Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see 'About Listed Buildings' below for more information. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Planning Authority
NM 70327 47531
170327, 747531


Mansion; Alexander Ross, 1884-91. Some interior decoration by

John Kinross. Large, 2-storey and attic, asymmetrical,

roughly T-plan mansion, with long elevations west and south,

1 small tower and 1 prominent French main tower in south

frontage; triangular rear service court enclosed by single

storey, semi-circular range of game larders fronting steep

cliff. Sneck coursed tooled ashlar rubble, much of it

fronting concrete core, tooled ashlar dressings, rendered

rear elevations facing service court.

West entrance front, L-plan, with shallow pointed-headed

archway in NW passing under billiard room into rear court.

4-arched arcade in centre of west elevation, an idea adapted

from earlier house, as entrance loggia, leading to principal

ashlar in re-entrant angle. Round-headed, moulded and

stop-chamfered doorpiece; double leaf linenfold panelled


Irregular south front with bipartites and tripartites in

ground floor; slender square angle tower rises near centre

with steep pyramidal roof; elevation terminants at SE with

substantial square 5-storey tower with steep pyramidal slate

roof with decorative cast-iron ridge brattishing.

Large piended dormers, mainly with tripartites, in south and

west elevations; hoodmoulds to some windows; mainly 2-pane


Glazed canopy runs full length of south front, returning for

short length across west gable; cast-iron columns with

chevron moulding and with decorative paired brackets.

Tall batteries of ashlar stacks with decorative copes;

particularly tall wallhead battery rises from SE tower.

Slated roofs, with some lead flats and with various glazed


Interior; richly decorated principal public rooms. Main

entrance leads to lobby, and then to large stair hall with

handsome wide stair; coffered ceiling in hall and 1st floor

landing; panelled stairwell; richly carved scroll 17th

century patterned baluster with polished handrail; square

newels with urn finials. Carved and pedimented doorpieces

lead to public rooms through double leaf panelled doors.

Drawing room; raised and field panelling divided by slender

panels with carved swags; marble chimney piece with

decorative cast-iron grate with matching moulded swags in

side panels; coffered plaster ceiling.

Further public room in SW (library) with carved chimney piece

and decorated cast-iron grate; decorative coffered ceiling.

Dining room with marble chimney piece and plaster ceiling.

Clock tower; to rear of house, on cliff edge, tall square

5-storey clock tower of 1856-66. Rubble with contrasting

tooled ashlar dressings. Entrance in north elevation. Giant

angle pilasters rise to string course defining 5th storey,

and linked at lower stages by corbelled courses. Round-headed

windows with decorative lights, in 1st and 2nd floors of

south elevations; clock face with cable moulded surround;

3-arched arcaded upper storey (blind at rear) with

round-headed arches with blocked imposts. Tall pyramidal

slate roof with cast-iron finial (roof altered and raised in


Statement of Special Interest

Present mansion is second Ardtornish Tower on site the

smaller (1856-66) having been demolished in 1884 to make way

for larger house. The clock tower dates from earlier period.

Mansion of 1856-66 built by Octavius Smith, (possibly

designed by Alexander Ross of Inverness) and the present

house by his son, Valentine.



Philip Gaskell, MORVERN TRANSFORMED, (1968, 2nd ed. 1980)

pp.66-7. plates 8, 9, 13. Drawings etc at house.

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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