The Drummonds of Blair Drummond
In 1632, George Drummond was born in Blair, Stormount, in Blairgowrie Parish. He was the sixth Laird of Blair and sold Blair in 1682. In 1684, he bought the lands of Kincardine in Menteith from the Earl of Perth. This was erected in the Barony of Blair Drummond and in 1714 he acquired more land. This was beginning of Blair Drummond Estate as we now know it.
One of the main features of Blair Drummond is its mansion house. The current mansion house, however, was not the original building. Around 1715, George Drummond began building the original mansion house. This house, however, was pulled down and it was entirely rebuilt by James Campbell Walker by 1872.
The biggest transformation to the estate, however, happened when Agatha Drummond married Lord Henry Home Kames. Agatha inherited the estate in 1766 from the second laird of Blair Drummond, James.
Blair Drummond estate included the area known as the ‘Moss’ situated in the Carse to the west of Stirling. The area is extraordinarily flat and was primarily bog. There was doubt that that it could ever be used as farmland. Lord Kames, however, was a keen farmer, and created an ambitious drainage programme to remove the bogs from the estate.
The drainage programme required large areas of peat bog to be cleared. A waterwheel and drainage channel were built that took water from River Teith and floated the unwanted peat away. In order for the programme to succeed, affordable leases were offered on the land, and the first tenant moved into the area in 1768.
More tenants moved into the area and a census of the population of the Moss occurred in 1811. The scheme continued until 1865. The work carried out had silted up the Forth at Stirling and prevented ships from entering the area. The programme, however, resulted in the one of the most fertile farmlands in the area.