Document of the Month – August 2016: Argaty Estate Photograph Album, c. 1920

Last month, we received a very kind donation to the archives: a photograph album of Argaty Estate.

The album contains photographs of several buildings found within the estate. This includes Argaty House, which was largely destroyed by a fire in April 2011. The photographs also depict working life in Argaty by showing the management of land and animals within the estate.

Unfortunately there is no concrete information as to who took the photographs or for what purpose. The last two photographs in the album, however, do offer some clues. The photographs are postcards addressed to Mr and Mrs Grant of Beechwood House, Argaty, and are dated from 1924. Whether they were responsible for taking the photographs is unclear, but they do give an indication that the rest of the photographs were probably taken around c. 1920.

The history of Argaty can be traced back to 1497 when the land was gifted to Sir Patrick Home (or Hume) of Polwarth by King James IV. The estate would remain in the hands of the Home (Hume) family for several generations. Inheritors included Dr George Steuart Hume, a Maryland physician who moved to Argarty in 1758.

The estate would stay with the Hume family until 1917 when it was taken over by Mrs Annie Hope Henderson. In 1924, M. M. Bowser owned the estate which was then then inherited by Perth County Council Convener David Charles Bowser in 1928.