At the start of the World War II, the house was requisitioned for military use and became the Officers' Mess for the Cameron Highlanders and in 1940/41 became the headquarters of the Norwegian Brigade in the U.K.
Their operative role involved the defence of the county of Ross & Cromarty, a land area of about 100km in length and 60km in breadth, and with a coastline of about 200km. There were a lot of very important sites in the area, such as the flying-boat station at Invergordon, three airfields, a coastal defense fortress, a strategically important railway bridge and two possible invasion sites on the coast. All these places were widely spread in the district.
Ross & Cromarty was naturally not the most likely place for an enemy landing in Britain, as the coastlines further south, closer to the industrial centre were more directly in the firing line, but the area had the great advantage that it gave the Norwegian Brigade outstanding possibilities for many types of exercises in guard and security duties.
The most important were on the 15th July 1941 when the brigade counter-attacked against airborne forces (paratroops) which had captured the airfield at Fendom and on the 23-25th July when the brigade counter-attacked an enemy landing from the sea in the Shandwick area. This exercise was observed by His Majesty King Haakon of Norway and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Olav, accompanied by General Fleischer, the Norwegian Commander, the head of Scottish Command, General Sir Andrew Thorne and the Chief of the Sutherland Area, Major≠General Sir John Carrington. After the exercise, His Majesty inspected the Brigade and took the salute at a march-past in his honour. King Haakon, who hosted an official lunch here on July 21st 1941 stayed at Mansfield Castle.
In 1945, Mansfield House became the home of the officers and men of the Polish brigade.
After the war, the house was returned to William Fowler, in remarkably fine condition considering its six years of occupation. Fowler began to divide up the estate, and, in 1947 sold 3.325 acres of land and "the mansion house known as Mansfield House" to Peter Malloch McDougall, Hotelkeeper, of Aberfeldy, for the sum of £6,000 - coincidentally the same amount as the entire estate was sold for in 1877.
McDougall operated the hotel until May 1956. It changed hands nine times over the next 35 years, generally being operated as a hotel.
The Mansfield Castle is now a superb hotel, sumptuously refurbished to the exceptionally high standards of its sister hotel The Morangie House Hotel which is also located in Tain.
Mansfield Castle Hotel
Telephone 01862 892052
Fax 01862 892260