Bede House


Beid-House near Tarves village was founded and endowed as a hostel for four poor men by the Forbes family of Tolquhon. The hostel shared the descrepitude of the nearby kirk and Manse. The Beid-men depended on the promise of “ane peck of meal and 40 pennies each in the week, ane grey gown the one Martinmas and a Coat and Breeches the other” (Tarves Lang Syne, William A Porter, 1996, Maxiprint,York) .

The Beid-men owned a large chest with four locks and lids for their meal, pots and pans, four beds and bedclothes and an annual hide for making shoes.

In 1698 a storm caused devastation throughout the country and the kailyard at the Bede House lay saturated and useless. Tenants from Meikle Ythsie, who were obliged to supply the Beid-men with fuel and other necessities, had shirked or were unable to perform these duties.

Misery ruled at the Beid-House where sacking plugged into holes in the roof and walls was a hopeless gesture to the elements.

In 1732, the Bede-men still received their meal and money from the William Forbes’ bequest but their slated house was neglected and in ruins.

In 1735, Tarves Kirk Session was asked to produce an account of the state of the hospital. The four occupants, it was reported,had to carry in sticks and peats to Tolquhon Castle during the week and on Sunday to march to church before the laird and his lady, standing behind them during the service “counting their beads”. As successors to Tolquhon, the Gordons of Haddo sustained the Bede House payments into the 19th century.

The house was in ruins when we purchased it and started renovations in the early 90's. We hope you find Bede House more inviting now and we can offer you a comfortable bed and a hearty breakfast.