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
Cove And Kilcreggan
NS 21680 83405
221680, 683405


Alexander Thomson, 1851-4, alterations John Honeyman, 1869 with substantial Baronial additions by William Leiper, 1896-7. 3-storey over basement mid 19th century Scots Baronial house; rectangular-plan; whinstone and sandstone rubble with polished sandstone margins and dressings; deep basement; corbelled eaves cornice; stepped string courses, hoodmoulds, eaves band, Jacobethan detailing; roll-moulded and chamfered reveals; crowstepped gables; candle-snuffer roofs, lead caps, finials on turrets, bartizans and towers.

W ELEVATION: 3-bay asymmetrical original villa elevation. 2-storey over deep basement gabled to outer left, roll-moulded round-headed window at ground to right, canted oriel window on deeply-moulded corbelling at 1st floor, corbelled string course, window directly above in gable, triangular pediment. Taller 2-bay tower block to outer right, bartizans, that to left corbelled from principal floor level, that to right at parapet level. Windows symmetrically disposed, 2 small windows at ground, principal floor windows with moulded arrises, Jacobethan detail above lintel (stained glass upper panes), balustraded balcony on boldly moulded corbels, upper floor windows with ashlar panels inset in architrave. Stugged, squared ashlar parapet, bracketted eaves cornice, rope-moulding; bartizan to left with small windows, stepped string course, that to right blank.

E ELEVATION: 1896, 2-bay, parapetted tower block on deep, battered base to outer right, with lower narrow block to left. Blind arrowslit in battered base to right of tower, blank plaque at centre of upper stage. Entrance bay to left of tower, slightly advanced elaborate, 2-tiered, pedimented doorpiece with roll-moulded arrises; round-headed door, roll-moulding, hollow chamfer, heavy 2-leaf panelled oak door, cast-iron hinges, 2 round-headed, multi-paned leaded lights directly above, inscription in pediment 'as built on rock so be our lives?. Flanking round-headed, multi-paned windows, decorative panel above, monogram JTS at centre of panel to left, datestone 1896 to right. Pediment of doorpiece abuts into corbelling of 2-storey canted oriel directly above, roll-moulded transoms and mullions, leaded glass at principal floor level, smaller window at upper floor. Ashlar battlemented parapet; crowstepped gable rising from within, 2 dormers symmetrically disposed, broken segmental-headed pediment, triangulated finials. Lower narrow gable to left with 2-stage squat corner tower to outer left; ashlar stair leading to shoulder-arched, roll-moulded door on SE side; stepped string course, narrow windows, plaque.

S ELEVATION: original villa to left with Leiper addition to right. Narrow gable to outer left, battlemented bow at ground to left, pedimented window at centre of gable; lower crowstepped gabled porch advanced to right, balustraded stair to round-headed door, armorial escutcheon above. 2-stage tower rising above canted block in re-entrant angle to right, 1855 datestone above 1st floor window. Window at basement, principal and upper floor to right, segmental-headed dormer to right; lower block abutting to outer right, single window at basement, tripartite window at principal floor, pedimented dormerhead at upper stage. 1896 block to right, lower block with 2 segmental-headed arches at ground, dormerhead with broken segmental-headed pediment, gablet over; wallhead stack rising to right, balustraded stair and tower to outer right.

N ELEVATION: tall tower block on double basement, canted oriel window corbelled from principal floor upwards, parapet, crowtepped gable. Lower 2-bay block to right, transomed and mullioned windows. Taller block to right, gable with corner turret at left, canted oriel with ashlar roof at principal floor, plaque in gable; windows symmetrically disposed in bay to outer right.

2-pane, 4-pane, 6-pane over plate glass sash and case windows, leaded windows. Grey slate roof, lead flashings; tall and broad wallhead, ridge stacks, octagonal cans.

INTERIOR: elaborate Leiperian interior; entrance tower heavily carved wooden staircase, pierced wooden frieze; hydraulic powered lift. Banqueting hall; music room on 1st floor with wagon roof, stencilled purlins, painted celing of celestial design, elaborate painted processional frieze (oak and pine), arched braces carried on carved pilasters, carved masonry consoled impost blocks; carved wooden chimneypieces; panelled dado; minstrels? gallery at NW end, decorative cast-iron work; mosaic tiled bathroom, original fittings; original light fittings; attic bedrooms with Art Nouveau cast-iron fireplaces. Original boiler for lift in basement dungeon.

BOUNDARY WALL AND GATEPIERS: rubble wall with harl-pointing, boulder and mortar coping; ashlar gatepiers with pyramidal caps, large ball finials; elaborate wrought-iron gates with plain pointed railings.

BALUSTRADE AND BIRD BATH: curved, honey-coloured sandstone arcaded, ashlar balustrade, slab coping. Elaborately carved bird bath placed at centre of terrace, squat column, fruit garlands, cherub heads, dentilled capital; large basin with fluted shell base, acanthus leaf carving.

Statement of Special Interest

Knockderry Castle is listed category A on account of the exceptional Leiperian interior which is considered one of the finest domestic interiors of its style in Scotland. The early house was designed by Alexander Thomson with further additions by John Honeyman but the architectural importance of the building lies in the 1896 additions by William Leiper for John S Templeton, the carpet manufacturer from Glasgow. Leiper had also designed Templeton's carpet factory in Glasgow Green. Andrew Carnegie penned his offer of funding for branch libraries on 15 May 1901 in Knockderry. The North Lodge is listed separately.



R McFadzean THE LIFE AND WORK OF ALEXANDER THOMSON (1979) p42. F A Walker and F Sinclair NORTH CLYDE ESTUARY (1979) p114. ?Academy Architecture? Vol I 1897. D M Walker?s architects notes. Muirhead?s Blue Guide Series pp144-5. NMRS photographs. John R Hume 'The Scottish Houses of William Leiper? (typescript). F Sinclair 'Knockderry Castle Cove? (typecript architects report).

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: 16/02/2019 17:18