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Burgie Estate

Burgie Estate

The Medieval Burgie Castle was once a stronghold of the Dunbar Clan and records date back to about 1600. According to one historian, the ground within the castle walls was even selected by the monks of Kinloss Abbey for their orchard.

castle-from-west

It is thought that circa 1800 the middle part of the current house was built as a “cubical block” using the stone from the then ruined castle. In 1912 Alexander Thomson entirely recast the building, extending the wings and covering the whole structure with a new roof. The old porch was removed and re-erected near the castle where it still remains today as a folly. In 1934 the house was modernised and enlarged once more with its appearance remaining the same to this day.

Burgie is currently owned by Hamish Lochore and came into the ownership of his family in 1902 when his great-grandfather – a gentleman by the name of Alexander Thomson became a tenant and subsequently, in 1911 purchased approximately 3,000 acres including Burgie House and 25 other houses and cottages for GBP 25,000.

Alexander Thomson died in 1925 having retired from a career as a tea planter in Ceylon where he lived with his family including a son Ian and daughter Jean. Ian came back to Moray and began his life as laird of Burgie following active service in The Seaforth Highlanders during both the 1st and 2nd world wars, where he achieved the rank of Brigadier. Meanwhile his sister Jean married a prominent civil servant by the name of James Lochore who was subsequently knighted for public service in Ceylon. Having never married himself, Ian had intended to make his nephew, John Lochore (eldest son of his sister Jean) the heir to Burgie. However before this would be to happen, John himself was to be tragically killed in France, near Caen, on 30th June 1944 whilst serving with The Seaforth Highlanders. His widow Bodgen Lochore then brought their 2 children, Hamish and Fiona to live at Burgie shortly after the war where she lived in a house on the estate until her death in 2010.

The line of inheritance therefore skipped a generation with Hamish Lochore inheriting the now slightly smaller 1500 acre Burgie estate directly from his great uncle Ian Thomson upon his death in 1966. Having married Polly (nee Hely Hutchinson) in 1970, Hamish left an army career in The Royal Scots Greys in 1973, at which time he and Polly together with their young son Alec (born 1971) moved to Burgie, where they would subsequently have two further children – Hugh (1974) and Clare (1977).

The whole family still remain very involved with the various aspects of Burgie despite living remotely. Oldest son Alec and his wife Emily (nee Thompson) currently live in Norfolk with their two sons Rafe and Hector. Hugh and his wife Brooke (nee Shelfer) and their two children Miles and Cole live just outside Atlanta, Georgia.  Clare, the youngest, was married to Guy Spurway in October 2011, with the reception held at Burgie House, Clare is geographically the closest to Burgie, living just outside Dunblane with their son Jasper and daughter Tassia.