HIDDEN by trees, very little can be seen of the house known as The Blair, or Blairlogie Castle.

It is situated at the foot of Castle Law, near to the entrance of the glen in the village of Blairlogie.

The west or main part was built in 1543 for Alexander Spittal, while the east wing was built in 1582 by his son Adam. Both dates were enshrined on the house.

Like other buildings during that era of unrest, the mansion had a secret chamber built into it.

Generally, these were placed within the gable wall with access concealed by a piece of furniture such as a bed or a cabinet.

The secret room, measuring just four feet by 30 inches, was placed on the south gable wall of The Blair. In days gone by, an old oak cabinet turned on a pivot so when the room was occupied the cabinet went back to its original position.

The house remained in the Spittal family for over 360 years when it was sold to Robert Bruce of Kennet in 1845. In 1891, Lt-Col James Hare purchased it and during alterations and extensions to the property, an ancient ceiling was discovered.

When removing the plaster ceiling of what was originally the hall, the joiner engaged in the works, Thomas McNab, discovered the original oak beams and noted the strange old designs carved into them.

These beams dated from around the end of the 16th century and were painted white with the various adornments coloured in red, yellows and blues, covering the three visible sides of the beams.

There were fleur-de-leys, circles, pears and other fruits, flowers and even serpents with their tongues protruding. The colonel, however, was not enamoured with them and had them covered over with his modern ceiling.

At two storeys with crowstepped gables, the Blair is a small L-shaped baronial style mansion. It has two irregular shaped towers and the three dormer windows each have ornamentation.

One has the fleur-de-leys with the initials AS, while another has a thistle and the initials EH, with the third having either a man’s head or a rose but due to weathering over the years it is difficult to determine which. It is rubble built with thick walls, but the windows are narrow with the interior ceilings low.

On one of the exterior walls is a merchant’s mark and the same mark appears on a couple of the old houses in the village of Blairlogie.

It is still occupied today and was Category A listed by Historic Environment Scotland on 5th September 1973.