The house from a 1922 postcard
Barrie was inspired to write his 1920 play "Mary Rose" after a 1912 stay at Amhuinnsuidhe
Built / Designed For: 7th Earl of Dunmore
House & Family History: Originally named Fincastle, the house was built in the Scottish baronial style (made popular by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s Balmoral Castle) for the 7th Earl of Dunmore, whose grandfather, the 5th Earl, had purchased the island in 1834. Lord Dunmore only lived here for a few years before financial reverses brought the castle into the ownership of Sir Edward Scott, 5th Bt., whose family owned Amhuinnsuidhe (“sitting on the river” in Gaelic) until the 1940s. The house is supposedly haunted by the friendly ghost of Lady Sophie Scott (wife of Sir Samuel Scott, 6th Bt.), who died in 1937 and is buried behind the castle. During a 1912 stay at Amhuinnsuidhe the playwright J.M. Barrie (most famous for his 1904 play “Peter Pan”) began to gather the bits and pieces of what would ultimately become his 1920 play “Mary Rose.” While at Amhuinnsuidhe, Barrie visited nearby Loch Voshimid, which inspired him to conceive of a small, magical island named Mary Rose. A native Scotsman, Barrie was influenced in the creation of this fictional island by the Celtic legends of fairies and Tír na nÓg, the Celtic Otherworld—a paradise of everlasting youth, health, and joy. The play premiered in London in April of 1920 at the Haymarket Theatre and was produced in New York later that year. Perhaps, not surprisingly, considering its mysterious subject matter, Alfred Hitchcock wanted to film a movie version of the play, but could never convince a Hollywood studio to finance the project.
Garden & Outbuildings: The house, positioned on the shores of Loch Leosavay, is set within an estate of 50,000 acres, most of which is today owned by the North Harris Trust. Known for its fishing and field sports, Amhuinnsuidhe is considered one of the finest sporting estates in Scotland.
House Listed: Category A
Park Listed: Not Listed
Past Seat / Home of: Charles Adolphus Murray, 7th Earl of Dunmore, 1866-68. Sir Edward Henry Scott, 5th Bt., 1868-83; Sir Samuel Edward Scott, 6th Bt., 1883-1919. William Hesketh Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme, 1919-25. Sir Samuel Edward Scott, 6th Bt., 1925-43. Bulmer family, until 2003.
Current Ownership Type: Corporation
Primary Current Ownership Use: Luxury Accommodation / Exclusive Use