Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority
Fairy Knowe is among the best of the mid-19th century villas in Blairmore. Its highly prominent position allows it to be seen and appreciated easily from the Shore Road. It is thought to be the work of Charles Wilson, one of the most important Glasgow architects of the mid 19th century. The house survives in very good original condition, largely unaltered.
Fairy Knowe is a roughly rectangular-plan pitch-roofed gable-fronted villa of c.1855, cottage style incorporating Jacobean details. The house sits well above the shore road on a steep hill, a position which gives it a view over much of the Firth of Clyde. The front (E) elevation consists of a central gable, slightly advanced, containing a canted bay with quatrefoil traceried parapet. To the left is a panelled timber door in a roll-moulded surround and a window. To the right a rectangular bay containing a tripartite window is surmounted by a half-dormer. The openings have strapwork pediments and there are ring-drip bargeboards to the central gable and dormer. There are two small blocks extending to the rear; that on the left (N) appears to belong to the original buildings, while that on the right is later.
Interior: the interior contains the original joinery and doors, including one with painted glass, a fine panelled plasterwork ceiling and other details such as a tudor-arched stone fireplace.
Materials: buff sandstone ashlar to the front, rubble to sides and rear. Graded grey slate roof, stone stacks and polygonal clay cans. Timber sash and case windows - predominately 12-pane to rear and 4-pane to front.
Coach House, Boundary Walls etc.: the pitch-roofed coach house by the roadside is of rubble with a square-headed coach door and a basket-arched window above, a blocked-up archway to the side and accommodation on the first floor. The coach house is accessed through a cast iron gate on rubble gatepiers with quartz rubble capstones. The boundary walls are of rubble. The main entrance to the house is to the S, with cast iron gates and castellated square-plan gatepiers.
To the front of the house is a sundial with a boulder base and urns on pedestals.
Statement of Special Interest
In the 1840s a number of Wilson's villas, such as a small house at Dunoon, were in the cottage style, which may include this house. A recent list of buildings by Wilson includes a design for a villa at Blairmore between 1855-7 and a villa for Hugh Reid ' which is thought to have been Glenconner, also at Blairmore (demolished) (Sinclair, 1995).
The house is thought to have been built for the Bald Family, dry salters (Information from the owner, 2004). It was also the home of the famous pathologist William Boog Leishman (1865-1926).