by Alasdair MacPherson 26th February 2008
Bannockburn House is one of the most significant and historical buildings in Bannockburn. The exact date of its erection is not known, but two of the ceilings can be ascribed to about the year 1680 and this suggests that the house may have been built by Hugh Paterson soon after he acquired the property, although the strap-worked pediments of the dormer windows are a generation earlier in style. It was considerably enlarged at the end of the 19th century. The house is currently owned by Peter Drake but is unfortunately in a very poor state of repair generally.
It is one of the most striking houses in our locality and it is steeped in Scottish history. In 1745 Prince Charles Edward Stewart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) on his march to the south, spent a night at Bannockburn House; and in January 1746, when on his return to the north, he made that house his headquarters. While lodging there he was shot at, and the mark made by the bullet is still shown in one of the rooms. On the morning of the 17th January he drew up his army on Plean Moor preparatory to their march to the battlefield of Falkirk; and -on the 1st of February, just as the retreat northward was begun before the approaching forces of the Duke of Cumberland, the parish church, which had been used by the Highland army as a powder magazine, was blown up, whether purposely or accidentally is not known.
The building has been on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland since 1990. This building has massive potential. Stirling Council should look sympathetically at any proposed development which will preserve this fantastic building for another 400 years.
14th May 2009: New information on Bannockburn House esate grounds ha-ha ditch.