Gareloch House is a 2-storey, 3-bay, rectangular-plan classical style villa, built in 1817. It is situated close to the east shore of the Gareloch between the villages of Rosneath and Clynder on the Rosneath Peninsula in Argyll.
The house is built of mixed whinstone and sandstone rubble with stugged sandstone ashlar dressings, strip quoins and raised margins. The shallow piended roof has a projecting eaves cornice with carved mutule decoration. The side elevations (northwest and southeast) have entrance doorways and sandstone ashlar chimneystacks with stepped pediments and clay cans. The southwest (rear) elevation has half-piended out-shots to outer right and outer left. The windows are timber sash and case with 12-pane glazing pattern. The roof is grey slate with lead flashings.
The interior (as seen in photographs taken in 2017) has a narrow central hallway with a plain staircase at the southeast end. Most rooms have simple moulded cornicing. The former drawing and sitting rooms have veined grey and black marble fireplaces with pairs of fluted pilasters and decorative mantels.
There is a low rubble boundary wall to Shore Road with rounded rubble coping stones and simple rubble gatepiers.
In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following are excluded from the listing: garage addition to rear.
Statement of Special Interest
Gareloch House is among the earliest villas to be built on the Rosneath peninsula, later to become renowned for its remarkable collection of 19th century summer coastal residences. The design, symmetrical proportions and simple classical detailing are typical of the small classical house that became fashionable in Scotland during the earlier 19th century. The building survives largely as it was first designed and built. It occupies a scenic location close to the shore surrounded by mature garden grounds with open views across the Gareloch toward Rhu and Helensburgh.
In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following is excluded from the listing: garage addition to rear.
Age and Rarity
Gareloch House was built in 1817 when the first feu of the Barremman Estate on the Rosneath peninsula was taken up (Walker, 1992). John Thomson's 1823 map of Argyll shows the land in the ownership of a 'Mr Angus Esquire' and includes a pictogram of Angus' larger house on the site, 'Gareloch Cottage' (later known as 'Gareloch Chateau' and then 'Achnashie House' before being destroyed by fire in 1946). Both Gareloch Cottage and Gareloch House were probably built by Mr Angus between 1817 and 1823. The footprint of these houses and their garden grounds are shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, surveyed in 1860. The upper floor of Gareloch House was advertised as rentable accommodation in the Glasgow Herald during the earlier 1850s and remained in the ownership of the Angus family when it was advertised for sale in 1858 (Glasgow Herald) and again in 1861 (The Scotsman). The property has changed hands on a number of occasions since then and has been unoccupied since 2014.
The introduction of the steamboat to the Clyde in 1812 made travelling for business and pleasure both easier and faster. The rapid urbanisation of Scotland's central belt, and the emergence of wealthy merchants and professional people, led to growing demand for summer residences around the Clyde coast. William Maughan, in his 1893 book 'Rosneath - Past and Present', states that the 8th Duke of Argyll continued feuing the east shores of the Gareloch for villa development in around 1825 'previous to which the shore from the Stroul Burn to Garelochhead presented an unbroken slope of green fields' (Maughan, p.58). The Duke went on to feu ground on the south and west coasts of the Rosneath peninsula, and built steamer piers at the villages of Cove, Kilcreggan and Coulport. The feus were soon taken up and many prestigious houses and villas were built for Glasgow's wealthy merchants and professionals during the mid-19th to the early 20th century.
All buildings erected before 1840, which are of notable quality and survive mainly in their original form, have a case for listing. Many small-scaled, symmetrical villas with classical detailing were built in Scotland during the early and mid-19th century as principal or secondary residences for the growing middle classes, typically on the outskirts of larger towns and cities.
While Gareloch House is not a rare building type, dating to 1817 the house was one of the very first villas to be built on the coast of the Rosneath peninsula, later to become renowned for its remarkable collection of 19th century summer residences. The simple classical detailing, with mutuled projecting eaves, strip quoins, shallow piended roof and broad end stacks, survives largely as it was originally designed and built. It is a good example of the type of classically influenced design that became fashionable in Scotland during the early 19th century.
The rendered lean-to garage addition to the southwest (rear) elevation is not of interest in listing terms and is excluded from the listing.
Architectural or Historic Interest
The interior has a simple decorative scheme with moulded cornicing and plain plasterwork ceilings which are typical for this building type and date. Ornamented marble fireplaces in the former sitting and dining rooms on the ground floor add interest in listing terms.
The symmetrical, rectangular plan form is typical for a classically proportioned villa of the early 19th century and is unaltered. The 1st Edition Ordnance Survey (1860) shows the house with porches (no longer extant) projecting from both side elevation entrances. Entrances at the side, rather than front and centre, are unusual for a classically detailed villa of this date.
Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality
The building has strip quoins, a shallow piended roof with eaves cornice, and tall end stacks, all indicative of its early 19th century building date. The mutuled eaves are a distinguishing decorative embellishment to the exterior of this classically proportioned villa, marking it out as a property of some status.
Gareloch House occupies a scenic location close to the shore with open views across the Gareloch toward Rhu and Helensburgh.
Mid-19th century historic maps show the villa located within its own enclosed and planted garden, on rising ground to the rear. The gardens at Gareloch House continue to feature a good variety of tree species. Some of the larger trees date to ownership by the Angus family before 1850. The garden grounds are typical for villas of around this period in coastal areas of the Rosneath peninsula.
There are no known regional variations.
Close Historical Associations
There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2018).
Statutory address, category of listing changed from A to C and listed building record revised in 2018. Previously listed as 'Gareloch House with retaining and boundary walls and gatepiers'.
Canmore: http://canmore.org.uk/ CANMORE ID: 41442
Thomson, J. (published 1823) Atlas of Scotland, Edinburgh: J. Thomson & Co.
Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1860, published 1865). Dumbarton Sheet XVI.3 (Rosneath). 25 inches to the mile. 1st Edition. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.
Ordnance Survey (revised 1896, published 1898). Dumbartonshire 016.03 (includes: Rosneath). 25 inches to the mile. 2nd Edition. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.
Canmore, manuscripts, Research material relating to Gareloch House (Achnashie) and garden. Compiled, 1987: MS 499/3/48
Battrum s Guide and Directory to Helensburgh and Neighbourhood (1875) p.130,
Glasgow Herald, Desirable Investment, 10 March 1858, p.7.
The Scotsman, Villa and Grounds in the Gareloch for Sale, 26 November 1861, p.4
Maughan, W.C. (1893) Rosneath: Past and Present, London: Alexander Gardner, p.58.
Walker, F.A. with Sinclair, F.J. (1992) North Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide. RIAS: Edinburgh, p.102.
Walker, F.A. (2000) Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute. London: Penguin Books. p.194.
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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.
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Printed: 21/01/2019 17:43