Cromarty Archive



Date Added: 14 January 2010 Contributor: Fraser MacLean Year: 1966 Picture No: 2590

This would have been done in the year following Brian's drawing of the rose - it was my first attempt at an oil painting... Then again - I was only about 8 or 9 at the time (ahem...). It shows the front of Rosenberg, viewed from the raised lawn, with the gravel path curving round to the side (the flower bed where Brian's rose was to be found sat to the right of the house, near the entrance to the porch).

Albums: Buildings, Paintings and Prints


Fraser: Peter and I have lived at Rosenberg since 1975 and I'm fascinated by your painting and that of the rose by your brother, Brian. Was Jay Duff running Rosenberg as a guesthouse in the 60s when you stayed here? Do you have any photos of your time here? Comment left on 17 January 2010 at 17:17 by Fran Tilbrook
I am interested to see this painting of Rosenberg as I am transposing the 1853 diary of Elizabeth Taylor of Tain. She was the elder daughter of Robert Sutherland Taylor & a great niece of Lady Munro of Poyntzfield who must have been living or staying at Rosenberg in February 1853. On Monday February 14th the Taylors sent "two beautiful hyacinths for Auntie at Rosenberg." Comment left on 21 January 2010 at 12:04 by Katharine Broome
Hey there, Katharine, the diary sounds fascinating - I know nothing about either the Taylor or Munro families. I'm interested to know how you came across the diary itself - has it been handed down within your own family? I don't even know what year Rosenberg was built - or the former UF Manse next door for that matter. Comment left on 22 January 2010 at 19:16 by Fraser MacLean
We had always thought Rosenberg was built in 1870 (by Colonel George William Holmes Ross) as his Estate Factor's house, until someone sent me details of a court case involving the theft of fruit from Rosenberg's orchard in 1866. Now Katharine speaks of sending flowers to Lady Munro at Rosenberg in 1853! I'd also be fascinated to know what Lady Munro of Poyntzfield was doing in Rosenberg? Comment left on 23 January 2010 at 20:49 by Fran Tilbrook
I love that this website unearths stories like this. Comment left on 24 January 2010 at 12:47 by Jess Alexander
Is it possible that the present house replaced - or was an adaptation of - an existing building that went by the same name? I wonder if maybe David Alston or one of the people at the Court House Museum might have access to Cromarty maps from the period? I imagine there ought to be some way of narrowing things down by comparing maps and local written records from the early and late 1800s? Whoever lived at Rosenberg around the middle of the century would have been likely to appear in one or other of the local parish and congregation lists - I know that, some time in the 1990s or early 2000s, my father, Colin MacLean, handed over one such book that had come to be in our family's possession - and it certainly listed each person's occupation. I can't now recall whether it included specific house or street addresses though - perhaps not? I don't know if Register House holds land or property records from that time. Comment left on 24 January 2010 at 14:52 by Fraser MacLean
Further research leads me to believe that Lady Munro was staying at Rosenberg in February 1853, with her daughter Mary Magdalene Poyntz Munro who had married Major Angus Mackay of the 21st Royal Fusiliers in early November or late October 1849. [Inverness Advertiser Nov. 6 1849.]
Mr & Mrs Mackay are mentioned, later in the diary, as "of Rosenberg".
Comment left on 27 January 2010 at 12:54 by Katharine Broome
I'll have a look at the 1841 Census on-line and see what I can find.... Comment left on 27 January 2010 at 14:01 by Fraser MacLean
I've now checked the 1841 Census (no mention of Rosenberg), the 1851 Census (occupied by the Estate Factor Innes Strachan & family & servants), the 1861 Census (occupied by a single man, David McKay MRCVS) and I already had info from 1871 onwards. SO - Rosenberg must have been built some time between 1841 and 1851, which makes it far older than we'd realised! Comment left on 11 March 2010 at 18:19 by Fran Tilbrook
Katharine - it's now seven years since your last comments about Elizabeth Taylor's diary and her mentioning relatives living in Rosenberg around 1853. Please could you let me know if you've discovered anything more? I'm determined to finish my history of Rosenberg this year (!) and want to tie up loose ends. Thanks. Comment left on 04 January 2017 at 14:36 by Fran Tilbrook
I have been to Cromarty in the late 70's before the East Church was refurbished and thoroughly enjoyed my brief stay. One day I hope to return, this time with my husband and one or more of our four children! Meanwhile I appreciate your online Archives!

