WE’RE BASED ON THE EDGE OF THE GALLOWAY FOREST WITHIN DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY
We are thrilled to be opening for our third year on FRIDAY 31ST MARCH 2023 and look forward to welcoming new and returning guests.
Hensol Estate offers you a unique and wonderful experience. Enjoy the tranquility of the countryside, whilst camping under the stars of the UK’s first Dark Skies Park.
We have stunning riverside walks, taking you to two private bird hides overlooking the Ken-Dee Marsh reserve and onto the viewing platform.
We have Holiday Cottages, Glamping Pods, Grass EHU and Non-EHU for tents pitches, campervans and motor homes, as well as our beautiful Riverside "off grid" love shack.
A BRIEF HISTORY ALL ABOUT HENSOL ESTATE
Hensol Estate is farmed by three generations of the Bell family.
We decided to diversify in 2021 and open up Hensol as a camping and tourist destination with Woodhall Loch flanking the west, which runs into the Black Water of Dee connecting into Loch Ken.
Situated within Dumfries and Galloway's Dark Skies Biosphere, Hensol has a number of SSSI and RAMSCAR sites.
Hensol Estate was formerly known as Duchrae Estate or Duchra, and is steeped in history. Two generations of the Charters family had possession of the estate, during which they were granted a charter of the lands from King Charles I in the mid-17th century.
The estate was purchased by William Cuninghame in 1786, a Scottish tobacco merchant from Kilmarnock who became one of Glasgow’s largest importers. He made his fortune at Cochrane, Murdoch & Company overseeing business in Virginia. On visits to the estate, as there was no principal house at Duchrae, William would reside with one of his tenants.
At the age of 16, John employed a reputable English architect named Robert Lugar, who was renowned for designing country houses. Together they designed a house for the estate which was completed 12 years later in 1824. It is constructed of grey granite sourced from nearby hills.
The house was named after an English friend, Hensol. Later, in his book Villa Architecture, architect Robert Lugar wrote:
“This newly erected mansion stands on a bold rise of ground in the midst of romantic scenery. In full view and quite near the house runs the River Dee, which at a short distance empties itself into Loch Ken; the banks of which, on either side, are clothed with wood and interspersed with rocks, amongst which the river passes, skirting a beautiful bank of hanging wood, beyond which the mountain in the distance, melting with soft air show a highly finished picture of the greatest character… On the whole, the domain of Hensol may be considered of the importance and rank in the highest class of noble domain.”
In 1824, John 2nd of Duchrae also became 3rd of Lainshaw, when bequeathed the estate on the death of his stepbrother William. In 1864, on his death, he left Lainshaw Estate to his eldest son John and Hensol to his son Richard Dunning Barré. On his death his nephew Richard John Cuninghame of Lainshaw, son of John, inherited Hensol.
In 1933 Richard’s widow re-married Lord Charles Kennedy, heir to his older brother, the 4th Marquess of Ailsa, and they lived together at Hensol.
Shortly after 1943, when Lord Charles Kennedy succeeded his brother, Lord and Lady Ailsa chose to continue life at Hensol rather than at Culzean Castle which was gifted to the National Trust of Scotland in 1945.
DISH WASHING STATION