Lord Tweedmouth’s Golden Retrievers

The ruins of Guisachan House with golden retrievers at a 2013 meeting

The ruins of Guisachan House with golden retrievers at a 2013 meeting

Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks bought Guisachan House, Tomich, Invernessshire in 1854. He set about having the model village of Tomich built, the farm steading, kennels and many lodges for guests. In 1881, he was elevated to the Peerage and became Baron Tweedmouth of Eddington and took the title of Baron Tweedmouth.

Much interested in hunting and sporting dogs, he established the breed of Golden Retriever in 1868 by breeding Nous, a Wavy-coated Retriever, to a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle. This created the foundation litter of Golden Retriever puppies, three yellow wavy-coated puppies called Crocus, Cowslip and Primrose.

In 2018, the worldwide Golden Retriever community will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the breed. These celebrations kicked off on 10th August 2014 with the dedication ceremony of a life-size bronze Golden Retriever statue and plinth at Guisachan. A bronze plaque declares Guisachan the ancestral home of the Golden Retriever and its founder, Lord Tweedmouth.

In July 2013, the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland hosted more than 350 people from 15 countries and 222 golden retrievers at a gathering on the Guisachan grounds. A torch lit parade of people and dogs walked to the Guisachan house ruins where people in period dress awaited them.

Shortly afterwards, a non-profit organisation called the Friends of Guisachan, was founded to raise money for a statue of a golden retriever at Guisachan to commemorate Lord Tweedmouth’s achievement. This statue was dedicated on 10th August 2014 in the presence of, among others, Andrew Marjoribanks of that Ilk, Chief of the Clan Marjoribanks, Patricia Baillie Strong, President of the Clan Marjoribanks Society and Joy Viola, President of the Friends of Guisichan.

Andrew Marjoribanks, Patricia Baillie Strong & Joy Viola

Andrew Marjoribanks, Patricia Baillie Strong and Joy Viola, August 2014

Some of the Golden Retrievers at the unveiling of the Guisichan statue

Some of the Golden Retrievers at the unveiling of the Guisachan statue

The Friends of Guisachan also commissioned the creation of 60 meters of the Guisachan Tweed, originally made in 1861, for use by people and dogs.

For more details on the work of The Friends of Guisachan and the historic undertakings of Lord Tweedmouth, go to the Friends website, www.friendsofguisachan.org, which also contains many historic photographs and interesting articles about Guisachan.  The Friends of Guisachan have asked for donations to help with the cost of the statue of a golden retriever.  Donations can be made on their web site.


Plaque commemorating Lord & Lady Tweedmouth near Guisachan

Plaque commemorating Lord & Lady Tweedmouth near Guisachan