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History

The Cluanie Inn has been serving the traveller for over 100 years. Once known as ‘Rhiabuie’, The Cluanie Inn started in 1787 as an isolated staging post, situated where drovers of old turned south for Tomdoun via Loch Loyne, built on the instructions of MacDonnell of Glengarry. This original 2 storey-3 bay house was associated with the coming of improved routes through the Glen.

In the 18th century, such inns were referred to as ‘Kinghouses’, as they were situated on the newly built King’s Highway. The inns were set up with cooperation between the government and the landowner, and were built for both the construction crews and the local people.

After the Union of 1603 and the Free Trade Agreement of 1607 between Scotland and England, which was only implemented 100 years later due to much resistance in the parliament, trade between the countries began to flourish. By the 1750’s, Scotland was seen as England’s pastures and the land around The Cluanie Inn became Highland ‘drover’ country filled with skilled men who moved hordes of cattle and sheep over the Highlands landscape.

Lying between Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye, The Cluanie Inn has also seen history in the making during the turbulent years of the Jacobite risings.

To the West of the Inn at the ‘Bridge of the Spaniards’ in Glen Shiel, a bloody battle was fought in 1719 between troops of England’s King George and the Jacobites, who were supported by Spanish troops who landed at Eilean Donan Castle. It is believed that some Jacobites, after their subsequent surrender, hid at The Cluanie Inn but were eventually captured. The Cluanie Inn is an ordinary dwelling that has stood strong through its past glories. Its rustic design reflects the regional identity of the Highlands.

We believe the weariest of hearts will be restored when you spend time at any of our Black Sheep Hotels. Only once you witness its wonders, will you come to believe in the magic of the Highlands of Scotland!

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