Mar Lodge
Mar Lodge is a sporting lodge, the principal building on the Mar Lodge Estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Location
Mar Lodge is a sporting lodge built for the use of the Duke and Duchess of Fife. It is located about 4 miles to the west of Braemar and is accessed from the Linn of Dee road, over the Victoria Bridge, a lattice girder structure built across the River Dee in 1905.

History
There have been four Mar Lodges. The 1995 photograph shows the 4th Lodge with the drive aligned with its main door.

1st Mar Lodge
The first Mar Lodge was built in the 18th century by Lord Braco, on the site of the present Lodge. Originally known as Dalmore House, the Lodge was damaged in the ' Muckle Spate' ('large flood') of 1829 and later demolished.

2nd Mar Lodge
The 2nd Mar Lodge, colloquially known as Corriemulzie Cottage or 'New' Mar Lodge, was built near Linn of Corriemulzie at the top of Mar Lodge Brae. It was a very 'Victorian' building with architectural detailing such as prominent use of lattice work (still visible on the 'Stag Ballroom') and tree-trunk supports (visible in the veranda of the old bar at the rear of Mar Lodge) being reused in the construction of the next Mar Lodge. It was destroyed by fire on the 14th of June 1895.

3rd Mar Lodge
The 3rd Mar Lodge was built between 1895 and 1898 for the Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife and his wife Princess Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife. The foundation stone was laid by the Duchess' grandmother, Queen Victoria on 15 October 1895. This photograph (scanned old postcard) shows the original veranda and drive alignment that allowed horse drawn carriages arriving from Braemar to pull up at the main door. The 3rd Mar Lodge was destroyed by a fire while being renovated in 1991.

4th Mar Lodge
Rebuilt soon thereafter to a similar design. It has recently been converted into holiday flats and retains many of the grand features of its heyday as a hunting lodge. The ballroom has a spectacular 2,435 red deer stags heads lining the walls and ceiling. Mar Lodge Estate became a National Trust for Scotland property in 1995.

Stag Ballroom
A ballroom was constructed for estate staff balls, required by the need for segregation between master and servant which dominated the period. Built near to the second Mar Lodge at Corriemulzie, it was moved to the present site in 1898. A large timber building in the estate red, it has distinctive lattice trellising, an original Victorian ventilation system and unusual cast iron bracers on stone plinths supporting the walls. Internally the building remains virtually in its original state and contains over 2,435 stag's skulls.

Sources
  • Wyness, Fenton (1968), Royal Valley : The Story Of The Aberdeenshire Dee , Alex P. Reid & Son, Aberdeen
  • Dixon, P.J.; Green, S.T. (1995), Mar Lodge Estate Grampian : An Archaeological Survey , Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Edinburgh


Footnotes