Sir Alexander Grant, his family & the history of Logie Steading and Estate

Sir Alexander Grant bought Logie estate in 1924. Three generations of his descendants currently live on the estate, the latest being the sixth generation of Sir Alexander’s family to live at Logie.

After buying Logie in 1924 (in the same year that he was created a Baronet), Sir Alexander renovated Logie House and built the sandstone farm buildings. After Sir Alexander’s death, his son, Sir Robert, started work on the adjacent garage and chauffeur’s accommodation (aka The Big Garage); this was never completed due to the outbreak of WWII. Sir Robert’s nephew, Sandy Laing, inherited the estate in 1947 and his wife still lived here until 2014. During his tenure a herd of 100 Ayrshire cows were milked in the farm buildings.

In 1983 the decision was made to sell the dairy herd, and the buildings became redundant. Alasdair Laing inherited from his father, Sandy, in 1988. In 1991, he and his wife Panny, with financial assistance from HIDB, developed the steading into workshops – the first tenants were the Tea Room, Logie Gunmakers, Neil Oliver the engraver, and the Art Gallery; over the next 20 years, the River Findhorn Heritage Centre opened, the playground was built, river walks developed, there have been open air theatre performances, and new businesses have opened. The milking parlour was where the Heritage Centre is now; the bull pens were where Hellygog is, and the cows wintered where the café is today. Quite a change!

In 2012 it became evident that the Café needed larger premises to cater for the increasing number of visitors. It seemed to be the right time to develop the Big Garage. Giles Pearson continues his antiques restoration business in his new workshop on the north side of the Big Garage, the Farm & Garden Shop expanded and moved into the eastern part of the building and Logie Whisky & Wine have moved into the larger space in the south side of the building next-door. The Olive Tree Café re-opened to great acclaim in the larger courtyard space vacated by Giles and the Farm Shop.

Panny Laing today farms her small herd of Longhorn cattle which you will likely see in the fields along the drive in to the Steading. Their delicious meat supplies Panny and Alasdair’s Farm and Garden shop, as does the estate’s own wild venison. You may also meet Panny’s flock of (often very) free-range hens whose delicious eggs often supply the Olive Tree Cafe and sometimes the Farm and Garden Shop. The Logie House Gardens are always open to the public and many of the plants you find in the Farm and Garden shop are propagated here. In 2009-2012 the gardens underwent a major relandscaping under Panny and Gavin Dallmeyer’s direction. Today the plants in this lovely garden are starting to mature. The full story of the garden developments can be found on the Gardens page.

Aside from the Steading and Home Farm, there are a number of other enterprises supported across the estate. Farming, forestry, energy generation, environmental and community projects, housing, and fishing are a few. You can read more about many of these on other pages of this website.

Alasdair and Panny have brought up three children at Logie; Emma, Alec and Fred. Emma teaches in Kenya and came home during her 2016 Easter holiday to marry George in the first family wedding at Logie in a generation. Their daughter Sophia, born in May 2017, is the very latest addition to the family. Freddie is an accountant living in London with his wife Eleanor and son Arthur. In 2013 Alec, his wife Jo and their daughter Juno returned to live and work on the estate. In 2014 their second child Maxim was born here, and in 2016 Angus, their third. Now, from Mrs Sandy Laing down to her great-grandchildren Juno, Max and Gus, we are four generations of Sir Alexander’s descendants here at Logie.

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The earlier history of Logie, including the Wolf of Badenoch and Randolph’s Leap, as well as an exhibition about the River Findhorn and a model white house can be explored at the River Findhorn Heritage Centre at Logie Steading.