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House History

Our house is a key part of the business and has a fascinating history.  Built in 1868 it is almost the same age as the preserved railway station opposite which opened the year the railway finally reached Ballater - 1866.  It was built by Charles Cook a wealthy local businessman who already owned hotels in the area and provided the horse drawn coach service linking Ballater to Aboyne, Balmoral and Braemar connecting in to the Deeside railway.  Originally known as Cook’s Refreshment Rooms with accommodation on the upper floors the venture foundered as the railway company built their own refreshment room within the station.  By 1877 the building had been reconfigured as the Aberdeen Town and County Bank office and residence for its bank manager along with a shop for his use too.  The first such manager was Francis Coutts who lived here until 1910 by which time he held a Royal Warrant for providing post horses to both Queen Victoria and later King Edward VII who alighted their trains at the station opposite.  What is now The Gordon Guest House continued as the bank manager's residence until the 1990s while the bank later became the North of Scotland Bank and then the Clydesdale Bank who featured a stylised version of Ballater on their 1960s £1 note.

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