Situated at the gateway to Royal Deeside, Leys Estate has evolved dynamically over the years; reflecting the demands placed upon it from a changing world but staying true to its long-developed roots in the local environment and community…
The Burnetts of Leys have had a connection to the lands of the north-east of Scotland since 1323, upon receiving a royal charter from King Robert the Bruce for their support during the Scottish wars of independence.
The designation ‘of Leys’ as applied to these lands emerged about 1446 and referred to the property and area around the Loch of Leys – situated to the north of the town of Banchory and west of Crathes Castle.
The early family home was located on a crannog (a partial or entirely artificial island) on the Loch – sometimes referred to as the ‘Castle’ of Leys – in a marshy area close to Raemoir, naturally suitable for its security and ease of defence.
The family later built Crathes Castle, constructed in the Scottish Baronial style, which remained the family home until it was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland in 1952.
As the building now appears it ranks in national importance among the likes of Fyvie Castle, Castle Fraser and Craigevar Castle.
The Estate is still owned by the Burnett family, who have of late been directly investing in residential, leisure and commercial developments throughout the area – much of the work being conducted through the Bancon Group of companies.
It is an agreed policy that both the group and the estate become increasingly integrated with the community and fulfil expected responsibilities, and where they are involved in local developments or in the provision of facilities that are of public benefit, it is believed appropriate that they display their shared signature which incorporates the principal features of the Burnett Coat of Arms of the horn and holly leaves.