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- Category: A
- Date Added: 01/10/1992
- 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 16532 82182
- Coordinates216532, 682182
Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority
Old Kilmun House is undoubtedly one of the most important buildings in the parish and is unusual in a wider context because of the 6-bay layout. Few houses combine such classical features with an asymmetrical façade. The house also includes part of or re-used stonework from a 16th-17th century building. For its unusual layout and its early date Old Kilmun House is of special interest.
Old Kilmun House stands at the foot of a steep hill, Facing SW over the Holy Loch. The house consists of the original block, probably of an early 18th century date, a later 19th century addition to the rear and a block of c1900 to the SW corner. The main house is a two-storey over basement 6-bay block, with the off-centre entrance to the raised ground floor on the third bay from the left by way of a formal stone stair. The main doorway is pedimented and bolection-moulded ' probably a later feature. Immediately to the left of this, at basement level is a second door. The fenestration is regular, with smaller square windows to the basement. This façade also has a cavetto eaves cornice, presumed to belong to the time of the 19th century improvements.
The NE (rear) elevation includes some earlier fabric, including a number of roll-moulded window surrounds, but it is not known if this is the re-use of earlier fragments or an earlier wall. The former seems the most likely.
Sometime after 1863 a large extension was built to the NW corner of the house. On the second edition OS map the extension is recessed from the main block and the stonework seems to indicate that this was single-storey. It seems, then, that the substantial extension to the W in line with the main block and including a corner canted bay with a corbelled and crow-stepped upper floor is from c1900 or later. The door to this section faces W, with a blank plaque above.
Interior: the interior of the house is predominantly 19th century, with good quality joinery including a timber staircase, timber panelling and a built-in dresser in the dining room. The dining room also has timber fielding to the ceiling and heavy dentilled cornicing. In one of the upstairs bedrooms is a small bolection-moulded stone fireplace, painted and within a later timber surround.
Materials: rubble with sandstone dressings. Fine ashlar dressing to the later block. Timber sash and case windows. Modern plastic replacements to the 19th century block. Slate roof and lead ridge. Corniced stone gable-head stacks with clay cans.
Garden And Boundary Walls: the house is bounded by a rubble wall and cast iron railings. On the map of c1863 the entrance was directly to the front of the house, with what appears to be a small walled garden to the SW. To the W were two large buildings which appear to be related, but were demolished by 1898, by which time there were two symmetrical sweeping drives. Later still, a substantial amount of the garden was given over to the cemetery and the present access is by the SW.
Statement of Special Interest
The Kilmun estate was acquired from the Campbells of Kilmun in the early 18th century by the Campbells of Finab. From 1778, when Robert Campbell inherited the Perthshire estate of Monzie the house was no longer a laird's seat and was let out to several tenants (RCAHMS 1992, 342). In the later 19th century the Kilmun estate was sold to the Benmore estate, probably while under the ownership of James Duncan and it is likely that he carried out the 19th century works.
Ordnance Survey 1st edition (c1863) and 2nd edition (c1898); Walker, F A and Sinclair, F, North Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992), 133; Walker, F A, Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute (2000), 358; RCAHMS, Inventory- Argyll Vol 7 (1992).
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