An Inspiring Country House Hotel
Hetland Hall is a stunning example of classical 18th Century architecture. The original building is set within mature and well maintained estate grounds.
Internally the building features many traditional period pieces, not to mention the impressive entrance hallway and main staircase. Throughout the main public grounds oak period wooden paneling features heavily and the original grandeur of Hetland Hall is still clear for all to see.
The original house on this site was Morris House first built by Rev. John Morison, a minister of the United Free Church, who wished to build a manor house on the "Kakher's Field" of the original Hetland estate, which was then some 600 acres.
When completed in 1868 the Rev. Morrison and his family settled into this fine house as his country residence. He left one daughter, Jeannie Morison, who inherited the property. Colonel Cambell was her first husband but when he died, she married Mr Hugh Miller. Still referred to in the neighbourhood as "Mrs Miller-Morison", she was a poetess and authoress of some repute. One of her poems, "The Watch Knowe", refers to a neighbouring hill on the estate where she and her forebears were buried. The spot is marked by a stone bearing the Morison coat of arms and their motto: "Est modus in rebus".
When she died in 1922 the house was little changed from when her father first built it in 1868. It was not very large and the front door faced the main Dumfries - Annan Road. It had a semi-circular front from which led the long winding drive to the road, the old drive. On entering the hall a door on the right opened into the dining room, and on the left, the drawing room. Further along were the library, the kitchen, the laundry and the store room. Upstairs were bedrooms and servants' accommodation. Such was the original Morison house that Mrs Miller-Morison passed on to her son, Captain Campbell, after her death in 1922. The new heir, however, had property of his own and, in 1925, he sold that part of his legacy to a Mr McConnell, a wealthy mine owner of Sanquhar.
During the period from 1922 to 1925 however, Captain Campbell rented it to two army men: a Major Johnstone, a keen motorist, lived at Hetland for a period of 12 months. He was followed by Captain Cookson, a man of retiring disposition with a love of country life. The abundance of game on the estate must have delighted this keen, quiet sportsman. He rented the house until 1925 when it was sold to Mr McConnell.
Mr McConnell made radical changes. He re-planned the grounds and renovated the house, changing its name from Morison House to Hetland House. He enlarged it to such an extent that the original house of 1868 is practically lost in the present mansion. Mr McConnell was reputed to be a millionaire. Although he was connected with the mining industry all his life, his aesthetic propensities were by no means cloudy. Thereby the commanding position of Hetland House caught his eye. He resolved to buy the estate and build on it an ideal home for himself. He did nothing by half measures. He gutted the old Morison Mansion and added extensions, the renovation taking two years (1925 - 1927) and, in order to supervise the work personally, he took a lease of Hoddom Castle at nearby Ecclefechan.
In 1932 the McConnells left the building for no apparent reason. It passed to the Buchanans until '35 and then stood empty until '37 when Major Spiers took on the house, bringing it into the modern age. Major Spiers rid the house of overhanging electric wires, sourcing the electric from the county mains underground and installing plugs for modern day electrics. After a large amount of investment he moved to Australia where he died in 1938 and yet again the house lay empty.
In 1939 the servants quarters were let to evacuees of the 2nd World War and in December of that year it was bought by the Marist Brothers establishing Hetland House as a Juniorate to train young people by the order of monks. The building was used in this way until 1978 when, again, it came to lay empty until 1984 when a liquor licence was granted and it was turned into a hotel. It now belongs to Ladyglen Ltd, owned by The Anderson family.