Kilronan House is one of the
oldest houses in Upper Bridge of Allan. It was originally called Viewfield when
the house was built by Rev James Blair, «The
Scottish Evangelist», in 1853.
It was later renamed Colaba
House by David McLaren (1810-1883) who lived in the house on his return from
India. David McLaren was an engineer with the East India Company in Bombay and
he named the house after Colaba, a district of Bombay and the locality of The
India Gate. The present name of Kilronan dates from around 1920.
Bridge of Allan is a delightful
Victorian Spa Town and Kenilworth Road is in a leafy conservation area. The
town is on the old A9 route north approximately 2 miles from Stirling city
centre. This for centuries was the main route to the north of Scotland avoiding
the marshy ground of the River Forth floodplain.
In the early 18th.Century
Bridge of Allan comprised not much more than a mill and a collection of poor
cottages near the bridge. In 1745, 300 Highlanders from Bonnie Prince Charlie's
army blockaded the bridge and collected tolls. On 28th August 1787 Robert Burns
visited Stirling and passed through Bridge of Allan on his way to the Roman
Fort at Braco and then on to Crieff. In 1793 he wrote his poem 'By Allan
Stream' «click for the
In the late 18th.Century the
area was famous for copper mining but when this declined, Bridge of Allan
became a popular Victorian resort and Spa. This was particularly so after the
arrival of the railway in 1848. Many grand houses, including Kilronan House
were built at this time. Today you can still dine in the old spa pump room
which is now La Vecchia Bologna Italian restaurant and is just a short walk
from Kilronan House.
time the house was called Colaba House. It was named after Colaba Island, a
district of Bombay. It was given this name by David McLaren who was the harbour
inspector in Bombay before he retired to Bridge of Allan. David McLaren lived
here until 1883.
In its Victorian heyday, Bridge
of Allan had many illustrious visitors including «Charles
Dickens» and «Robert Louis Stevenson». For over twenty
years Stevenson came here each summer to spend his holidays. There is a lovely
walk along the river on the old drove road to Dunblane. Here you can see a cave
which is reputed to have been the inspiration for Ben Gunn's cave featured in
Great War, Kilronan House was an annexe of St Helen's girls school. This
photograph is from a post card sent by one of the girls who lived here in
Kilronan House is close to the
Wallace Monument, Stirling Castle and Stirling University. There is easy road
and rail access to Edinburgh and Glasgow and there is free parking at Bridge of
Allan station. The location is an excellent touring base for The Trossachs and
Loch Lomond. The area is steeped in History and there are many attractions and
places of interest close by or within a short drive.