Raasay house 1891

Raasay House History – An approximate Timeline


The Clan Chiefs House

  • Early 1500’s A clan house, home to the Macleods of Raasay, has stood on or near the present site.
  • 1746 The original clan house was burnt to the ground, torched by government troops after Culloden. Reparation for the Macleod
  • 1747 Building commenced on the present Raasay House.

    Famous Guests

  • 1773 Dr Samuel Johnson and James Boswell made their historic journey to the Western Isles and were guests of the Macleod chief at Raasay House.
  • 1843 The last Laird, John Macleod, left the house and emigrated with his family to Australia.
  • 1846 Raasay house was sold to George Rainy from London, and changed hands again in 1872-4.
  • 1876 The house was sold to Henry Wood who added the ornate Georgian-style wings and frontage to the house.
  • 1911 Wm Baird & Co. Ironmasters bought the estate and operated an iron ore mine.
  • 1923 Board of Agriculture bought the estate from Bairds.

“such a seat of hospitality amidst the winds and the waves , fills the imagination with a delightful contrariety of images. Without is the rough ocean and the rocky land, the beating billows and the howling storm, within is plenty and elegance, beauty and gaiety, the song and the dance”

Samuel Johnson

Writes of Raasay House in 1773 in the book 'A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland'

     A Sporting Hotel

  • 1937 Raasay House was run as a sporting hotel, very successfully at first, with many wealthy guests.
  • 1960 The Sporting Hotel closed.
  • 1961 The house was purchased for £6,000 by Dr Green from Sussex.
  • 1979 Highlands and Islands Development Board (H.I.D.B) purchased the building and other properties on the island.
  • 1981 Major Rod Stewart Liddon set up the Scottish Adventure School Trust, in the derelict house.
  • 1983 The Scottish Adventure School Closed.
bar raasay blue lounge 1977

Raasay Outdoor Centre Ltd was born

  • 1984 Roddy MacDonald, Tekela Koek and Lyn Rowe set up Raasay Outdoor Centre Ltd.
  • 1987 Roddy MacDonald left the company to take up a post in Edinburgh.
  • 1988 Tekela Koek left the company to become a full-time parent.
  • 1988 Managing Director Lyn Rowe and the R.O.C. staff team developed the business and the H.ID.B. landlords made emergency repairs and some improvements to the fabric of the building.
  • 1994 Lyn Rowe informed HIE the business could not do another season in the house without major refurbishment but refurbishments were not undertaken.
  • 1997 Freya Rowe and David Croy became directors of the business, joining Lyn Rowe.
  • 2007  Raasay House is acquired by the Raasay House Community Company
  • 2007 Raasay Outdoor Centre hosts the “Raasay Rumble, a new ten hour mountain bike enduro race. 
  • Refurbishment & The Fire

  • 2008 A multi-million-pound project to renovate and refurbish Raasay House commences.
  • 2009 In January a devastating fire gutted all but the West Wing of Raasay House. This was only weeks before the projected completion date and R.O.C. taking back possession of the building from ROK the contractor installed for the renovation.
  • 2009 Later that year rebuilding Raasay House began. The house had been insured by the community company and ROK.
  • 2010 In November 2010 ROK went into liquidation.
  • 2011 In September 2011 after a lengthy tender process Mansell were appointed as the main contractor.
  • 2013 On March 26th Mansell hand over the Raasay House keys to RHCC and RHCC handed them over to R.O.C. not trading as Raasay House.

  • The Hotel Reopens

  • 2013 April 1st Cafe opens.
  • 2013 April 4th First overnight guests arrive.
  • 2013 May 4th ‘May The Forth’ one of the first official R.O.C. ‘welcome back’ events in ‘The House’.
  • 2013 The season passes in no time….it’s Busy, Busy, Busy!
  • 2013 September saw the official community opening of the Raasay House building by Rt Hon Charles Kennedy MP.
  • Time for Awards

  • 2018 Raasay House wins Prestige Hotel Award – Best Historic Hotel!
  • 2019  Raasay House wins Prestige Hotel Award – Best Hotel Under 50 Rooms in the West!
  • 2020 Raasay House wins Prestige Hotel Award – Best Family Hotel in Scotland!!
  • SAS: Who Dares Wins in The House

  • 2019 Raasay House Hotel serves as the base of operations for the popular Channel 4 documentary series. We also provide RIB safety boat support for sea-based activities and make sure the crew are well looked after. Fantastic fun!