Swiss Cottage is a two-storey, A-listed hideaway in picturesque Morayshire. Timber-framed and clad, it is believed to be the oldest building of its type in Scotland, if not the UK. Its current owners are restoring it to its original beauty to create an authentic holiday destination.

The enchanting cottage features long balconies and deep, overhanging eaves, reminiscent of a Swiss chalet. It was built for the 5th Duke of Gordon in 1834 and finished in 1835. The timber for the building was supplied by the estates saw mill and it took 400 carpenter days to build at a total cost of 206pounds 9shillings and 11pennies excluding timber.

Mystery also surrounds the identity of the cottage’s designer. Some historians point to John Claudius Loudon, the writer and designer, who published a sketch with a likeness to the cottage in his 1933 ‘Encyclopedia of Cottage, Farm and Villa Architecture’.

Others speculate the designer could have been Archibald Simpson, the renowned Aberdeen architect who was commissioned to make a series of improvements to the estate, including rebuilding the east wing of Gordon Castle and an elaborate home farm at Bogshead.

What is clear is that the Swiss Cottage is a unique exemplar of timber building in Scotland. Made from homegrown timber – almost certainly Scots pine – the cottage is extremely well-preserved, and is recognised for its scientific as well as its historical value.

Cottage History >