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Torloisk Estate covers over 20,000 acres of north west Mull
Torloisk Estate covers over 20,000 acres of north west Mull
Torloisk Estate covers over 20,000 acres of north west Mull
Torloisk Estate covers over 20,000 acres of north west Mull

Torloisk Estate:

20,000 acres and a wealth of history to explore.

Torloisk Estate in north west Mull covers over 20,000 acres from Ulva Ferry to Calgary and from Loch Tuath to just short of Dervaig. There is an expanse of moorland to explore on foot as well as local marked walks. The Estate has four active farms with sheep and highland cattle. The self-catering properties - Torloisk House, Normann's Ruh and Shepherd's Light are all located on the Estate.

Torloisk Estate covers 20000 acres in north west Mull
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Team Torloisk

The Torloisk Estate team

Natalie Dowling

Bookings and Marketing Manager

I grew up in Bristol and Somerset and have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel, work and live in various different countries and pursue my love of the mountains and all things to do with snow! I met my partner, who is from the Isle of Ulva, in Canada and we now love living on Mull with our two young children.

The Torloisk Estate team

Gemma Thomas &
James Congdon

Housekeeper and Caretaker

We’re originally from Norfolk / Suffolk but decided we wanted to swap the flat fields for the wildlife, lochs and mountains of Mull. We love taking care of Torloisk and meeting such lovely guests from all over the world.

Torloisk - 250 years of history

The original house and later tower addition at Torloisk

Clan Maclean

The Macleans of Torloisk are a senior branch of Clan Maclean. Torloisk House's current owners are direct ancestors and have lived here since the 1500s when the first Maclean of Torloisk (“Allan Nan Sop”) –  a pirate who had a fleet of 7 ships – chopped his wicked stepfather’s head in two on the Black Beach! He was the brother of the Maclean Chief (of Duart) - and also appears in Tales of a Grandfather by Sir Walter Scott (see below).

The original Georgian part of the current house was built in the 1770s by Lachlan Maclean, funded by proceeds from the 18th century kelp industry which saw seaweed gathered, dried and burnt to produce an alkaline product used in various industries.

Royal Highland Emigrants regimental flag at Torloisk House

Royal Highland Emigrants' Colours

General Allan Maclean of Torloisk (1725-1798) was a Jacobite who fought at Culloden before spending 4 years in exile. He is best known for forming the 84th Regiment of Foot - known as the Royal Highland Emigrants - a regiment created to serve in the colonies and which he led in the Battle of Quebec in 1759.  Canadians argue that it was his defence at the later siege of Quebec during the American War of Independence that led to Canada being a separate country from the USA.

Today, a Royal Highland Emigrants regimental flag adorns the wall of Torloisk House, a nod to the fascinating history of the house and clan Maclean.

The grand Sébastien Érard harp at Torloisk

The "accomplished ladies of Torloisk"

"The Voice of Harps, may yet be heard in the Highlands and Western Islands. As a proof, it is well known that the accomplished ladies of Torloisk are admirably skilled in handling the harp". So wrote Alexander Campbell, the dedicated song-collector who toured the Scottish Highlands and Islands in the late summer and early autumn of 1815.

Torloisk's music room is now mainly used as a games room for visiting children but in the 19th century it was the home of a grand Sébastien Érard harp, built in London around 1820. Books of music written by the ladies can still be found at Torloisk House and the harp itself has returned following its recent restoration.

Torloisk House unique self catering holiday accommodation on the Isle of Mull

A wealth of history in every corner

Sir Walter Scott

Novelist and historian Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) was known to be a regular visitor to Torloisk and a close family friend and guardian to the Maclean-Clephane family in the 19th century.

The beautiful beech trees framing the view from Torloisk House towards Gometra were planted under Sir Walter's guidance.

Novelist and historian Sir Walter Scott (1771 - 1832) by Sir Henry Raeburn

Lieutenant Commander Clare Compton Vyner

A son of Torloisk, Clare went to Osborne - The Royal Navy’s Junior College - in 1907 aged 13, before finishing at Dartmouth. In 1914 Clare joined the destroyer HMS Acasta, on which he served at the Battle of Jutland 1916. Jutland was the largest naval battle of the First World War, involving 250 ships and around 100,000 men - 6,784 British sailors lost their lives.  

On his return from Jutland, Clare alighted the boat at Loch Tuath and walked back to Torloisk House.

Battle of Jutland (31 May-1 June 1916)

Captain Alwyne Compton Farquharson MC

Captain Alwyne Compton Farquharson MC, the 16th chief of Clan Farquharson and Chieftain of the Ballater Games for over 70 years, served with the Royal Scots Greys and was awarded the Military Cross in 1945 for his bravery.

Alwyne, who died in 2021 aged 102, grew up at Torloisk and Newby Hall and lived at Invercauld Castle in Aberdeenshire.

Invercauld in Aberdeenshire, image by Alan Findlay. CC BY-SA 2.0