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- Category: A
- Date Added: 12/04/1978
- Supplementary Information Updated: 25/09/2006
- Local Authority: Argyll And Bute
- Planning Authority: Argyll And Bute
- Parish: Saddell And Skipness
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NR 82342 48147
- Coordinates: 182342, 648147
1921-2. Oliver Hill, architect. Large, outstanding Arts and Crafts house in an English Mediaeval style. Two storeyed. Whinstone rubble walls and chimneys. Purbeck stone slates. Steel casement windows. Roughly symmetrical entrance front, flanked by round towers and short wings, has door to entrance lobby behind which is a large Hall. There is a Library to the East of the Hall and a long rear wing to the West. In the re-entrant angle is a terrace.
Statement of Special Interest
An astonishing country house designed by the English architect, Oliver Hill, for J B Gray, a shipping magnate, on the site of an old farmhouse. Hill's drawings at the RIBA include unexecuted drawings for the house by H E Clifford (who built the replacement farmhouse nearby). The house is built of grey-green whin stone, which was quarried on site and appears to grow out of the landscape, especially the entrance elevation where the roofs of low single-storey side wings contrive to give the impression that the house is rising out of the ground. The rear elevation, which faces over steeply falling ground towards the sea, has a more monumental aspect. The architectural massing and composition is vigorously well-handled and strongly influenced by the works of Lutyens, who was a family friend, with heavy battered masonry, horizontal bands of mullioned windows and a strong and varied roof line. Yet while the house is a powerful example of Arts and Crafts architecture, it also looks forward to the modernism that was to mark out Hill's career in the 1930's. While the stone slates and thick masonry give the impression of a traditional building, modern materials were also employed, such as steel window frames and cement pointing (the latter causing severe problems of water penetration). The interior is notable for its generosity of space and Arts-and-Crafts detailing. A perspective drawing of the house was commissioned from F L Griggs by Hill, and exhibited at the Royal Academy. Change of category from B to A, 25 September 2006.
ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW 64, 1928. F. A. Walker, The Buildings Of Scotland: Argyll And Bute, (2000) pp 200-1. Oliver Hill's drawings for Cour, Benjamin Tindall Architects (at 2009). RIBA Drawings collection (Oliver Hill with Clifford drawings in collection). Benjamin Tindall Architects CONDITION REPORT, August 1991. Information courtesy of H Nickerson, re material found by Alan Powers at RIBA on original commission.
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