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
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
North Bute
NS 7515 61664
207515, 661664


Edmund Kean, 1824. Symmetrical, 2-storey, 3-bay classical house with single storey, single bay piended wings recessed to outer left and right. Painted harl; painted sandstone dressings. Raised base course; eaves course beneath corniced eaves; painted blocking course. Narrow strip quoins; painted margins; projecting cills; columnar entrance. Single storey, 2-bay rectangular plan outbuilding to rear; whitewashed harl; painted margins.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: boarded doorway centred at ground; surrounding doorpiece comprising flanking detached columns, plain frieze, cornice, block pediment, raised keystone; single window aligned at 1st floor. Single windows at both floors in bays flanking entrance; single windows centred in piended wings recessed to outer left and right.

NW (REAR) ELEVATION: stair window off-set to right of centre; small opening centred at ground; single windows at both floors in bays to outer left and right. Boarded openings in piended wings to outer left and right.

Boarded openings at ground; 24-pane timber sash and case glazing at 1st floor. Graded grey slate piended roof; replacement rainwater goods. Coped, whitewashed wallhead stacks to NE and SW; octagonal cans; corniced wallhead stacks to piended wings; octagonal cans.

INTERIOR: interesting interior; particularly fine drawing room.

OUTBUILDING: single doors in both bays. Graded grey slate roof; lead flashings.

Statement of Special Interest

Empty 1996. A modestly detailed but high quality classical villa set on the banks of Loch Fad. Built as a sanctuary for Edmund Kean, a celebrated actor whose public image was permanently tarnished by a court case brought against him by his mistress' husband. Having discovered his wife's affair, Mr Alderman Cox sued Kean in January 1825 for ?2,000 as compensation for "...the loss of the affection and company of his wife." Cox was awarded damages and Kean's reputation suffered terribly. Bouts of depression and heavy drinking followed and Woodend quite literally, became his sanctuary. Although the house was a refuge for Kean, his wife, Mary, thought very differently - "...he took 22 acres of land from Lord Bute's Factor ... as sterile - as damp - as forlorn - as desolate as you can conceive - built and furnished a house in a spot where there was no road or any creature within three miles of the place - he paid two pound an acre for what was not worth five shillings ... it was a madness done by the desire of Mrs Cox to hide me in..." A more objective impression is given by Susan Chambers, Mary's sister, when in 1824, she assisted with the removal. "To say it is beautiful is not in my mind saying half enough ... the building ... consists of a pretty stone vestibule and hall, stone staircase, on one side a very good dining room, doors of communication to Edmund?s library ... - the windows of the whole are down to the ground - on the other side is a very pretty bedchamber ... next to it is a large kitchen, a water closet in the hall, a large landing place leads you on one side to a drawing room 30 feet by 20 and high in proportion ... On the other side of the landing place there are two excellent bedchambers ... the whole of these apartments are beautifully furnished and when papered and painted ... will be truly magnificent." Kean and his wife eventually separated and the actor died in poverty in 1833. That same year, Lord Bute purchased Woodend (or Kean's Cottage as it was sometimes known) so as to prevent "...its falling into the hands of any person" of whom he did not approve. Although the interior was not seen 1996, previous notes emphasise its interest, with particular reference to a painted drawing room. The estate?s coach-house, cottages, gatelodge and entrance gateway are listed separately.



J Wilson WILSON'S GUIDE TO ROTHESAY AND THE ISLE OF BUTE (1848) p116 - 117; appears on Ordnance Survey map, 1863; I Munro THE ISLAND OF BUTE (1973) p148-159; F Walker & F Sinclair NORTH CLYDE ESTUARY: AN ILLUSTRATED ARCHITECTURAL GUIDE (1992) p165.

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.

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Printed: 24/04/2019 12:59