Bonnie Prince Charlie’s love nest is set for tours

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While thousands of heavily-armed clansmen were tramping across the moors to wage war on the Hanoverian army at Falkirk their leader - said to be ill - was pursuing a romance at Bannockburn House.

Nearby some of his best troops were involved in the farcical siege of Stirling Castle, and unable to take part in the Jacobites’ last victory - the Second Battle of Falkirk.

Community-owned historic Bannockburn House is now running pre-booked tours, giving visitors the chance to discover its fascinating history.

The A-listed 17th century mansion is set in a 26-acre estate, and has a history that includes everything from medieval battles to the complex love life of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

Alan Marshall, chairman of the Bannockburn House Trust, said: “We have over 100 volunteers working together to put our heritage back into the heart of the Bannockburn community.

“We’re thrilled that our enthusiasm is contagious, and visitors have been delighted to discover this hidden gem.

Portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

Portrait of Prince Charles Edward Stuart.

“All the funds raised from the tours will be used to restore Bannockburn House and its gardens to their former glory as it becomes a centre for community activities and a visitor attraction.”

The original part of the house was completed around 1675 by Sir Hugh Paterson, although it is believed it may be built on an earlier building called Drummonds’ Hall.

Sir John Drummond was granted the Barony of Bannockburn in 1567 by Mary Queen of Scots, and his grandson built Drummonds’ Hall.

The lands of Bannockburn then came into the hands of the Rollo family in 1636, and in 1651 King Charles II granted the Baronetcy to Sir Andrew Rollo - who had supported Charles I during the First British Civil war.

Portrait of Clementina Walkinshaw by Allan Ramsay - the seeds of an ultimately doomed relationship with Bonnie Prince Charlie were sown at Bannockburn House during thr '45 Rising.

Portrait of Clementina Walkinshaw by Allan Ramsay - the seeds of an ultimately doomed relationship with Bonnie Prince Charlie were sown at Bannockburn House during thr '45 Rising.

During the 1745 Rising Bonnie Prince Charle was reportedly nursed by Clementina Walkinshaw during an illness, and the pair were later to be heavily romantically involved.

Special features of the house include the Laigh Hall and Blue Room ceilings, reputed to be the work of Houlbert and Dunsterfield,two highly skilled craftsmen commissioned by Charles II to produce ornate ceilings in Holyrood Palace.

For details of how to book a tour, visit https://www.bannockburnhouse.scot/bannockburn-house-events/