My husband’s Great Grandfather, the Reverend Walter Scott, was the Minister of Cromarty East Church for many years. During this time I believe he lived at the Manse and at Rosenberg. He was married first to Ann Allan, a linen weaver from Newburgh, Fife, who died in 1880, leaving two small children, Mima Alexandra and my husband’s Grandfather, James Walter Montague Scott. Five years later on 12 Nov 1885 he married Mary Ann (Polly) Brydon from her family house, Rosenberg. James lived in Cromarty until he moved to Dinan, France in 1896, where he met my husband’s Grandmother Henriette de Satge, and the rest is history!

On 8 August, 1911, Mary Ann’s brother Hector conveyed Rosenberg to his sister. The Scotts agreed to pay Hector 35 pounds a year "for all the days of his life", but he died a year later in December, 1912. Walter himself died at Rosenberg in 1925 and his wife Polly in 1932.

I am producing a book of abbreviated family history for my grown children, complete with illustrations. I am hoping you can help me with a couple of things.

Are “Rosenberg” and “The Factor’s House” the same building?

In your Archives I have found a photo of Walter Scott and Mary Ann (Polly) Brydon in the garden at Forsyth House, and another of Walter alone (except for a dog!) in front of the building. I believe Forsyth House to have been the Manse for the East Church. I hope you can confirm this for me.

Kathie Scott
Comment left on 18 October 2018 at 19:33 by Kathie Scott
In 2014 we sold Rosenberg to the Deakins, having built a new house in Rosenberg's walled garden. The Deakins renovated the house (now renamed The Factor's House) to run it as an upmarket B&B. I'm preparing to give a talk to Cromarty History Society next February on 'Rosenberg - from factor's house to The Factor's House' and discovering all sorts of new information as I delve more deeply into its fascinating past.
As for Forsyth House - yes, you are right that it served as the East Church Manse, but I'm not sure when that ceased to be.
Good luck with your book of family history.
Comment left on 19 October 2018 at 16:47 by Fran Tilbrook
I live at Rosehill House, Tain. This house was built in early 1800's and was also known as Knocknacaun - Rosehill is the name of a nearby hill. May also have a link to Hugh Rose who owned the estates at Tain.
Donald Mackay the factor who lived at Rosenberg in 1850's, also lived at Rosehill House around 1860 - 70 ref. the 1870 census and a cutting in the local papers of 1864 announcing birth at Rosehill to Mrs Mackay of Rosenberg. She was originally from Cromarty.
I wonder if the name Rosenberg has any links to the name Rosehill, it seems to be a 'fancy' version!
Comment left on 23 December 2020 by Peter Smith
I knew that the Mackays moved into Rosenberg in 1851 following the death of the previous Cromarty Estate factor, James Strachan, and that two of their children died there in 1859 and 1860. By the 1861 Census they had moved out, and thanks to your information, Peter, it seems clear that they moved to Rosehill. From that base, Mr Mackay would presumably be factoring both the Cromarty Estate and the Phippsfield Estate, near Tain (which was where Strachan moved down from in 1847/8). I wonder if Strachan lived in Rosehill prior to his move to the newly-built Rosenberg?
You are probably right in making the link between all these place names beginning with 'Rose' and the laird's original surname. He later added the name 'Ross'. I think this was during the protracted legal dispute over ownership of the Cromarty Estate, finally settled in his favour in 1846. His claim was through his marriage to Catharine Munro, a descendant of the first George Ross of Cromarty.
Comment left on 29 December 2020 by Fran Tilbrook
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