Our Story

Haddo has been the home of the Gordon family, Earls and Marquesses of Aberdeen for over 550 years. In 1732 the second Earl commenced the construction of a Haddo House near the site of the former House of Kellie.

Designed by William Adam and extensively re-modelled for the seventh Earl (1st Marquess) in the 1880s, the house, since 1979, has been owned by the National Trust for Scotland. It is situated at the heart of the estate and is open to the public.

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Some of the original park, extending to 240 acres, is now owned by Aberdeenshire Council and known as The Country Park. This historic and stunning parkland is hugely popular, attracting more than 240,000 people each year, who come to walk, exercise, picnic and enjoy the landscape and nature.

The remainder of the estate continues to be owned by the family and extends to approximately 5,000 acres, surrounding Haddo House and The Country Park. It is bordered to the North by the River Ythan and the nearby villages of Tarves and Methlick, the entire estate is within 30 minutes of Aberdeen.

Haddo has had a long-standing connection with politics and the arts – having been Foreign Secretary, the fourth Earl was the British Prime Minister from 1852-1855. The seventh Earl (first Marquess) was Viceroy of Ireland in 1886 and, later, Governor General of Canada 1893-1898, returning to Ireland as Viceroy from 1905-1915. His wife, Ishbel, was one of the foremost advocates for women’s rights of her time and the two of them dedicated their lives to helping others. The second Marquess opened Haddo House as a maternity hospital during World War II, with 1,200 babies being born there – and hence is much visited by “the Haddo Babies” and their children and grandchildren.

Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society (HHCOS), was founded in 1945 by David and June Gordon (later Marquess and Marchioness of Aberdeen) and is still today a vibrant choral society producing concerts of the highest standard.

Haddo is also host to Haddo Children’s Theatre and to Haddo Arts which organises the annual Haddo Arts Festival and promotes events throughout the year. Haddo Arts says, ‘We aspire to develop Haddo’s rich musical and artistic heritage as a centre of excellence, entertainment, and enlightenment, across the arts. We welcome everyone to share our enthusiasm and enjoyment, as we explore the relevance of the arts to our life today.’