A potted history
Pat’s family lived here for many years – certainly as far back as her great grandparents. When Kenny, her father, died in 1990, the place was let by her mother, Mary, to Donald Mackenzie who was a long time family friend until we returned here from living and working in London.
Allangrange Park is made up of a number of former 12 acre crofts which had been part of the Mulbuie Common. The crofts were occupied by people who had been driven from their land in areas such as Strathconon to make way for sheep (The Highland Clearances). In years gone by, the common itself had been grazed by crofters’ cattle until a number of large landlords decided to divide the area among themselves. Allangrange Estate at Munlochy was assigned 250 acres which is shown on maps as Muir of Allangrange. In 1920, Pat’s great uncle Tom was living and crofting here and when the estate decided to sell off the crofts in this area, he purchased 42 acres. He built the present farmhouse which was occupied by Kenny, Mary and family since 1950.
Tom died intestate in 1944 and, as per Scots Law, the immediate younger male inherited the farm. This was his nephew, Roderick, the eldest son of Tom’s brother George. Roderick lived in America, however, and had no wish to inherit, particularly as there was a bond in existence for the house and normal operating debts. By various legal procedures Tom’s elder brother Hector (Kenny’s father) assumed responsibility as an Attorney Factor and made over the farm to Kenny who cleared the bond and paid off any monies owing.
More recent developments
When Kenny (Pat’s father) was farming, he also rented several parks from others, including 14 acres or so at Cairnside, Mulbuie. When that land became available we bought it in 1997/8, meaning that the holding now comprises approximately 60 acres of land classified by the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Dept as “less favourable”.
Because Pat’s mother still lived in the original farmhouse, we wanted to build a new house for ourselves but these plans were thwarted by the local planners. As a compromise we extended the original house making, in effect, a “granny flat” in reverse. That solution had many drawbacks, not least the additional costs incurred in building a sizeable extension; a new-build would have been much simpler and cheaper. The greatest loss, however, was the fact that unlike for a new build, we could not reclaim the VAT.
We got off to a bad start because, predictably, the extension was not finished when we flitted and we were forced to live in one room in the old house storing our furniture in old, leaking farm buildings.
It was while we were trying to set out gardens, move fences etc. that we discovered Allan Macmillan, Pat’s cousin. Allan is a gardener and odd-job-man so he and his digger were of great help digging ditches for water pipes, fencing and laying out the garden. The fact that he is an experienced stockman was also a bonus and he often helps when we have cause to handle the cattle for ministry tests etc.