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Plans lodged to transform former farm to Highland gin distillery

Artist impression of the gin distillery at Ardross.
Artist impression of the gin distillery at Ardross.

A historic farm workers’ building in Ardross could become a gin distillery if plans lodged with Highland Council are successful.

Known as the tenement building, the three storey block at Ardross Mains is currently derelict and in poor condition.

It is thought to have originally housed some of the Irish workers who built neighbouring Ardross Castle when it was rebuilt and enlarged between 1846 and 1881.

It’s part of the new Ardross whisky distillery, currently under construction.

The developers, Ardross Investment Ltd say the gin still house will continue the diversification of employment in the area and regenerate a significant grouping of buildings.


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Ardross Mains has its own loch and  is set on 50 acres next to Ardross Castle.  It was originally developed as a model farm for cattle, with courtyards, farm workers’ cottages, farm manager’s house, dairy and smiddy.

The developers intend to retain and restore the tenement’s existing elevations, re-pointing them with lime mortar and using salvaged slate to restore the roof.

The main part of the building will remain, with the two rear extensions proposed to be removed and reconstructed.

One extension will be built on the existing footprint, while the other is to be enlarged for accessible toilets and entry.

The upper floors will house the gin stills, a botanics mixing lab and tasting area, while the ground floor will be the service area.

Meanwhile, construction has been underway since late last year on the whisky distillery, the first investment outside London for Vevil International, owners of the Ned hotel and Wolseley restaurant.

Planning permission was granted for 19th-century buildings near the castle to be brought back into use to produce “very high-quality niche whisky” in February last year.

The £18million project sees the distillery, including the still house, tun room, mash house and mill room, also housed in the steading and built from salvaged stone and slate, while two surviving detached cottages will be converted into offices and staff accommodation.

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