Page Image

About Us

History of Knockomie Inn, Scotland

In 1812 a villa was built which is where the Cockburn Room is situated. The house was run by a Miss Smith who ran it for visiting judges, such as Lord Cockburn on his circuit journeys in the 1840's.

In the late 1800's the property changed hands from the Earl of Moray to the Fraser family whose wealth came from tea plantations in India. In 1914 plans were drawn up by WH Woodruffe to create an Arts and Crafts house. The plans for this can be viewed in the Lounge.

There are several changes to the plans including the lack of a cast iron fireplace in the Hall. This was not built due to all efforts turning to the 1914 war.

The Frasers were keen gardeners and employed some 9 full time gardeners between the wars. The Luftwaffa took several photographs of the site in the late 1930's and some 12 greenhouses could be identified. Mr Frasers daughter married Mr Webster and lived in the country house until 1985 when she died.

Radio programmes were recorded in the gardens and broadcast throughout the land. This was due to Mr Websters cultivation of heathers and daffodils both of which have varieties called Knockomie.

In late 1986 the country house was sold to open as a hotel and in November 1987 the Ellis family purchased the hotel which at that stage had 7 bedrooms. Since then it has been developed and in 1993 a further 10 bedrooms were added.

In recent years we have evolved further in to being an Inn, creating a relaxed and engaging approach to our guests. Led by Gavin and Penny Ellis, their commitment ensures a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and they and their team led by Massimo, strive to provide a highly professional but unstuffy level of service ensuring that our guests will enjoy their time here and want to return.

Gavin is the fourth generation working in the hospitality industry from his family. His mother had a restaurant on the Isle of Mull, his grandmother owned Creag Dhu in Onich and  his great grandmother ran the Ballachullish Hotel at Ballachullish. Gavin is committed to tourism and Scotland. He has worked with VisitScotland, chaired the British Hospitality Association in Scotland, and given his expertise to help grow tourism in Scotland. In 2009 he was the youngest  recipient of the Silver Thistle, awarded by VisitScotland for his unwavering commitment to Scottish Tourism. Above all his passion is to ensure that you have an enjoyable stay at Knockomie and that you leave wishing to return.

Over the years, Penny, whose career before Knockomie included working in the whisky industry has continued her passion for Scotland's national drink and has written the monthly columns for the Scots magazine, been a Director of Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival and written a book called Distinguished Distilleries. The book takes you on a tour of the whisky distilleries of Scotland and is the perfect gift for those wishing to understand a little more about the water of life without getting too technical! In 2014 Penny was Ambassador of the Year for the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, and continues to be a passionate enthusiast about the whisky.