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Menie House History

Menie House sits on the site of a 15th century castle and has been converted into a luxury guesthouse.

The Menie estate was purchased from David Carnegie by William “Danzig Willie” Forbes, son of William Forbes, 4th Lord of Corse and brother of Patrick, Bishop of Aberdeen. William was initially a financial failure, in spite of massive loans from his brother Patrick. His luck turned with international trading success in the Baltic states, based in the city of Danzig later known as Gdańsk, Poland. This earned him the nickname of “Danzig Willy.” (Tayler, Alistair and Henrietta. 1937. House of Forbes. Aberdeen: Third Spalding Club.)

William was still known as “Forbes of Menie” in 1617 even after he purchased the Craigievar estate in 1610 and completed the stately Craigievar Castle. William sold the Menie estate to George Gordon of Gight in 1618, as confirmed by a royal grant of James VI. From there, the estate passed through many other hands. (Ibid.)

In the early 18th century, George Turner, sheriff-clerk of Aberdeenshire, purchase the estate which was inherited by his grandson, General Sir George Turner of Menie (1780 – 1864), Lieut.-Colonel commandant 12th Brigade, Royal Artillery. (“History of Menie and Belhelvie,” The House of Seton in Scotland.) In 1835, Sir George hired architect John Smith to build a “Neo-Jacobean mansion” that incorporated the earlier house which dated from about 1782. (“Menie House,” Canmore: Historic Environment Scotland. Edinburgh.) The house is described as “two storeys with dormer-heads in pinned granite with freestone dressings and diagonally set chimney-shafts” and “north-west front has Tudor porch and circular angle-tower.” (Ibid.)

Sir George Menie and eventually passed it onto his daughters, Helen Catharine and Robina Rachel. James Reid, who became the royal physician to Queen Victoria, held Muirton until the property passed to Alexander Sim in 1877.

In 2006, the Trump Organization, owned by American Donald J. Trump, purchased 1,400 acres of the Menie estate, along with Menie House. In 2008, the Scottish Government granted the Trump Organization planning permission for this resort reported as costing $1.3 billion. In 2012, the new Trump International Golf Links opened. (MacKay, Thomas, April 28, 2023. “Donald Trump’s ties to Scotland explained as he visits his Scottish golf course this week,” The Scotsman.)

Menie House was renamed the “Trump MacLeod House,” after Trump’s mother Mary Anne MacLeod. MacLeod was born in 1912 in the village of Tong near Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Raised in a Gaelic-speaking household, she sailed to the U.S. on the RMS Transylvania in 1930. She married Frederick Trump in 1936.

The Trump MacLeod House was converted into a 16-bedroom guesthouse. The former 19th century stable and blacksmiths quarters were likewise transformed into the Trump MacLeod Lodge with nine en-suite bedrooms. (“Trump MacLeod House & Lodge Hotel – Aberdeen,” Trump International Scotland.)

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