Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority
Kilmun Pier was built c1828 by marine engineer and entrepreneur David Napier to serve a new route from Glasgow to Inveraray via Loch Eck. The pier was the first of a number of piers built on Loch Long and is an early example of a Clyde pier, of which there were almost 100 by the late 19th century (McCrorie and Monteith, 1982). The pier, which consists of a masonry block main pier, with a later timber projection, a number of timber buildings on the pier and a pair of parallel stone buildings at the shore end, is of interest for its early date, its connection to David Napier and the opening of the Clyde to tourist traffic, as well as for the survival of the stone buildings.
The pier built c1828 consisted of the main stone portion of the existing pier, faced with squared rubble blocks, with ashlar kerbs and a cobbled surface. The shore end buildings appear to be from this first phase. These consist of two parallel stone rubble blocks, gabled to the road and piend-roofed to the loch-side, with splayed inner corners to allow for access to the pier. Each block appears to have been built in two stages, a map of 1839 (Waterston) shows what seem to be shorter buildings. In the mid-19th century, these buildings were extended further out on to the pier, initially a low single-storey, but later built up. The block to the SE has a blocked-up arched doorway and was perhaps a smithy. That to the NW has a large squared window and is thought to have been a waiting room. By 1863 the first OS map shows a number of service buildings stretched SE along the road, in the position of the present car park.
Later in the 19th century, the pier was extended with a new timber platform to allow for bigger steamers to moor. In the 20th century two timber buildings have been built on the timber part of the pier and a large modern flat-roofed masonry building, including public toilets, has been erected. During the 20th century the NW building was used as a Post Office.
Materials: stone pier with timber jetty. Rubble buildings with sandstone dressings, slate roofs. Predominantly timber sash and case windows. Timber pier buildings and cement-rendered toilet block.
Statement of Special Interest
David Napier (1790-1869) the celebrated marine engineer and a pioneer of deep-sea steam navigation, purchased a stretch of land along the Holy Loch and Loch Long shore from General Campbell of Monzie in 1828 and built an hotel, a pier and a number of villas (including the 'Tea Caddies' (also listed) (Maclehose, 1912,114). Napier is known to have sold off most of his Scottish interests in c1837 (Walker, 1992, 359). Certainly by the time of the 1st OS Survey, the pier is recorded as being the property of Campbell of Monzie.
The pier was finally closed for traffic in 1971 and is at present (2004) used by Western Ferries to moor ferries overnight. In 2003 consent was granted for the conversion of the former Post Office to residential use.
Part of a B-Group including the K6 telephone kiosk.
Waterston, J, Outline Plan of the Estate of Kilmun, The Property of Alexander Campbell of Monzie (1839). Ordnance Survey Name Books (c1863). Ordnance Survey 1st edition (c1863) and 2nd edition (c1898). Maclehose (Pub.), David Napier, Engineer, 1790-1869, An Autobiographical Sketch with Notes (1912). McCrorie, I and Montieth, J, Clyde Piers, A Pictorial Record (1982). Walker, F A and Sinclair, F, North Clyde Estuary: an Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992), 135; Walker, F A, Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute (2000), 358.
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