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
Dunoon And Kilmun
National Park
Loch Lomond And The Trossachs
NS 14429 93278
214429, 693278


Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

Whistlefield Inn, early 19th century or earlier, was important in the development of the tourist trade in Cowal in the later 19th century, when road excursions began to be popular, connecting with steamer trips to and from Strachur, Loch Eck and Ardentinny. Although somewhat altered over the years, Whistlefield remains an interesting collection of buildings, with a complex development, including a possible early date, which contributes to the landscape of the area.

Whistlefield consists of a number of conjoined buildings. The main body of the inn is made up of three gabled blocks joined back to back. The entrance elevation faces roughly SE and away from Loch Eck, on the road to Ardentinny. This is a 5-bay 1½- storey elevation with gabled dormers and a low gabled porch and a second lean-to porch. The second elevation, overlooking both Loch Eck and the main road, consisting of a short gabled block with a central double-height canted bay and a later flat-roofed block to the SW. Immediately to the NE of the hotel are three parallel gabled former outhouses.

The earliest part of the inn is the central block of the three parallel main blocks, of which only the gable and a single bay are now visible, entirely of rubble with probable 19th century windows and a low door leading to what may have been a vaulted cellar, later altered. One or more of the outbuildings may also belong to this phase.

The second phase of the building probably involved building on to the front (SE) of this block with the long block now containing the front elevation. A late 19th century photograph shows this elevation, with a symmetrical 3-bay gabled-dormer façade to the NE, and a lower 3-bay block to the SW of that. The entrance has a flat-roofed iron-crested porch. It is likely that the block facing Loch Eck also dates to around the middle of the 19th century, with a central double-height canted window and a door below.

More extensions were built during the 20th century. Most notable is the large flat-roofed extension on the W corner of c1940, reputedly built to serve the work and army camp at Ardentinny. More recently, 2 more gabled dormers have been added to the front elevation and the outbuildings to the NE have been converted to form bunkhouses.

Interior: although much of the earlier layout survives, the interior has been substantially modernised. Some timber boarding survives to the ceilings.

Materials: rubble, harled to the principal elevations and exposed to the NE gables and the outbuildings. Grey slate roofs. Predominantly replacement timber sash and case windows.

Ancillary Buildings, Boundary Walls: to the NE are three parallel ranges of former outbuildings, recently converted to additional accommodation - exposed rubble with ventilation slits, slate roofs. Rubble boundary walls to the NW and along the Ardentinny road.

Statement of Special Interest

The early history of the Whistlefield Inn is difficult to ascertain. A variety of recent sources and a thorough investigation in 1998 give the date of the inn as the later 17th century. However, the documentary evidence for the possible date of 1663 is unclear. No buildings appear on General Roy's Military survey of c1747. A single building, marked as a farmhouse appears as Taynforlin in the vicinity on Langland's map of 1801. However, it appears that the inn does lie on an older drover's route from Strachur to Ardentinny and the map drawn up for the Commissioners of Roads in 1804 does show a small collection of buildings. The first documentary evidence for an inn is the 1851 census and Whistlefield is eventually marked as an Inn on the O.S map of c1898.

Whistlefield was on a route which appears to be of some antiquity to and from Inverarary via Strachur. In c.1806 the Commissioners for Roads improved this road to provide a faster route for fish and salt between Glasgow and Loch Fyne. The area around Whistlefield began to be popular for tourists following the introduction of road trips in conjunction with the steamer trade in c1890.



Ordnance Survey 1st edition (c1863) and 2nd edition (c1898); Langlands, G., Road from Strachur to Ardentinny (1804) (Map, Register house Plan 11674); Inglis (pub.), Guide to Dunoon and Environs (1883); Restriction of Ribbon Development Act Records, Lochgilphead; Haldane, A R B, New Ways Through The Glens (1962); House Detectives, Information on display in Whistlefield (nd); McLean, A, Chronicles of Cowal, Argyll (2001).

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. 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: 08/07/2020 05:21