Robert Macfie ,who having become a successful business man
in the city of
Greenock , Scotland, decided to do as others of his social status
had done, and purchase a country estate. The estate of Langhouse in
Innerkip belonged to of Duncan Campbell of Glenfeochan and was at that particular
time on the market.
Duncan Campbell was a partner in the Greenock Distillery of the
time and a large purchaser of the Macfie sugar products. The Campbell family had large interest in the sugar cane plantations in Jamaica and Barbados and no doubt supplied the Macfie sugar refinery with much of their produce. The families first mingled in business, then socialized, and finally in 1835 intermarried. Duncan Campbell came into possessio of the Manor house of Langhouse, when he married Christian Kelburn. Oct 1784. Apparently it was awedding present, or endowment from Christin's Father Cuthbert Kelburn.
Culberth Kelburn, who was born on the Isle of Bute in May of 1724, was the son of Robert Cuthbert and Christian Campell. Cuthbert or Cuddie as he was known married Shusanna Campbell in Sept of 1756 , and most likley received the Manor house which at that time was a 3 storied dwelling as a wedding present or endowment himself. There is a date carved into a stone in the garden area that shows 1705, which is assumed to be the date the Manor house was built.
This large country home was called the superiority of Langhouse , a fine country estate located overlooking the town of Inverkip fit for a gentleman of the likes of our Robert Macfie.
We must remember that Robert had grown up in Inverkip, his father had a farm in the Daff burn area, this area was situated just below the Langhouse Estate lands, and Robert as a young boy would certainly have been in awe of this manor house and its prestigious situation . All young boys have dreams, and while I am certain making an assumption ( I cannot support with fact), I must assume that Robert, being the industrious sole that he was, certainly might have had a dream of one day becoming the Lord of that Manor house up on the hill.
It should also be realized that the original structure was indeed a manor house type structure. If we look closely at the picture of the back of the present day building one can see a lighter colored section of Langhouse, it is fairly white in color actually. This was the original Manor house, Langhouse was castelized quite some time after the death of Robert in 1827.
William the first son to Robert , became a wealthy man having taken over his father's sugar operations and expanded them considerably. He had become a philanthropist, a product of the Industrial Revolution, a man of means that were many fold that of his father. A simple Manor house was not representative of his stature and so he had the manor house castelized to the structure that we know Langhouse at this present time.
Langhouse remained in the posession of the sugar Macfie family until about the 1940's when the financial upkeep of the estate became a burden for the last Macfie resident, Johnstone Macfie. The estate was then sold off to an outside party, and the estate itself parceled off in separate lots. The main building was converted into several commercial undertakings and was finally sold to the Campbell family who returned the house back to part of its principle function. They created a wonderful ,warm and welcoming residence for the elderly. It was here that they could pass the later part of thier life living in a castle, being cared for as Squires and Ladys of the times. The Campbell had other plans however and managed to return Langhouse almost to its original castlezied state.
The Campbells, Tommy and Roslyn have kindly provied permission to their real estate agent Miss Chole Gerber, of Kinght Frank relators , to provide me with several present day pictures of Langhouse, as restored, as well as a promotional brochure of the new Langhouse development project. This was a wonderful gesture on their behalf, and I, the author of this simple web page, am greatly in their debt. I have added their contribution at bottom of the page as it represents the Langhoue of present day. I am certain that the Macfie of the sugar family line will be in awe of the presentation, and I am convinced that even a few other Macfie, no matter the spelling of the name will appreciate just how much effort has been put into this project to bring a part of the Macfie history back into the main stream of things
|Of castled house on
sward of green
Though tall trees quicly intervene
One glimpse, yours from the window lean
And look again
Alas! no view or lovely scene
Retards the train
To you, the cream of loveliness
Dame nature in her forest dress
Then you've been there
To you my words no more no less
Than empty air
But if a stranger come ye now
Where mists roll off the mountain's brow
And sunshine bathes the scene, I know
You'll stand agaze
Nor grudgingly, I think allow
It's need of praise
To stay in this enchanting place
And hour by hour, His hand to trace
On loch and hill
What artist of the human race
Can match His skill
That glisten through the leafy glades
And hear along the gree arcades
Earth's gentle sign
Which softly into silence fades
When night is nigh
Which with rich harmonies abound
Wat sweeter music can be found
Where e'er you turn
Than rings and echoes all around
The LANGHOUSE burn
The avenue green mosses file
On which the sunbeams dance, awhile
The gentle breze
Flickers the light of sunshine's smile
Down through the trees
And marvel near the haunts of men
Such sylvan scenes can meet the ken
To charm the eye
With these can vaunted hawthorn den
Pretend to vie
Who fashioned hill, loch and tree
That every one Thy love may see
The tender care
For us, that we may grateful be
To have had LANGHOUSE as our lair
Mr Macfie Thats extremely interesting, I am more than happy to attach all images we have of Langhouse. the building is looking fantastic now. The house has been converted into two properties and one family have now moved in. I have attached all images I have at present as well as the brochure. I am not sure if you have seen the brochure or not but there is a little bit of history about your ancestor Robert Macfie at the beginning of the brochure. I have passed your email onto our developer clients to ask if they have any other images they would like to pass on to you. If I can be of any further help, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Kind regards Chloe Representative of Knight Frank real estate agents for Langhouse Development Ltd