Scottish tennis ace Andy Murray will this week open his new country house hotel at Cromlix, a Perthshire estate historically owned by the Hay Earls of Kinnoull and their descendants.
Situated only five miles from his home town of Dunblane, Murray bought Cromlix early in 2013 from the Eden family, who are descendants of its Hay owners. The house had previously been run as a country house hotel with only limited success and had become run down under the Edens' management. The tennis star and new laird of Cromlix has invested heavily to return this delightful property to its former glory.
Hay connections with Cromlix date from the 1683 marriage of the 7th Earl of Kinnoull with Margaret Drummond, the only daughter and heiress of the first Viscount of Strathallan. Their youngest son, Colonel the Hon John Hay of Cromlix, occupied the estate. He was prominently engaged in the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 and spent the rest of his life in exile, eventually created Duke of Inverness by the exiled pretender.
The lands of Cromlix reverted to his brother, the eighth Earl of Kinnoull and were subsequently used by several younger sons of the Kinnoull family over succeeding generations. The present house was built in 1874 for the Captain Hon Arthur Hay-Drummond, a younger son of the 11th Earl and an officer in the Royal Navy.
Arthur was a bachelor and on his death in 1900, Cromlix passed to his younger brother Charles, in whose descendants' hands the estate remained until purchased by the tennis champ last year.
Andy Murray is believed to have paid £1.9 million for the property and its surrounding 34 acres of gardens and woodland. In 2013, it was the location for his brother Jamie's wedding, with Andy Murray as best man. The property will be managed on Murray's behalf by Inverlochy Castle Management International, which manages eight similarly prestigious venues across Scotland.