Two-storey house consisting of two building phases. Earlier L-plan house dating from 1746-7, built to replace Dunollie Castle (scheduled monument, SM293) as a residence. Later phase about 1830, large L-plan two-storey and attic new house dwarfing original, thus demoted to service wing. Both phases interlocking resulting in approximate rectangular plan house with single storey wing projecting east. Rubble wall construction, coursed to later phase with margins and projecting cills to openings, droved dressings.
Earlier house: west elevation: gabled end to north range with connection to later phase at right, entrance door between with canopy roof over. North elevation, three regularly spaced bays with chamfered margins to window openings. End gable of south range to left with lean-to addition at ground. East elevation; four irregularly spaced bays, two-storey range, modern flat-roofed sun porch porch at bay two, entrance door behind.
Later house: main facades to south and west.
West (principal) elevation: three-bay with older building projecting to left, symmetrical except for single storey pilastered and corniced entrance porch to left of first bay. South elevation: gabled first bay, with symmetrically placed small windows in gable-head. Blank east gable to south range. Four-pane timber sash and case windows to original building phase, single bipartite window to east elevation with plate glass timber sashes. 12-pane timber sash and case windows to ground and first floor openings of later building, porch, and single storey wing. Eight-pane windows to attic storey, bipartite to dormers. Grey slate roofs with skew copes, later ashlar gabled, slate-hung dormers at head of each bay to west front of later phase, matching dormers to head of bays two and four of south front. Coped chimney stacks with circular cans, skews and stacks rendered to earlier house, ashlar to later house.
Interior: most original fittings survive intact. Stone stair with cast-iron balusters and timber handrail. South room, green and white marble chimneypiece moved to this position in 1967. Niche to right with scallop-shell decoration, panelled shutters. Dining room to first floor, black marble fireplace, four-panel doors, grained shutters and fine cornice.
Stables: three single-storey random rubble ranges giving approximate U-plan with open corners. West range: modernised and converted to dwelling. South range, L-plan with nine-bay north elevation, cart arches in bays seven and eight. Vertically-boarded timber doors, some slatted, grey slate roof with cast iron skylights. North range roofless. six-bay south elevation with doorways in bays three and five. Cast iron pump to centre of courtyard.
Gardener's Cottage: three-bay, single storey and attic house to north of stables. Whitewashed rubble walls, modern timber lean-to porch at centre. four-pane timber sash and case windows, grey slate roof with timber, gabled, slate-hung dormers. Coped chimney stacks with circular cans.
Walled Garden: A coastal walled garden built around 1825 as part of estate improvements for Dunollie House, northwest of Oban. The walled garden is located on sloping, south-facing ground between a precipitous outcrop of rock on which Dunollie Castle (scheduled monument SM293) stands and the shoreline to the south.
The garden has rubble walls around 3m high and has a broadly rectangular plan form. The north wall is crenellated and spans between two natural rock outcrops. The west wall has a segmental arched entrance (now blocked) and a projecting square tower at the northwest corner. The entrance at the southeast corner is flanked by a round tower with slit windows and a crenellated parapet. The eastern third of the south wall rises up in a series of steps. The walled garden is divided by an internal wall running north to south.
Statement of Special Interest
A well preserved collection of buildings evidencing different building phases.
This house is historically important due to its association with the Chiefs of Clan MacDougall who built it as a substitute for nearby Dunollie Castle. It is also interesting for its association with the architect Leslie Grahame Thomson (subsequently MacDougall) by whom are the alterations to the ground floor of the 1830s section, as, perhaps, are other small contemporary details. The west range of the stables has been converted with some loss of original character.
Alexander, 23rd Chief to the Clan MacDougall, built Dunollie House between 1745 and 1753 as a replacement for Dunollie Castle. From 1825, Sir John MacDougall of Dunollie, 25th Chief of the clan, engaged on improving the estate. He enlarged the 1745 house and established the walled garden in 'Castle Park' for which there is a written specification dated 1825 (Robinson 2017). The MacDougall Family Archive also contain documents associated with the functioning on the garden during the 19th century and first half of the 20th century. These include receipts for goods sold, bills for labour, inventories of tools as well as the personal reminiscences of the McDougall family (Robinson 2017).
The walled garden at Dunollie is of interest as an early 19th century walled garden with castellated features that survives largely unaltered. It is an important functionally related ancillary building of Dunollie House and is a significant component in the setting of the nationally important Dunollie Castle. At the principal is a round tower which would have functioned as a small viewing tower or gazebo. Early photographs (dated 1880) show a small greenhouse just beyond the round tower against the south wall and a whalebone arch by the shore. Both features are now gone.
Statutory address and listed building record revised in 2018. Previously listed as 'Ganavan, Dunollie House, stables and gardener s house'.