The lands on which Mansfield Castle sits dates from 10th November 1772 and changed hands several times before it passed to George Murray, Merchant, of Tain on 6th October 1801 and from then on became known as Mansfield.
On 15th September 1802 it was transferred to Charles Ross, Esquire and Advocate of Invercharron, who sold it again on 10th February 1803 to Hugh Rose, Esquire of Glastullich.
This Hugh Rose later had his name and title changed to Hugh Ross, Esquire of Cromarty. His youngest daughter, Arabella Rose Ross married a Duncan Davidson, Esquire of Tulloch and when Hugh Ross died in January 1847 the land passed, according to the laws of the land, not to his daughter, but to her husband.
After 105 years in the Ross family, the Mansfield estates were sold, on 8th October 1877, for the sum of £6,000 sterling to Thomas Darling who retained the property until 1889.
Although the title deeds are not completely clear, the building known as Mansfield Castle was constructed about 1875-1880, probably during the ownership of Darling. At that time, the house was the Georgian style building, perfectly symmetrical as seen from between the big trees in the car park. The front door was between the bays.
The house was bought by the Fowler family in early 1890. The family had played a significant role in surrounding Tain and the Highlands, with Mr Fowler becoming Provost of Tain in June 1889, a position he held for 12 years.
In October 1902, Provost and Mrs Fowler undertook a major extension and refurbishment of Mansfield House. The architect was Andrew Maitland, a celebrated local architect who also designed the Glenmorangie Distillery and the Parish Church at the bottom of Scotsburn Road. At this time, the tall tower was added, as were the rooms at the new front of the house - the restaurant and the Haakon Room above. The ornate plaster ceilings and the pitched pine panelling were also installed at that time.
As mentioned earlier, Mr Fowler remained as Provost until 1910, and retired in 1920. He died on 30th July 1930. Mrs Fowler survived him by 8 years, living in the house until her death on 21st February 1938.
Mrs Fowler did not leave Mansfield House on her death - the presence of her ghost is often noticed by staff and guests alike. It must be said that there is no unpleasantness - we feel that she continues to manifest her concern for the building with an increase in activity at times when we are making changes, which then subsides when the alterations are clear and perhaps to her, satisfactory.
At the time of Mrs Fowler's death, the estate was still more or less intact, retaining 99% of the approximately 60 acres first recorded in 1772.
Mansfield Castle Hotel
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