Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing 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.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
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

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

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.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 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.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 23/01/2019 13:44