Directly overlooking ‘The Auld Grey Toon’ of St Andrews, the Feddinch estate is steeped in the history of golf’s most famous town and was recorded in 1178 when it was owned by Canon Roger of Feddinch, kinsman and supporter of John the Scot, Bishop of St Andrews.
The local estate owners initiated the grand ‘professional’ money golf matches of the 1840s that undoubtedly ignited interest in the game and resulted in its ever-present popularity.
The family that owned Feddinch for most of the eighteenth and nineteenth century was the Lindesays of Feddinch. They developed the estate and eventually sold it to a Dundee Indigo tycoon called Josiah Patrick Wise, who subsequently passed it on in 1879 to his nephew, David Wedderburn Thoms, who farmed the estate for forty years.
In 1925, Feddinch was inherited by David’s niece, Somerville “Dollie” Catherine Barclay-Graham. She was a young heiress who fell in love with an impoverished, but incredibly hardworking, youngest son of another gentrified family, called John Graham Barns-Graham of Carbeth.
John and “Dollie” emigrated to New Zealand and had three daughers and three sons. The second son, John Wedderburn, “Jock”, inherited the estate of Feddinch. Jock was schooled in St Andrews due to and during the Great War and returned from New Zealand with his family in 1947 to farm Feddinch. He was a well-known character, keen to fish, to golf and to write – especially after he had to give up farming on his doctor’s advice. Jock’s eldest son is John Charles Wedderburn Barns-Graham, who now resides in New Zealand, but used to farm Feddinch, and who alongside local historian, Gavin Wood, has kindly helped us compile the heritage of the Feddinch estate over the years.