Muckrach Lodge was built as a shooting lodge for the Seafield Estate in 1860. It is built of local granite stone under a slate roof.
Muckrach became an hotel in the early 1960s, and has had several owners. It is currently owned by Muckrach Limited. Directors Andy Picheta and Rebecca Ferrand live on the premises.
There are ten bedrooms in the main house and two suites in the Steading. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms. It was a Victorian fashion in Scotland to plant a Wellingtonia, or Giant Secquoia, at the time of building houses such as these, so we are now blessed with this amazing and ancient tree in the car park.
The grounds of 10 acres are a haven for flora and fauna. We have a number of native trees including beech, oak and birch. There are ornamental trees such as horse chestnut and rhododendron. Daffodils are everywhere in the spring, and lupins, irises and columbine adorn the beds during the summer. The beds by the north wall yield rhubarb, redcurrants, gooseberries and black currants. Mint, lovage, thyme and chives are just a few of the many herbs available to us and all the edible products of the grounds are regularly used by the kitchen.
Much of the richness of local bird life can be seen in our grounds. Buzzards, herons, ospreys and sparrow hawks have all been seen. In the late spring and early summer oystercatchers breed on our pond, and our semi domesticated ducks have been a feature of the hotel for a number of years. Capercaillies have also been spotted in the rough ground on the way up to the castle. Other birds such as sparrows, many varieties of finch and tit are also common, especially in the early summer. Jackdaws and crows also abound, although we're less pleased with the presence of these species of corvid.
Muckrach is home to at least three established colonies of bats. Together with Scottish Heritage Bat Department we are currently engaged in a rehousing programme for one colony that lives deep within the central chimney. Other colonies are in the eaves and roof spaces. You may see them feeding on the wing at dusk. They are most welcome permanent residents here because they eat midges.
Our biggest animal by far is Archie our highland cow. He's about twelve years old and has the biggest horns in the area. Until early June he was one of a pair with his companion Angus, but Angus had to be put down after contracting throat cancer, so Archie is now alone and a little bit sad. We are actively seeking a replacement. Although the fence is flimsy, Archie has never shown any interest in stepping outside of his four acres of Muckrach.
Amenities outside include a full size croquet lawn which, for added interest, has not been flattened but utilizes the bumps and curves of the ground. This is of course in blatant violation of the official rules. Mallets are available from the umbrella stand in the hall and there is a printed set of rules in the sideboard. These are for garden croquet which is a simplified version of the full competition game.
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