is a country house in Kennethmont, Aberdeenshire
Aberdeenshire is one of the 32 unitary council areas in Scotland and a lieutenancy area.The present day Aberdeenshire council area does not include the City of Aberdeen, now a separate council area, from which its name derives. Together, the modern council area and the city formed historic...
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...
. Built in 1650, on the site of the medieval Peill Castle, and run by the National Trust of Scotland since 1945, Leith Hall is set in a 286 acres (1.2 km²) estate with scenic gardens. The manor was the home of the Leith-Hay family for nearly four centuries.
Extensions were added to Leith Hall in 1738, 1810 and in 1904. In 1745, Andrew Hay of Rannes hid at Leith Hall after the Battle of Culloden
The Battle of Culloden was the final confrontation of the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Taking place on 16 April 1746, the battle pitted the Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart against an army commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, loyal to the British government...
where he fought for Bonnie Prince Charlie, later escaping to France.
During the First World War it became a temporary Red Cross hospital and housed over 500 patients.
The house contains fine china, family portraits and tapestries and some interesting clocks. The hall is noted for its gardens, set in stages with each sheltered by a wall or hedge and each with its own special character. The gardens contain flowering trees and shrubs, roses, fruit, vegetables and ornamental grasses. A little stream winds its way through the gravel paths and stone crevices and at the top of the garden, near the 18th century curved stables, is the circular "Moon Gate" leading to the old turnpike road, once the main thoroughfare to Aberdeen. There are also two nature trails, each about one and a half to two miles (3 km) long. The gardens also contain two ponds and a birdwatching site.
The hall is reportedly haunted, and has been subject to an investigation by Most Haunted
Most Haunted is a British paranormal documentary reality television series. The series was first shown on 25 May 2002 and ended on 21 July 2010. It was broadcast on Living and presented by Yvette Fielding. The programme was based on investigating purported paranormal activity...
. This ghost is believed to be Laird John Leith III who was killed on Christmas Day in 1763 in Aberdeen at Archie Campbell's Tavern in the Castlegate during a drunken brawl in which he was shot in the head, after he reacted angrily to a fellow diner who accused him of adulterating the grain sold from Leith Hall. The ghost of John is said to appear in great pain with a dirty white bandage over his head and covering his eyes, wearing dark green trousers and a shirt. In 1968, one guest awoke during the night to see John in highland dress, his head covered in bloody bandages, standing at the foot of the bed. Other apparitions have also been sighted. Several writers who've stayed at the manor have reported seeing paranormal phenomenon. Elizabeth Byrd wrote about her experiences in her book A Strange and Seeing Time
and describes the time that she rented the East Wing of Leith Hall with her husband in 1986. Alanna Knight has also written about her ghostly encounters at Leith Hall.
The gardens and grounds are open to the public, but the house is closed. Following some internal alterations by NTS Leith Halll is due to re-open in 2012.
- Alexander Leith Hay
Alexander Leith Hay [formerly Alexander Leith] , was a British army officer.-Life:Hay was born in Aberdeen on 21 December 1758, the second son of John Leith of Leith Hall, Aberdeenshire and his wife, Harriet Alexander Leith Hay [formerly Alexander Leith] (1758–1838), was a British army...