Thomas Lennox Watson, 1888 with later alterations. Asymmetrical, 2-storey with attic, 6-bay English Domestic style hotel with 3-storey, single bay entrance tower to right; further single storey with attic, gabled blocks adjoined to outer right and left (set at angle to left). Predominantly tooled rubble with cream sandstone ashlar dressings; whitewash with half-timbering to gableheads; red tile-hanging in part. Base course; overhanging timber bracketed eaves. Sandstone quoins and long and short surrounds to openings; sandstone mullions and transoms; chamfered cills.
Single storey with attic, English Domestic style lodge to SE adjoining 2-storey block to S.
Piend-roofed former post office adjoins wall to left of main entrance: brick with (blocked) segmental arched opening to front and door. Wall post box to left.
HOTEL: E (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: principal 6-bay block grouped 1-2-3 comprising 2-bay gabled projection off-set to left of centre with steps to round-arched, columnar entrance at ground to right; part-glazed timber door within; tripartite window at ground to left; 1st floor stepped out with 2 6-light glazing rows flanking centre; 2 3-light glazing rows in gablehead stepped out above. Bipartite windows at ground and 1st floors in bay recessed to left; catslide dormer above. 3-bay range recessed to right of entrance with large windows in all bays at ground; full-width, depressed-arched columnar verandah with balustraded balcony above to front; large mullioned and transomed windows aligned at 1st floor; 4-light glazing rows in 2 gabled dormerheads to left; small gabled dormer to right. Square-plan entrance tower adjoined to right with shallow canted projection at ground and 1st floors; pedimented doorpiece centred at ground with segmental-arched opening; timber panelled door; small flanking windows; 5-light canted window at 1st floor; dated panel aligned above; depressed-arched tripartite window in square-headed opening at 2nd floor; plain parapet above. Lower gabled block recessed to outer right with 2 single windows at ground; full-width glazing row above; depressedarched columnar verandah with balustraded balcony to front; overhanging gablehead above. Lower gabled block set at angle to outer left with 4-light canted window centred at ground; 5-light glazing row above; projecting window
recessed to right. N (SIDE) ELEVATION: single storey with basement and attic, 4-bay block to left with door at ground off-set to right of centre; single windows to left and right; box dormer above. Principal block set behind; various additions to right.
Predominantly plate glass timber windows with stained and leaded uppers; some decorative stained glass; some modern windows. Red tile roof with terracotta ridging; timber bargeboards. Rubble ridge and apex stacks; tall sandstone wallhead stack to front; various circular cans.
LODGE: Map Ref (NS 18490, 79046): single storey with attic, 2-bay lodge adjoining 2-storey, 3-bay block to south. Lodge: whitewash with half-timbering; red tile-hanging in part. NE (FRONT) ELEVATION: gable end to left with modern window centred in gablehead. Opening at ground recessed to right. Regularly fenestrated 3-bay block recessed to left. NW (SIDE) ELEVATION: projecting gable end with canted window at ground; 3-light glazing row centred above. Some plate glass timber windows; some modern windows. Lodge with red tile roof; terracotta ridging; coped sandstone stack. Grey slate roof to adjoining block; kneelered skews.
FORMER POST OFFICE AND POST BOX: Map Ref (NS 18529, 79664): Piend-roofed former telegraph/post office (circa 1888-89) adjoining wall to left of south gatepiers. Brick (painted black and white) with segmental arched opening to front (blocked) and doorway to left. Large 'A' Type, Queen Victoria wall post box, 1880s with moulded pale brick surround. Set in wall to left.
BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: rubble-coped rubble walls enclosing site to front. Circular-plan rubble gatepiers flanking entrance to N and S (left pier missing to S); conical caps with surmounting lamps.
Statement of Special Interest
Prominently sited opposite the pier at Hunter's Quay, this distinguished English Domestic style property with half-timbered gables in the style of a Tudor hall was built in 1888-9 by Thomas Lennox Watson for his boat-building brother. It functioned as a hotel and as the headquarters of the Royal Clyde Yacht Club, replacing the club's earlier building destroyed by fire in 1888. Relocating to Rhu in the 1950s, the building continued to function silely as a hotel, (the Royal Marine Hotel since 1999). It stands in a prominent position above the pier, with views over the East Cowal foreshore to the Firth of Clyde.
The building is a fine example of the work of Glasgow-based architect Watson, who also built the similarly detailed Red Hall, Great Western Road, Glasgow in 1885 (now demolished). With its half-timbering, decorative stained glass and red tile hanging, the Marine Hotel is a good example of the English Domestic style in Scotland and as such, can be compared with similar, near contemporary work by William Leiper - see separate list entries for Brantwoode, Helensburgh (1895) and Piersland House, Troon (1898-9) for example.
The small, former post office at the hotel was built in around 1888 as a telegraph office for receiving news and results of the various yacht races taking place off the bay. Prominently located on the roadside opposite the ferry terminal, it was used as the local post-office for around 100 years and is currently a coffee shop (2014). The adjacent wall-set post box is a large 'A' size example, dating from the end of the reign of Queen Victoria. It has a canted rainguard over the opening and the raised V R insignia and crown. These elements add to the wider historic interest of the hotel and former Yacht Clubhouse.
Change of Statutory Address and list description updated, 2014. Previously listed as 'Hunter's Quay, Royal Marine Hotel (Former Royal Northern And Later Royal Clyde Yacht Club) Including Lodge, Boundary Walls And Gatepiers'.
We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/shep-dec2011.pdf, Annex 2, pp74-76.
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