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
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
NR 71842 20200
171842, 620200


Thomas Brown of Edinburgh, 1847, extended 1871. Irregularly composed 2-storey Jacobethan former prison, comprising 8 x 2-bay near symmetrical gabled cell block to SW, gabled wing advanced to left of centre of NE (principal) front giving approximate T-plan to original design. 2-storey, gabled L-plan infill in re-entrant angle to right of principal gable with later 4-bay, single storey addition advanced at ground to Ralston Road. Stugged ashlar walls and dressings, droved at arrises. Eaves course, chamfered arrises.

NE (RALSTON ROAD) ELEVATION: single bay of cell block visible at outer left. 5-bay, 2-storey symmetrical and gabled wing projecting at centre comprising advanced outer bays (with narrow hoodmoulded windows), each extending up to paired panelled dies forming bases to stacks. Centre

3 bays, closely spaced, hoodmoulds at centre ground floor window, 1st floor windows and slit window centring gablehead. 2-bay, 2-storey L-plan infill to outer right with cell windows in bay to right. Entrance block at ground floor comprising single storey 4-bay elevation to Ralston Road comprising entrance door at 3rd bay with chimney gable above, bipartite windows at other bays, crenellated parapet to outer right.

SE ELEVATION: 2-bay gable end of cell block at outer left, blank at ground floor, narrow blind window at 1st floor left. Single-flue apex stack corbelled out to square shaft at gablehead with octagonal shaft and cope above. 2-bay side elevation of NW wing set back and projecting to right, entrance door at ground floor left, blank bay at ground and 1st floor right.

SW (REAR) ELEVATION: 8-bay near symmetrical elevation, cell windows at ground and 1st floor except for tall opening at 5th bay, and windows at 6th and 7th bay of ground floor.

NW ELEVATION: 2-bay gable end of cell block at outer right with window at 1st floor left bay, and apex stack matching SE elevation. Blank gable end of infill at left.

12-pane timber sash and case windows to most openings of principal and side elevations, 8-pane at narrower openings. Rear elevation; variety of glazing including 18-pane fixed lights with iron bars at upper floor, modern window at ground floor 5th bay, timber sash and case and glass bricks elsewhere. 2-leaf, 6-panel entrance doors with 2-pane fanlight above. Grey slate roof with cast-iron gutters and downpipes. Triangular ashlar skew copes with block skewputts. Stugged ashlar stacks, octagonal with deep copes, mostly with circular cans. Large stack centring ridge of NE wing with square base, octagonal shaft and cope. 3-flue stack at ridge of infill with rectangular base and canted ends to shaft and cope.

INTERIOR: layout of cell block largely intact comprising central vaulted corridor at ground and 1st floor; vaulted prison cells with stone slab floors and painted stone walls. Some original studded timber doors surviving.

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: stugged and coursed rubble wall with saddleback cope to Ralston Road, square gatepiers with encircling iron hinges for modern steel gates. High random rubble wall bounding rear of yard with saddleback cope.

Statement of Special Interest

The Town Hall had served both as a courthouse and prison from 1760.

By the 1840?s, the available space was inadequate for both functions. Following the Prisons (Scotland) Act in 1839, the Argyllshire Prison Board was formed in the county to oversee the prisons in Inveraray, Campbeltown and Tobermory. After much deliberation the Board secured a site for a new prison on the Castlehill. Thomas Brown (circa 1781-1850) of Edinburgh, was the architect of the new jail, completed in 1847 at a cost of ?3250.2s.5d. Conditions inside the new prison can be judged from information contained in the minutes of the Prison Board. The institution had to be inspected regularly and the reports of the inspectors show infants and children to be frequently incarcerated with their mothers. A typical entry reads "31st May 1856. Visited the prison this day and found 10 male prisoners and 5 female prisoners, one of the latter having her infant child - found all in good order (signed) John Beith, jun".



Murdo MacDonald, Argyll & Bute Council Archive ORDNANCE PLAN OF CAMPBELTOWN (1868) SCOTTISH RECORD OFFICE "Campbeltown Week" Publications CAMPBELTOWN 1700-1950 p67 Groome?s GAZETTEER p228.

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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Printed: 02/12/2023 17:44