The Chief bought Finnich Malise in 1990 when he was posted to become Managing Director of Allied Distillers in Dumbarton. It sits on the boundary between Stirlingshire and Dunbartonshire, just outside the new Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. The house had been rented by its owner to the Neill family for nearly twenty years, and was in need of major repairs and renovation. Marguerite's experience as an Interior Designer and Decorator were a vital ingredient in the taking on the project. After the house, they turned their attention to the gardens, and then to the complete renovation of the Steading buildings, where after several years work, four holiday cottages were opened at Easter 2010.
Finnich is Gaelic for "clear or white place", there are several Finnich names in the area, and the Finnich burn runs to the South into Blane Water, and thence to Loch Lomond. Malise is an old Scottish name. In 1398 Malise Carrick, a faithful vassal of Duncan, Earl of Lennox is mentioned in connection to the lands of Finnich. The property then passed through the Blair and Stewart families until 1804 when William Leckie, a Glasgow hosier iinherited it. It was he who built the original Georgian house between 1806 and1809. The estate changed hands several times in the 19th century. Large parcels of land were sold off in1872, which was around the time that the two wings of the house were added. John Wilson, a Glasgow shipowner bought the estate in 1873 and owned it until his death in 1928. In 1888 plans were drawn up to completely rebuild the house in a Neo-Gothic style. Having seen the designs it was a blessing that he decided not to proceed.
Finnich was then owned by Col and Mrs Shand from 1928 until 1947, and they remodelled much of the interior in an Edwardian style. It then briefly passed into the hands of the playwright James Bridie. In 1949 two Mitchell sisters returning from abroad bought the estate and kept it in perfect condition. They left it to their Grand-nephew Stephen Lee who rented it, and then sold it to Andrew and Marguerite in 1992.
Finnich Malise sits above the broad valley of the Endrick, with views North to Ben Lomond, West across to the hills above Loch Lomond, and East along the Campsie Hills towards Stirling.