Ancient Family Ties
The Powfoulis estates remained in the hands of the Bruce Family for 10 generations. Over this time several stages of building and development occurred in successive generations.
It is probable that the earlier house of Powfoulis was built around 1600 by Sir James Bruce the 3rd of Powfoulis and his wife Dame Margaret Rollox of Duncrab whose initials appear on the Bruce Aisle of the Old Airth Church.
Further building was carried out in 1688 by Sir James Bruce the 6th of Powfoulis who succeeded to the Estates in 1650 when his Father James Bruce was killed in the Battle of Dunbar against Oliver Cromwell.
Evidence of this development work can be seen in the pair of gate posts at the North East corner of the kitchen garden. The North post bears the date 1688, whilst the South post bears the Heraldic Arms of the Bruce Family and the word "Faithful", possibly the first part of the Bruce Motto "Faithful in Adversity".
The Powfoulis Estates had been in the hands of the Bruce Family since the early 16th Century. In 1451 Alexander Bruce became the 1st of Stenhouse and Airth by Royal Charter of King James III. In 1512 his Grandson Andrew Bruce received Land Charters to Powfoulis Estates and became the 1st of Powfoulis.
Powfoulis Manor History
The Old Parish Statistical Accounts of 1791 makes reference to the Ancient Tower of Powfoulis but no trace of this building remains.
James Bruce the 9th of Powfoulis inherited the estates from his uncle at a very early age. In 1820 after his marriage to Ann Bell, indications are he demolished the original earlier house and built the Central Block of the existing Mansion House on the old foundations.
On his death in 1845 he was succeeded by his son John Bruce 10th of Powfoulis, but John Bruce never lived at Powfoulis Manor and in 1855 the Estate was sold to William Dawson co-founder of Carron Works who commissioned Robert Adam to build on the lateral wings of the main building.
The County Directory of 1893/96 shows that William Dawson was succeeded by his Daughter who died without Heir and the Original Estate is now set up under a charitable Trust.
In 1952 the Manor House and its immediate grounds was purchased from the Trust by the late James McAvoy who converted it into the present Hotel.
In 1972 the Hotel changed hands within the Family and was run by Jack Barrie and his late wife Patricia until 1997 when Ann and Paul were brought into Partnership and currently run the Hotel.
The Coachman's house is also of a similar period, built in the late 17th century Scottish Baronial Style with the Corralled Dovecote Tower and the Crow Stepped Gables.