How it all started…

Chisholme House is set in an estate of nearly 200 acres in the Scottish Borders. The house itself was built in 1752, with a further wing added in Victorian times. The estate was the seat of the southern branch of Clan Chisholme, but went out of the family's possession in the early part of the 19th century. For more details on early history see here...


In the 1950s the Chisholme Estate consisted of a Georgian country house, a farm steading, a lake, pasture and woodland. However, abandoned by its then owners it had fallen into serious disrepair. The house, open to the sky, became a shelter for sheep, the garden wall had crumbled and the grounds and woods reverted to wilderness.

Its fortunes changed for the better in 1973, when it was taken on by an English educational charity, the Beshara Trust, to become a school and retreat centre. In the true pioneering spirit of that time, a group of intrepid young people embarked on a renovation project despite total lack of funds or the most basic facilities such as electricity, hot water, or even glass for the windows. Parts of the main house were made serviceable and the farm steading transformed into student accommodation so that a six-month residential retreat course could take place there in 1975.

Through Bulent Rauf an educational programme was established, firmly grounded in the principle of the Unity of Existence and drawn from the very best sources of wisdom tradition and spiritual inspiration.