Dame Flora MacLeod, Clan MacLeod,Dunvegan Castle

I’m just getting back into scanning my four piles of old photos waiting on my desk, after being away touring in our Motorhome, mainly around Yorkshire. As I’m scanning as always I’m looking out for any names or writing of any kind to research.

Then these two pictures came to the top of the pile !! Wow, I hadn’t noticed the writing on the back when I bought them in a job lot down in Wimborne. What a surprise..Both lovely pictures too, and going on both girls birth dates below, dated about 1914..As these seem to have been taken at the same time..it has to be Alice the older girl, then Joan in the second photo…….



As I was going through the box at the stall full of photos, I remember thinking at the time these had to be related because they were so similar, that’s why I bought both.

Here’s the back views !!



There is lots of information to be found on the internet about the Clan Macleod….  Clan Macleod History and Information    Dunvegan Castle history and lots information here.. Dunvegan Castle Website   and about the family, so I will just give you some brief facts that I have found. ( MacLeod is incorrectly spelt on back of photos)

Mother to these two girls was….Dame Flora Louisa Cecilia MacLeod of MacLeod, DBE  was born on 3 February 1878, actually at no 10 Downing Street, London (Her Grandfather was Sir Stafford Northcote, who was then the Chancellor of the Exchequer)   Flora was born to Lady Agnes Mary Cecilia Northcote, her father was Sir Reginald MacLeod, he became 27th chief of the Clan MacLeod in 1929.

Flora married on 5th June 1901 to Hubert Walter (Son of John Walter and Flora MacNab. b 12 March 1870,d 21 December 1933) a journalist at the Times. They had two daughters Alice and Joan. When Hubert died in 1933, Flora was elected President of the clan’s society and went to live with her father at Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye. When her father died in 1935, she inherited the estate of Dunvegan Castle and became the 28th Clan Chief. Dunvegan Castle in Isle of Skye, Scotland is the 800-year-old MacLeod family seat.

Alice Walter (Later MacNab & Macleod) was born on b. 24 Jun 1902 at Paddington, London. She was married to Archibald Corrie MacNab of that Ilk, 22nd Chief, son of James William MacNab and Alice Mary Corrie on 23 March 1931. She died on 21 July 1980, aged 78. Alice had graduated in 1924 with a Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Girton College, Cambridge. She was decorated with the award of the Kaisar-i-Hind Medal for public service in India. In 1943 her name was legally changed to Alice MacLeod of MacLeod and changed again in 1949 to Alice MacLeod Macnab. Alice died on 21 July 1980.

Joan Walter (Macleod) was born on 8th April 1905. Joan married on 25th January 1927 to Robert Wolrige Gordon, 9th of Esslemont and 20th of Hallhead, he was the son of John Gordon Wolrige Gordon and Isabel Hervey Wodehouse. Joan died in 1977 in London.

They had four children 1) Robert Wolrige Gordon, 10th of Esslemont and 21st of Hallhead, b 20 September 1928, d 13th January 1995.                                                                                         Then they had twin boys 2) Patrick Wolrige Gordon b 10th August 1935, Patrick became MP for East Aberdeenshire…He died 22 May 2002.

3) John MacLeod, b 10th August 1935, was the first Tanistair (nominated heir) and was 29th Chief of Macleod (Succeeded his Grandmother Flora as Chief) John was educated at Eton, Berkshire. In 1951 his name was legally changed to John MacLeod of MacLeod, younger. He was educated at McGill University, Quebec, Canada and also at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in London. He was recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, and matriculated his arms at the Lyons Office on 2 June 1962. He became the 29th Chief when Flora died on 4th November 1976. John Macleod had a son Hugh Magnus Macleod, who became the 30th Chief of the Clan Macleod, when his father John died 12th February 2007.  Hugh obviously also inherited Dunvegan Castle, the ancient seat of the chiefs of Macleod, and the associated ancestral clan territories, which still extend to over 42,000 acres. Hugh is married to Fredrique and has one son Vincent. Hugh is a freelance director, producer and writer in film and TV and now combines that with running Dunvegan Castle.                           4) Anne Wolrige Gordon b 4th October 1937, d 1st March 1938 (Sadly less than a year old)

This I have taken from Dunevean Castle website, Link at top of page..                                        “A Clan’s cultural significance is based upon family and its instinctive attitude is to be more in sympathy with a family than with institutions.

The Clan MacLeod has survived down the centuries, surviving the extremes of feast and famine, the intermittent periods of warring with neighbouring clans, and the immense changes of social, political and economic life through which the Western Highlands and Islands have passed.

Although three individual Chiefs in the last seven generations have been comprehensively ruined by the apocalyptic difficulties caused by the unrelenting hostility from centralised government towards the Clan system practised behind the Highland line, the Chief and his Clansfolk have remained faithful to Dunvegan Castle and the rock on which it stands.


It was during this century however that Clan MacLeod, scattered by the events described above to the four corners of the earth, started once again regrouping around their Chief and the castle which throughout the centuries has been their focus. On the 14th of August 1956 after the visit of Her Majesty the Queen delegates of Clan MacLeod Societies from every part of the English speaking world were entertained to a banquet in Dunvegan Castle to celebrate the coming-of-age of the present Chief. (Was for John, Hugh’s father)

Next day the company assembled in the ancient banqueting hall as a Clan Parliament – in the words of the Chief, Dame Flora MacLeod of MacLeod, “to discuss our common interests and to find out how best to promote and develop our world fellowship so that we can uphold our motto “HOLD FAST”.

CLAN PARLIAMENTS have been held every four years at Dunvegan Castle ever since and Clansfolk return from all over the world to this very special family gathering.”

Dunvegan Castle is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland……..

I’ve searched through lots different websites, and am unable to find any photos of Alice and Joan at all, I would love to have found one ! Above are photos of Reginald the 27th Chief, then Flora 28th Chief, bottom left is John 29th Chief and then the present 30th Chief Hugh MacLeod……………..What an amazing family to have been born into…

Till next time then……………


  1. This is fascinating. My great grandmother was a McKinnon. The McKinnons came from Skye and her sister married a McLeod then they emigrated to Australia. They were definitely the poor side of the Clan!


  2. Hello oh might be worth checking with Hugh MacLeod (the new Chief) in case he’d like to see them.


    • Hi, I did send an email a couple weeks ago, when I published, asking if they would like the photos and wondering if they would like to read this blog, but as yet have had no reply:(


  3. Thanks for your website. Do you know the name of Dame Flora MacLeod’s sister. She had a younger sister, and I cannot seem to find her name.


  4. Hi, I found your post really fascinating! Thanks for writing! I do have a question though, do you know if Alice had any children? I am a descendant of the Mcleod clan down in Essex, England. I’ve been researching my family history lately and if my thinking is correct, then Alice is my great great grandmother!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning Alannah, thanks so much for getting in touch. So pleased you enjoyed reading my blog.
      I’ve just had a quick look at my notes in file and I have a note there that I found on the excellent website peerage.com that states that her husband McNab had died on 13 Nov 1970 aged 83, he died without issue.
      I vaguely remember checking at the time & couldn’t find any reference to children at all.
      It would definitely be worth you looking carefully at the peerage website though because you can follow the generations on there. I’m sure it would help you to fill in your family tree. If you send me an email on lynnswaffles@gmail.com I’ll have a quick look for you & see if I can help. Giving me parents info & grandparents info.
      Kind Regards Lynn


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