Boleskine House

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Boleskine House (boll-ESS-kin; Scottish Gaelic: Both Fhleisginn) is a manor on the south-east side of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is notable for having been the home of author and occultist Aleister Crowley, and Led Zeppelin guitarist and producer Jimmy Page.


Boleskine House is 34 kilometres (21 mi) south of Inverness, on the opposite side of Loch Ness from the Meall Fuarvounie,[1] and halfway between the villages of Foyers[2] and Inverfarigaig.

The current house was constructed in the 18th century by Archibald Fraser as a hunting lodge.[1][3] Page claimed the house was on the site of a 10th-century Scottish kirk.[4] The house is situated on a hillside above a graveyard, which had acquired a reputation for unusual activities even before Crowley purchased it.[5]

Crowley purchased Boleskine House from the Fraser family in 1899 to perform a series of operations known as the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage.[6][7] The House at that time was known as the Manor of Boleskine and Abertarff[8] after the name of the local parish. Crowley became infamous for stories of conducting black magic and various other rituals while residing at the house;[2] one of his pseudonyms was "Lord Boleskine".[9][10] His lodge keeper, Hugh Gillies, suffered a number of personal tragedies, including the loss of two children.[2] Crowley later claimed that his experiments with black magic had simply got out of hand.[5] In 1960, the then owner, Major Edward Grant, committed suicide at the house.[2]

Page, a collector of Crowley memorabilia[11] who "had read a lot of Crowley and ... was fascinated by his ideas",[12] purchased the property in 1970.[13] At the time it was in a state of decay, but he felt it would be a good atmosphere in which to write songs.[4] However, after arranging for the house to be restored he spent little time at Boleskine, leaving things in the care of his friend Malcolm Dent, who lived there with his family. Page sold the house in 1992, having spent less than six weeks at the property. The house has since been run as either a private residence or a guest house.[1] In 2009, the property and its grounds were put on the market for £176,000 with plans to build a three-bedroom log house.[2]

Boleskine House is a Category B listed building,[14] as is the adjacent stables and gate lodge.


  1. ^ a b c "House of the unholy". The Scotsman. 22 November 2007. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Kelbie, Paul (19 April 2009). "For sale on Loch Ness: Aleister Crowley's centre of dark sorcery". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Redfern 2013, p. 120.
  4. ^ a b Hoskyns 2012, p. 167.
  5. ^ a b Redfern 2004, p. 205.
  6. ^ Symonds J, Grant K (eds), The Confessions of Aleister Crowley Penguin 1979:184
  7. ^ The Book of Abramelin
  8. ^ Confessions. ibidem.
  9. ^ Brown, J. F. (1978). "Aleister Crowley's Rites of Eleusis'". The Drama Review 22 (2): 3–26. doi:10.2307/1145199. 
  10. ^ Owen, Alex (1997). "The Sorcerer and His Apprentice: Aleister Crowley and the Magical Exploration of Edwardian Subjectivity". Journal of British Studies 36 (1): 99–133. doi:10.1086/386129. 
  11. ^ Paglia, Camille (2003). "Cults and Cosmic Consciousness: Religious Vision in the American 1960s". Arion. 3 10 (3): 57–111. 
  12. ^ Case 2007, p. 98.
  13. ^ Hoskyns 2012, p. xxvi.
  14. ^ "Boleskine House (Ref:1849)". Listed building report. Historic Scotland. Retrieved 30 September 2014. 


  • Case, George (2007). Jimmy Page: Magus, Musician, Man: an Unauthorized Biography. Hal Leonard. ISBN 978-1-4234-0407-1. 
  • Hoskyns, Barney (2012). Led Zeppelin: The Oral History of the World's Greatest Rock Band. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-1-118-22111-2. 
  • Redfern, Nick (2013). The Most Mysterious Places on Earth. Rosen Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-4777-0685-5. 
  • Redfern, Nick (2004). Three Men Seeking Monsters: Six Weeks in Pursuit of Werewolves, Lake Monsters, Giant Cats, Ghostly Devil Dogs, and Ape-Men. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-4165-0057-5. 

In literature[edit]

Boleskine House is described and recognisable in The Magician (Maugham novel) where it is called "Skene". Crowley considered Maugham's book to be plagiarism and wrote an article under the name of Oliver Haddo (the name of a character taken from Maugham's book) for Vanity Fair (magazine) as a witty riposte. (For details, see Crowley's autobiography, Confessions, listed above.)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°15′55″N 4°28′29″W / 57.2653°N 4.4747°W / 57.2653; -4.4747