A HOTEL where Bonnie Prince Charlie ate, drank and held his last Council of War before his inglorious defeat at Culloden is to be brought back to use after lying derelict for several years.
The category B-listed Drummond Arms Hotel in Crieff, Perthshire, could be turned into a bunkhouse, offices or new affordable homes amid community hopes that the historic town centre property can be revived.
The hotel is where Bonnie Prince Charlie visited on February 6, 1746 with a heated Council of War held here to thrash out plans for the march north to Inverness.
As the leaders gathered at the Drummond Arms, the troops were quartered in Doune and Dunblane awaiting orders for the final stage of the doomed uprising.
Last year a community group was awarded £17,000 by the Scottish Land Fund and Perth and Kinross Council to come up with options for the future of the historic hotel.
Douglas Westwater, executive director of Community Enterprise, said the derelict hotel had become a main focus for residents working to improve the town centre.
He said: “From December last year to February this year, a detailed options appraisal has taken place in Crieff considering the potential to develop one or more assets within the town.
“Firstly, there appears to be a demand for enterprise space for co-working.
“Secondly, there seems to be a need for affordable housing, and early discussions are taking place with interested parties.
“Finally, there may be the opportunity of developing an affordable hotel or bunkhouse.
“This might be a positive use of the Drummond Arms but detailed technical work will be required to scope out the viability of these ideas.”
During the first Jacobite rebellion, Crieff was largely destroyed when around 350 Jacobites set fire to key buildings, on January 26 1716.
In 1731, James Drummond, third Duke of Perth, began a mass rebuilding projet which included the building of the hotel. The Council of War was held in a building to the rear of the current hotel.
According to James Browne’s 1852 History of the Highlands, the Council of War held in Crieff was a turbulent one with infighting rife over the direction of the rebellion.
“At no former meeting did heats and party animosities break out to such an extent as at this council,” Browne said.
While in Crieff, it is also known Bonnie Prince Charlie, jut two months from defeat at Culloden, had his horse shod in the blacksmith’s in King Street.
Later in February, he reviewed his troops in front of Ferntower House, on what is today the Crieff Golf Course, according to reports.