Sir Alexander MacRobert purchased the Burnside Estate (now known as Douneside House) as a holiday home for his family in 1888. During the early 1900s, the MacRobert family added extra rooms and a tower, transforming the property into the spectacular country house and gardens which are to be admired today.
Sir Alexander and Lady MacRobert had three sons, all of whom died under tragic circumstances. The eldest, Sir Alasdair, was killed in pre-war times during an aviation accident in Luton. His younger brothers were both commissioned in the Royal Air Force, Sir Roderic as a pilot and Sir Ian as a pilot officer. Both of them were killed within six weeks of each other during the Second World War. The MacRobert family were well known locally as significant philanthropists, which is why, following her sons’ deaths, Lady MacRobert decided to set up a charitable trust in their honour.
Today, Douneside House is owned and run by the MacRobert Trust in memory of Lady MacRobert, who wished for the House to remain a place of tranquillity and peace. The Douneside team works tirelessly to uphold the values of the MacRobert Trust, to ensure that all guests who visit, dine or stay at the property experience the magic of the House that Lady MacRobert loved and cherished. All surplus profits generated at Douneside are either re-invested into the Estate, or donated to charitable causes.
You can delve further into the history of Douneside House and the MacRoberts thanks to several books written about the family - a selection of which are listed below:
The MacRobert Trusts 1943-1993, by Wing Commander A.C Gunn (foreword by HRH Prince Philip)
From Cawnpore to Cromar, The MacRoberts of Douneside, by Marion Miller