by the Proprietor, till 16th September.
Roseislehaugh, 27th June 1844.”
The property wasn’t sold then as another almost identical advert appeared 5 years later.
To be continued…………
If you are interested in local history you may like to get hold of a couple of novels written by a local author, Willie Wilson. Available through Amazon, these are, “By A Dark Stream” and “A Turbulent Spring”, books 1 and 2 of the series “Dark Water.
Both are set in our part of Moray, the former book set just after WW2 and the latter set a few years later and with a parallel story set in 1722. Although both novels are fiction, they really bring the history of this part of Moray to life and it is fascinating identifying the locations where various events occur. Gripping stories and both a great read!