Ardkinglas: The Biography of a Highland Estate
By (author) Christina Noble
Ardkinglas is a 45,000-acre estate in Cairndow, a beautiful area of the Highlands at the head of Loch Fyne. Sir Andrew Noble, the author’s great-grandfather, bought the estate in 1905 and his family have run it ever since. The estate has become famous throughout Scotland and beyond for the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar, founded by Christina Noble’s brother, Johnny. This book is not just about the Nobles but the community Ardkinglas has become, the people who make and have made it and the story of how they have lived and worked. This is not a nostalgic memoir of the Noble family, a Downton Abbey saga of life in ‘The Big House’.Christina Noble’s aim is to try to capture the feeling of what it was like for all of the community, employers and employees, to live on a classic Highland estate during the twentieth century. It is a vivid tale, built up from letters and household diaries covering some periods and estate journals covering others. More recent decades are coloured by the personal memories of the author and many others who lived there, whose voices have been carefully recorded for this book.Ardkinglas: The Biography of a Highland Estate is illustrated throughout with pictures of the people who called Ardkinglas home, the places they knew and the activities which occupied them. As their stories are told, some key questions emerge. A Highland estate in the modern world: what is it for? What keeps it going? Who gets the benefit?
Christina Noble was born and brought up in Ardkinglas, Cairndow. After gaining a degree in English Literature, she moved to the Indian Himalayas, where she lived from 1970 to 1990. She ran a Himalayan trekking company and wrote about her life in India in two books, Over the High Passes (1987) and At Home in the Himalayas (1991). After leaving India she returned to Cairndow, where she now lives. She is Project Director of Here We Are, a project which aims to sustain the local community and enable it to prosper in the modern world.