The Clan lands were, and are on the West Coast of Scotland and the islands of Mull, Coll, Tiree and Jura.
The Chieftains of the Clan Maclean had and still have lands on Morvern, Ardgour, Drimnin and at Dochgarroch on the mainland as well as on the islands. Those people living on these lands may, or may not have been related or they may have taken the name of Maclean for protection.
The spelling of Maclean is not important (McLean, MacClane, Maclain etc). There are other families who are also part of the Maclean family. The Rankins are a sept of the clan and traditionally provide a piper for the Chief.
Some of the names usually associated with the Macleans are Beath, Beaton, Black, Dewart, Macbeth, MacCormick, MacFadyen, Macvey, Patten and Paton.
The first recorded mention of the Macleans of Duart is in a papal dispensation of 1367 which allowed their Chief Lachlan Lubanach Maclean to marry the daughter of the Lord of the Isles, Mary Macdonald.
This it is said, was a love match, and her father was persuaded to to allow it only after he had been kidnapped by Lachlan (an incident in which the Chief of the Mackinnons was killed). Thus the Macleans came to own much of Mull, the Mackinnon lands being granted to them by the Macdonalds as a dowry. Almost certainly, Lachlan built the keep that stands today though the great curtain walls were probably of the previous century.
The Macleans continued to use Duart as their base but they were always fighting for one cause or another. They were part of the loose alliance of West Coast chiefs who supported the Lord of the Isles. Hector Mor, born in 1497, succeeded his father in 1527 and was described as good, kind and brave. The power of the Lord of the Isles was now broken, the Macleans were wholly independent and the King of Scotland, James Vth, was making himself felt in the islands. Hector Mor was kidnapped, with many other Chiefs, by the King's Lord Lieutenant at a dinner on board ship off Aros Castle. Hector was only released when he agreed to the destruction of all his galleys. Hector Mor was also a builder.
He strengthened the South East buildings in the courtyard and added the gatehouse.
Sir Lachlan, 16th Chief, was created a baronet by Charles I in 1631 and so began the century of unswerving loyalty to the House of Stewart which was to result in the Macleans losing all their lands.
Sir Lachlan joined Montrose and his Highland Army but when General Leslie invaded Mull in 1647, he was unable to hold Duart Castle against him. Sir Allan briefly recovered the castle after the restoration of Charles 2nd to the throne in 1660. Sir Allan remodelled the North East range of buildings in 1673 only to lose the castle to the duke of Argyll (pressing for repayment of considerable debts) in 1674.
The castle and lands were returned to Sir John (pictured on the left), son of Sir Allan, in 1681 when the Duke of Argyll fell out of favour with the King, only to lose it again in 1691 when Argyll was once more in favour with the Whigs.
The castle became ruinous and was purchased by Sir Fitzroy Maclean, 26th Chief, in 1910. He then began the enormous task of repairing the building.
McLean chose the Duart because it was the name of a castle owned by
McLeans in Scotland and, furthermore, specified a design which
incorporated a tower with crenulations, surmounted by a flagstaff,
to remind him of the country and people of his origins. In earlier
days when Duart stood alone on the slopes of the Havelock Hills its
tower was a landmark which could be seen from all directions.
The size of the McLean family necessitated a spacious house, but
the children also had some 150 acres of hill slopes upon which to
roam freely, as no other house existed between Duart and Te Mata.
The tiny village of Havelock with its few shops, two churches, and
a school was Duart's closest neighbour.
This fine old wooden house was built for Allan and Hannah McLean. Allan was a Scot who took up land on the banks of the Tuki Tuki River and accordingly became known as "Tuki" McLean to distinguish him from other McLeans in Hawke's Bay. He married The names of the builders of Duart are not known, but it is possible that George Bee, the builder of St. Lukes Church, Havelock North and Henry Liley another of Havelock's earliest carpenters were involved. McLean chose the Duart because it was the name of a castle owned by McLeans in Scotland and, furthermore, specified a design which incorporated a tower with crenellations, surmounted by a flagstaff, to remind him of the country and people of his origins. In earlier days when Duart stood alone on the slopes of the Havelock Hills its tower was a landmark which could be seen from all directions.
It was thought originally that Duart was built about 1875, but further research has revealed that building began in 1882 and that "Tuki" and Hannah moved in with seven children early in 1883. Their last child, Nigel, was born at Duart.
The size of the McLean family necessitated a spacious house, but the children also had some 150 acres of hill slopes upon which to roam freely, as no other house existed between Duart and Te Mata. The tiny village of Havelock with its few shops, two churches, and a school was Duart's closest neighbour.
"Tuki" a rumbustious character, did not believe in the cultivation of gardens and insisted on allowing his sheep and horses to roam at will, browsing as close to the house as they chose.
It was not until after her husband's death that Hannah McLean, assisted by her children, was able to create a garden from the grassy slopes around the house.
Before she died in 1914 Hannah had planted flowers and trees, many of which still survive. The Coronation Oak, planted on the occasion of the accession to the throne of King EdwardVII, is a notable example.
After Hannah McLean's death Duart House was leased by Mr and Mrs Crompton Smith who established a co-educational school for children of primary school age in 1915. Obviously some internal modifications were involved but, apart from the necessity of adding partitions, the house served well as a school. It was about this time, too, that the word "House" was added and since then the building has always been known as Duart House.
The school, named St. George's, remained in Duart until the end of 1921 and was then conducted in another locality.
In 1926 the property was leased by Roger Greenwood and occupied by Mr and Mrs Greenwood and their family and eventually bought by them 1936. During their ownership some alterations were made to Duart House, the most substantial being the addition of a new kitchen, but otherwise the house remained as it was built.
After the death of Mr & Mrs Greenwood the property was offered by their family in 1972 to the Havelock North Borough Council at a purely nominal price for the use by the people of Havelock North for purposes deemed suitable by the Council. The Council accepted this generous offer and has since maintained the house and gardens, the building itself being used for a variety of purposes, but mostly as a meeting place.
In 1985 a new development took place in the history of Duart House, the formation of the Duart House Society whose aims are to care for the property along the lines adopted by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in its care of Trust property.
The ground floor is used for meetings, receptions and exhibitions, while the second floor has a display of pre-1920 furniture.
The laundry and outbuildings have many interesting items on display, ranging from a 1919 butter churn to a kerosene engine.
Hannah, the eldest daughter of John and Margaret Chambers of Te Mata.