Kinblethmont is a historic site and can trace its human habitation back to the early iron age. It is believed to have been the hunting seat of William the Lion and gets its name from ‘King’s blyth mount’ or Kings beautiful hill.
Below are some details of the history of the estate but do please get in touch if you have anything to add!
The bottom right of the Kinblethmont stone shows a ‘cup and ring’ symbol carved in the style of the Egyptian sun god and is dated as very early druid or bronze age. It is possible that it is connected to the ancient festival of Beltaine.
The Kinblethmont stone found on the estate in 1957 shows the presence of a Pictish settlement. The stone would have originally stood at the top of Kinblethmont hill where it would have been visible for miles in every direction. There is a very similar stone in the McManus museum in Dundee – the meaning of the signs are yet to be discovered. The stone lives in Kinblethmont house and you can see it by arrangement.
According to Irish annalists, in the battle for the Pictish Kingship between Fergus and Drostan, Drostan’ was slain on ‘the rising ground of Kinblethmont’
The first know owner of Kinblethmont was Richard de Malville. There are records of him granting the knights templar chapel of St Lawrence at Kinblethmont to what later became Arbroath Abbey. There have been strong links with the abbey since and there is rumoured to be a tunnel linking the two – we haven’t found it yet!
King David is recorded to have ‘enjoyed a perambulation’ from Aberbrothock (Arbroath) to the marches of Kinblethmont.
This was in fact was a private letter to Pope John, which was endorsed by 39 of the most-powerful Scottish barons and earls, who supported Bruce as king.
They were appealing for help to end the wars of independence with England which had been going on for decades.
It is probably best know for its stirring words ‘It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom, for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.’
You can find out a lot more about this at Arbroath Abbey where the document was signed.
The battle of Arbroath was between the Ogilvies and the Lindsays including the Lindays of Kinblethmont (Earls of Crawford). Stemming from a rivalry over the role of ‘chief justicar’ at Arbroath Abbey, it left hundreds of dead and started a feud between the clans lasting 150 years. The feud resulted in a curse that no male heir would be born at Kinblethmont which appears to have held true.
‘Old Kinblethmont’ dates from the 16th century. Remains can still be seen in the woodlands opposite Kinblethmont Coach House.
There are records of Kinblethmont having been sold to Sir Peter Young of Seaton. Born and educated in Dundee, he became the childhood tutor of the young James VI . After a long and distinguished career in court and diplomatic life he came back to Angus to die and is buried in St Vigeans
King James VIth granted the title of Lord Spynie to Alexander Lindsay of Kinblethmont.
On 1 May 1707,the Scottish Parliament and the English Parliament united to form the Parliament of Great Britain.
In Sir Walter Scott’s historical novel ‘The Antiquary’ set around Angus and Arbroath a passing reference is made to ‘Kinblythmont’. What is unusual is that other places were renamed (Arbroath is named as Fairport for instance). Could Sir Walter have visited Kinblethmont while researching his novel and mentioned it as a compliment to his hosts?
New Kinblethmont was built by Lindseys at a new site about 100 feet away from old Kinblethmont. This suffered a catastrophic fire shortly afterwards and was rebuilt in 1887 to give the building you see today – you can see the Lindsay crest above the front door.
The curse of Kinblethmont strikes again and the estate is left with no direct male heir. It thus fell to a cousin Robert Ottowell Ramsay to return from Australia where his family settled in the mid 19th century to become heir to the Kinblethmont estate.
He went on to have 5 children – it was not until the 4th was born, not on the estate but in Dundee that the curse was broken and a male heir was born. He, Robert is now retired and lives at the home farm. His son, also Robert runs the farm and estate with his wife Jessica and brother Jonathan.
Robert Ramsay junior sets up Soilessentials Ltd with his business partners and starts using precision farming techniques on the farm
The holiday accommodation business starts with the old buildings next to Kinblethmont House refurbished to form ‘The Chauffeur’s cottage and Studio’ and some lets being taken for Kinblethmont House. The West Lodge – the old forresters house – is added in 2008
We invest in bioboilers to dry grain by burning surplus straw and waste tattie boxes, a small windmill next to the farm and solar panels on our shed roofs.
With the help of an EU grant we turn the derelict old Coach house into the Coach House and Stables and add a woodchip bioboiler to heat the cottages and Kinblethmont House. The walled garden is tidied up and turned into a popular amenity for our holiday cottage guests.