Rowallan's Family Story
Rowallan has always been our Grant family home.
It was built in 1889 (one of the last few houses in the village to be built from granite from the Rogart quarry) but, to the best of our knowledge, it was never lived in until our great-grandparents, William and Jeannie, moved up from sunny Aberfeldy in 1902. The move was so that our great-grandfather could take up the post of stationmaster at the train station across the field from Rowallan, after which he opened a village shop in the parlour room of the house. At that time the part of the house that we know as the shop didn't exist.
Rowallan in the early 1900s, painted from a photograph
Moving up with them were their three young children. The eldest was our great auntie Chris who, after studying Chemistry at Aberdeen University, became a chemistry teacher at a local secondary - a remarkable pathway for a woman born in the 1800s. She was infamous for being one of the few female motorcyclists of her time (and legend has it she was also a Suffragette!). Next was our great auntie Mary, who was also a teacher, but this time in music – the organ in the house was hers. Our lovely grandad Ian was the baby of the family.
After fighting in France in WWI, Grandad returned home and ran the family grocery shop, known as Grant’s, with his father. Ian was also a clockmaker/mender and had a small workshop in the shop part of the house. You will see examples of his handiwork around the house.
Inside Grant's shop in the 1960s
As you can see from the painting, Rowallan was originally much smaller. As the shop and family expanded, the “new” shop section was added to the east of the house in the 1920s and the extension at the back around 1960. Around the time that the shop was built, Ian married a local girl, Jessie Magarry, and they had twin sons in 1928.
These infamous “Rogart Twins” were our Dad (John) and our Uncle Bill, who you can see here along with Ian, preparing for their weekly run on their beloved Velocettes.
Rowallan was a lifetime home for Dad and Bill and they ran the shop with Ian until it finally closed its doors in 1981.
Ian, Bill and John preparing for their traditional Sunday outing
John married Carol in 1972 and they subsequently had us, Mairi and Eilidh. We lived in Rowallan as children and then moved just up the hill to Rhemusaig, although we still spent every day down in Rowallan. It was brilliant for hide and seek (as you’ll discover!) and, well, Uncle Bill had a television and we didn’t!
As Chris and Mary never married and Uncle Bill had no children, we three, Carol, Mairi and Eilidh, are all that remain of the Grant Clan in Rogart. We’re very proud of our home, village and family history and you’ll see a little of that love woven into the fabric of Rowallan.
Whilst the whole house was totally renovated and modernised in 2016/2017, we have determinedly retained the character and family home feel of the house, from the beautiful Grandfather clock and Victorian bedroom furniture, to the original tiled fire place and old shop signs. We hope you enjoy the lovely glimpses of time gone by in Rowallan when you stay here.
We know you’ll start to fall in love with Rowallan, Rogart and Sutherland as much as we have!