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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: B
  • Group Category Details: B - See Notes
  • Date Added: 19/06/1992


  • Local Authority: Argyll And Bute
  • Planning Authority: Argyll And Bute
  • Parish: Dunoon And Kilmun
  • National Park: Loch Lomond And The Trossachs

National Grid Reference

  • NGRNS 14114 85701
  • Coordinates214114, 685701


Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

The walled garden at Benmore is part of the overall designed landscape and an example of a large formal garden of the late 19th century. It contributes to the landscape at Benmore and the development of the garden.

This large walled garden is roughly rectangular, walled on the N, E and S sides. Some of the N boundary is made up of the rear wall of the steading buildings. The garden house, on the NE corner, is rectangular-plan, 1½-storey and gable-roofed, with mullioned and transomed windows and stone skews, half within and half without the walled garden, the roof stepped down at the division. Adjoining this to the W is the only remaining section of greenhouse.

The bronze fountain in the Duck pond to the S of the walled garden is of a winged cherub and fish and originally stood in the formal garden.

Until the late 19th century the walled garden for the estate was situated further to the S, close to the Golden Gates. Around 1875 the present walled garden was built, incorporating both the kitchen garden and a large formal garden. Early photographs show the walled garden in its prime, with large greenhouses dwarfing the garden house. A series of footpaths divided the garden. Formally placed towards the E end was the bronze cherub fountain. This was later moved to its present location in the duck pond, replacing another fountain. Most of the greenhouses were already in ruin by the early 1900s and were cleared through the 20th century. An armillary sundial of 1978 now stands in the place of the fountain and a new focus has been provided at the W end by the Bayley Balfour Memorial Hut (separately listed).

Materials: partly rubble walls with semicircular ashlar copes, partly squared rubble with flat copes. Wrought iron gates. Garden house: squared rubble, ashlar dressings, slate roof, predominantly replacement glazing.

Statement of Special Interest

In 1870 the Benmore Estate was acquired by James Duncan, a Greenock Sugar Refiner. Duncan carried out many improvements to the estate, including extending the house and building a number of workers' cottages. At the same time, Duncan built the walled garden and enormous greenhouses on 3 sides.

Benmore Estate is perhaps best known as the setting for Benmore Botanic Garden, run by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The garden and designed landscape is notable for the collection of coniferous trees, planted by successive owners since c1820.

Part of B-Group including Benmore House, the Steading, North Lodge and Gates, the Golden Gates, 'Puck's Hut', the Fernery and the cottages to the E of the walled garden (see separate listings).

Within Benmore-Younger Botanic Garden Designed Landscape.



Ordnance Survey 1st edition (c1863) and 2nd edition (c1898); Forsyth, R, Memories of Dunoon and Cowal (1997); McLean, A, Chronicles of Cowal, Argyll, (2001); Land Use Consultants, An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, Vol 2, 1987; Walker, F A and Sinclair, F, North Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992), 132; Walker, F A, Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute (2000), 144-6;. Walker, F A, Argyll and The Islands: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (2003), 23-4; Information courtesy of David Younger (2004).

About Designations

Listed Buildings

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest and these are selected according to criteria published in the, Annex 2, pp74-76.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

Enquiries relating to works to listed buildings should be made to the local authority in the first instance. Listed building consent is required for works which a local authority considers will affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities also decide if listed building consent is required.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The local authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. For information about curtilage see

Legislation introduced on 1 October 2015 allows us to state that: an object or structure fixed to the listed building; any object or structure within the curtilage of the listed building; and, any part or feature of the listed building that is not of architectural or historic interest may be excluded from a listing. If part of your building is not listed under the new legislation, the part will be excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

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