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- Category: B
- Group Category Details: B
- See Notes
- Date Added: 04/05/2006
- Local Authority: Argyll And Bute
- Planning Authority: Argyll And Bute
- Parish: Dunoon And Kilmun
- National Park: Loch Lomond And The Trossachs
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 19453 81861
- Coordinates: 219453, 681861
Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority
Blairmore House is an exceptional example of a larger marine villa of the 1850s and one of the premier houses on the shore. The house stands out above the Shore Road with generous lawns to the front. It has many unique features and, although the interior has been adjusted and added to several times, many details survive. It is prominent contributes to the collection of buildings in Blairmore.
Large 2-storey villa with squat 3-stage tower to SW corner and a prominent concave-canted full-height bay. The low-pitch roof has later dormers to the front.
Blairmore House, dated 1858, is unusual in both form and details. The corner bay with concave sides in particular stands out, as does the treatment of the quoins with a form of bordered rustication. This and the heavy consoled eaves are seen in some of Alexander Thomson's earlier villas - particularly at Glen Eden of the early 1850s. Blarachorine, also in Blairmore (also listed) contains the same details and is likely to be by the same hand as this house.
The house appears on the 1st edition OS map with a substantial semicircular bay to the N where there is now a single-storey rectangular projection. By the edition of 1898 a small extension had been built to the NW corner. During the early 20th century, however, this was extended or replaced with the substantial 2-storey block now in place. Also during this period, the alterations to the rear were carried out, including the 2-storey extension with an Arts and Crafts dining room.
Judging by the disposition of the upstairs rooms, many internal alterations have taken place during the 20th century. The house was used as a care home for a period in the 20th century by the West of Scotland Teacher's Nursing Association. It was also used as an hotel for a period. At the time of the survey (2004) a single-storey extension to the S was in the course of construction.
Interior: the interior has, among other features, a square-columned stair hall, good quality stained glass, raised friezes and decorative plasterwork cornices. Over the stairs is a tall cupola with foliate plasterwork to the ribs. The NE reception room has a large segmental arch on paired columns. The extension to the rear contains the dining room, with a stone chimneypiece with a massive stone overmantle and a 16th century or replica fireback (Inscribed 1588 IFC), as well as timber panelling. There is also original joinery, timber chimneypieces and other features such as an early 20th century tiled bath/shower.
Materials: honey-coloured sandstone ashlar to front elevation. Rendered with rusticated sandstone dressings to tower and rear elevations. Predominantly plate glass sash and case windows, some mullioned windows to the rear.
Outbuildings, Boundary Walls: Blairmore House is situated on a large plot well above the road. To the SW corner is a set of outbuildings. This originally consisted of just the corner lodge, situated at an angle to the road. This was later substantially added to and altered. The early 20th century garage, with a piended slated roof and tiled to the interior, opens on to the High Road. There were formerly substantial greenhouses to the High Road.
To the Shore Road is a long balustraded wall with square-plan gatepiers. To the High Road the wall is of rubble, the gatepiers round with quartz rubble capstones. There are stretches of balustraded wall throughout the garden. The single-storey lodge to the Shore Road is listed separately.
Statement of Special Interest
Blairmore House is thought to have been built in 1858 for Hugh Highgate, a Paisley fish oil refiner. The Highgate family had a number of properties in the area including Mossgiel and Vine Cottage in Blairmore. It was they who built the Alliance Church in Strone (now known as Highgate Hall).
The settlement of the W shore of Loch Long was a continuation from the development of Kilmun and Strone, which began in the late 1820s when marine engineer David Napier feued a three mile stretch of land from Campbell of Monzie and ran daily steamer connections to Glasgow. Blairmore pier opened in 1855, encouraging development northwards.
B-Group with Blairmore House Lodge (see separate listing).
Ordnance Survey 1st edition (c1863) and 2nd edition (c1898); List of Benmore Feuars (c1915) (Courtesy of Benmore Trust); Walker, F.A., Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute (2000), 147; Information courtesy of J Valentine; Postcard c. 1910.
Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for the designation of buildings, monuments, gardens and designed landscapes and historic battlefields. We also advise Scottish Ministers on the designation of historic marine protected areas.
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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