Haughton House was originally built in 1791 and was the home of the Farquharson’s who owned two-thirds of the parish of Alford. They bought the house in the late 17th century. The original Haughton House was the L-shaped cottage by the River Don. The family added the main house, which wasn’t completed until 1854 now, the Cottage, Mansion House and Ice House are all listed buildings.
The Farquarson’s had six daughters, three of whom died in childhood. The other three never married and because of this left no male heir, in 1925 Miss Elizabeth and Miss Ann Farquharson sold the house to a Mr C Spence, of the Forbes Arms Hotel, Bridge of Alford.
From that time, the house had several different uses. First the Spence family ran it as a shooting/fishing hotel, and it remained so until (it is thought) about 1959. At that point they sold it to a group of nuns (the Carmelite nuns of Oxford) who used it as a convent. They had planned to build a factory that would produce communion wafers. However, they didn’t manage to get this off the ground. Many people believe the house is haunted by a friendly nun who likes to sit on the stairs and give people a gentle push on their way up or down.
The next venture was a school for 17 Catholic boys. The people who ran it installed a large fire escape, dormitories, ablution rooms and a central heating system (of sorts). As was the case with the nuns, money ran out and the school had to close. Links with Catholicism didn’t stop there though, as the house was then used as a church and home for a local priest.
Aberdeenshire County Council bought over Haughton Country Park in 1970 and developed half of the site into a caravan park opening in 1972.
In 2021 still owned by Aberdeenshire Council, Haughton House Caravan & Camping site was taken over by the Cooper family who are local to the area. They have secured a long-term lease on the property & grounds and have renamed the camp site as Haughton Holiday Park.