‘Lost’ photos of historic Scottish mansion are highlight of village book launch

Around 100 people attended a book launch at Gartmore last week about famed writer and politician RB Cunninghame Graham, who once owned the surrounding estate.

Cunninghame Graham (1852-1936) had founded the Scottish Labor Party with Keir Hardie in 1888, and was later instrumental in founding the National Party of Scotland in 1928, a predecessor of the Scottish National Party.

The biography titled ‘RB Cunninghame Graham and Scotland’ was written by Lachlan Munro, an alumnus of Denny High School who also studied history and politics at the University of Stirling.

Among those who attended last Friday’s event, hosted by the Gartmore Heritage Society in the village hall, was Cunninghame Graham’s great-grandnephew, Jamie Jauncey, who lives in Perthshire.

Lachlan said: “The evening was hosted by Jamie Jauncey. It was a multi-faceted event with a large display of images from the life of Cunninghame Graham, interspersed with readings from Ailsa Gray of Glassingall of Dunblane, poet Donald Saunders and actor Steve Calveley, both of Gartmore, and Professor Laurence Davies of Kings College London. .

Author Lachlan Munro with Cunninghame Graham’s great-great-grandnephew, Jamie Jauncey

“The event attracted visitors from all over Scotland and was seen live by Cunninghame Graham fans in Argentina, Chile and Spain.”

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Ancestors on both sides of RB Cunninghame Graham’s family had been MPs for Stirling, and he ran unsuccessfully for the constituency in 1918.

RB Cunninghame Graham pictured at Gartmore House with his wife Gabrielle

Cunninghame Graham had inherited the 12,000-acre Gartmore estate in 1883 upon his father’s death, but sold it in 1900 to pay inheritance tax.

At last week’s book launch, the public were shown old photographs of Gartmore House from Cunninghame Graham’s photo album, taken in the late 19th century.

Gartmore House interior late 1890s

Lachlan commented: “The dozens of ‘lost’ photographs of Gartmore House and its grounds, taken in 1898, which I had discovered during research at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, which has a large archive of material, were of particular interest to the General public. on Cunninghame Graham.

“He was taken in by his first biographer, Herbert Faulkner West, who attended this university. He obviously got his hands on Graham’s old photo album.

“The photos were taken in 1898, two years before the house was sold. The album is the only extant paper record of the house’s appearance, and there are ongoing discussions between me and Paul Wilson of the Gartmore Heritage Society to reproduce it and keep a copy at Gartmore, a copy at The Smith in Stirling, where there is a Cunninghame Graham showroom, and a copy in the National Library of Scotland.

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