1776, Aldourie Castle Estate passed by marriage to the Fraser-Tytler family, who expanded the then mansion house in the mid-1800s in a baronial style. The grounds on the Estate were also improved to reflect this architectural elegance. The expansion from house to baronial castle coincides with the Royal interest in the Highlands and the development and completion of Balmoral Castle in 1854.
Aldourie Castle was in time taken over by Charles Fraser-Tytler who raised his family there. Notably, one of his daughters, Mary, married English Victorian painter George Frederick Watts. Mary Seton Watts was an accomplished artist whose work was greatly influenced by Aldourie and its 500-acre Estate. She painted many landscapes of the area as well as founding the nearby Aldourie Pottery. Private guests of the Castle can enjoy a visit to the family burial ground next to the Castle in the arboretum. There they will find mounted on the lych gate a new copy of the bronze relief designed by Mary Seton Watts.
As aforementioned, the primary aim of the gardens and grounds project was to restore the grounds to its heyday of the Victorian era, both in terms of appearance and function. The Aldourie gardening team is dedicated to restoring many architectural elements of the Estate’s heritage. The glasshouses in the walled garden were restored in 2017 and there are plans afoot for more restoration projects in the near future.