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- Category: C
- 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 14271 87489
- Coordinates: 214271, 687489
Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority
Inverchapel Lodge, as well as being a good example of a fishing lodge of the 1920s and published as an exemplary 'Smaller house', was the home of Lord Inverchapel, one of the premier diplomats of the 20th century.
Inverchapel Lodge, concealed in trees immediately to the E of the Loch Eck road with a formal garden stretching S, consists of a principal 3-bay single storey and dormer sub-rectangular-plan piend-roofed block with a prominent stepped central chimney. A single-storey L-shaped range (1923) extends N.
The initial lodge at Inverchapel was built in 1921-2, and was published by the architect Gerald Wellesley in a book on 'The Smaller House' in 1924. This house, designed as 'A fishing lodge for the accommodation of two or three fishermen and one or two servants' and surviving as the main block, was on a rectangular plan, with two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room downstairs and three main bedrooms in the dormer storey. Although the chimneystack is central, the fireplaces are not, requiring a complex flue system. The house is three bays wide on the entrance (N) front with a central pedimented doorway containing a decorative semicircular fanlight.
The accommodation soon proved inadequate and in 1923 a servants' wing containing 3 bedrooms was added to the NE corner, in the style of the original house, with the outhouse for the original block forming a link. At this time the main door may also have been moved from the W elevation to its present location on the N elevation. Later again, in 1925, Wellesley published plans for a further enlargement, with the W elevation tripled in length and an off-centre Dutch gable over a classical entrance (Builder, 1925). This was to compensate for the abandonment of the plans for a grand house further S along the loch, by the same architect. This further extension remained unexecuted.
Interior: throughout the 20th century, alterations were carried out to the interior, including the stair being moved and other internal alterations.
Materials: harled brick with sandstone ashlar dressings. Grey slate roof with clay ridges, slated dormers with slated cheeks. Multi-pane timber sash and case windows on the ground floor, casements to dormers.
Boundary Walls And Gardens: high brick wall to the road. Steps, retaining walls and a wrought iron gate remain from a previously formal garden.
Statement of Special Interest
Archibald John Kerr Clark Kerr, 1st Baron Inverchapel (1882-1951), born abroad of a local land-owning family, was one of the premier British diplomats of the 20th century. In a long and distinguished career he was ambassador to Iraq, China, Russia and the US. His role as Russian ambassador during WWII is seen as particularly important. During his time there he forged a close relationship with Stalin. After the war he moved to Washington where he oversaw the Marshall Plan and the creation of NATO.
The architect at Inverchapel was Gerald Wellesley (1885-1972) of Wellesley and Wills. Wellesley, later the 7th Duke of Wellington, was in the Diplomatic Service from 1908 for a number of years, where he met Clark Kerr. He then trained as an architect and commenced independent practice in 1921, in partnership with Trenwith Lovering Wills (1891-1972). The practice designed in a variety of styles including Neo-Georgian and 'Hollywood Spanish', and their work included Faringdon Tower in 1935, known as the last folly in England.
Wellesley designed a larger house for Inverchapel, where the Loch Eck Caravan Park is now located. The present gates to the caravan park may have been built for the unexecuted house.
'The Smaller House' of 1924 was the first book on the smaller English house after the great war and published houses by such architects as Lutyens and Barry Parker.
Architectural Press, The Smaller House (1924), 160-2; Builder, December 25, 1925, 911-17; Gillies, D, Radical Diplomat. The Life of Archibald Clark-Kerr, Lord Inverchapel 1882-1951, (1999).
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