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History of Aros Park
Tobermory Isle of Mull

INTO THE 20th Cent.

Changes in the Nineteenth Century
In 1846 Aros passed to David Nairn of Drumkilbo- the year previous (1845) he had purchased the adjoining Tobermory Estate from the British Fisheries Society for £5000.  He then combined them to become the Estate of Aros and Tobermory.  He seems to have acquired them as an investment only, and they were soon sold on.
 1850, and Alexander Crawford from Edinburgh acquired the Estate - he died a few years later, and it was then sold by his heir.
 1856: the Estate was bought by Farquhar Campbell Esq., formerly a captain in the 42nd Reg. (the Black Watch).  He did not make many changes to  the Estate, but seems to have kept it in good order; however, he seems to have had some financial difficulties, and many legal battles with the local crofters and cottars.  It would appear from the Description And Particulars of The Aros Estate, as advertised for sale from Farquhar Campbell, that he had the saw mill built just prior to offering to sell the estate.The Saw Mill

 To quote from the said document:-

The grounds or park in which the Mansion house is situated has a frontage to the sea of about 3¼ miles, and is substantially fenced on the land side by a stone wall, coped with two wires and iron standards.  These grounds, which are beautifully wooded, are in extent about 600 acres. The woods were mostly planted in 1825-26, and consist of all the usual varieties of hard wood and pines; they are very thriving, and of considerable value.  There is a large extent of natural, and some planted wood on other parts of the estate. The cover-shooting is good, particularly black-game and woodcock, of which latter many breed and remain all year.  There is a Heronry in the woods, about 1½ miles from the house.
There is a new and powerful Saw-mill with water-power close to the private pier.  The garden, which is large, is very productive and early.The Saw Mill side view

The Particulars of Sale in 1873 specified that Bryce Allan the Liverpool shipping magnate should have life rent of the Aros Estate.  He purchased the estate on the 15th May 1874, and paid £98,000. The boundaries of the estate included the western half of Tobermory. Alexander, his son, inherited the estate at the age of 29, his father having died just 2 months after the purchase.  He gave up the shipping business and devoted the rest of his life to running the estate.  Alexander Allan was instrumental in the movement to have Tobermory created a Burgh and was elected as the first Provost of the Burgh, a position he held for 47 years.  He gifted Aros Hall, a two storey building in the main street containing a library, reading and committee rooms and a hall to seat 300, to the town.  He also developed a new and reliable water supply and was responsible through the Town Council for the supply of electricity toThe remains of the Power House the town from a hydro-electric scheme on the Tobermory River.  He proved to be a new type of laird, working hard to gain popularity and respect from the local people.  Allan was supposed to have changed the name of Drumfin House to Aros House according to Lady Fairfax-Lucy, because he liked the alliteration in the name Alexander Allan of Aros.  However, maps and plans of property owed by Alexander Crawford in 1847 already show the house as Aros House.  The word Aros is from the Scandinavian, meaning an estuary e.g. Aarhus, in Denmark.  Allan enlarged and enhanced the house, using Aros House enlargedRoss of Mull granite for the facing, and adding the square tower at the s. angle.  The architect he used, in 1875, to carry out the alterations was J.M.Wardrop.  The house was to look out on to a beautiful loch, this loch was Loch Ghurrabain, which means the crouching loch.
A walled garden, containing greenhouses, also accommodated a vegetable, fruit and flower garden, the produce from which supplied the needs of the House throughout the year. Alexander opened the grounds of the estate surrounding the house to the local people of Mull so that they could enjoy the walks, rhododendrons and other unusual shrubs he had planted.

Aros House acroos Loch GhurrabainAros house & Tobermory Bay
MILL COTTAGE (formerly the Dairy)

Mill Cottage, formerly the DairyMill Cottage, situated a little way up the hill beyond the Saw Mill, was formerly the Dairy.  Three cows at a time would be brought down from the hill, to graze nearby, and these would supply milk, cream and butter for the house. This cottage is now a private dwelling.

COPYRIGHT: June Saul 2001

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