Ardlamont Estate is steeped in history, some of it bloody but all of it fascinating. Ardlamont House became the ancestral home of the Lamont Clan (one of Scotland’s oldest clans) following the Toward Massacre in 1646, when 200 Lamonts were slaughtered despite having been given assurances of safe-conduct by their arch-enemies the Campbells.
In 1893 Ardlamont Estate became infamous in a murder trial which gripped the nation. A wealthy young aristocrat Cecil Hambrough died while out shooting with his tutor, Alfred George Monson, who it later emerged had persuaded Hambrough to take out life insurance policies for £2,000 in favour of Monson’s wife just days before his death. One of the witnesses at the trial was Dr Joseph Bell, the eminent Edinburgh surgeon and forensic scientist who became the prototype for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Despite Bell’s evidence Monson was acquitted on a ‘not proven’ verdict and later went onto sue Madam Tussauds for erecting an effigy of him at the entrance of their Chamber of Horrors. Thankfully now the nearest the Estate comes to some of the more chilling episodes in its history is to stage Murder Mystery Weekends.
Nowadays Ardlamont is the epitome of elegant living, peace and tranquility.