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Listed Building

The legal part of the listing is the address/name of site only. All other information in the record is not statutory.


Status: Designated


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  • Category: A
  • Group Category Details: B - See Notes
  • Date Added: 19/06/1992


  • 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 13767 85047
  • Coordinates: 213767, 685047


Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

The Golden Gates at Benmore are an example of exceptional wrought iron work and work of this standard is rare in Scotland. Although the setting of the gates has been somewhat compromised by their isolation and the removal of the associated lodge, they are of notable design and craftsmanship.

The gates, of c.1871 are hung on pedimented marble piers topped with wrought iron lanterns. The elaborate decoration is rococo-style: foliate and floriate with central concentric circles, each bearing the initials JD. The handles are in the form of female mythical figures. The gates and lanterns are both painted gold.

Statement of Special Interest

In 1870 the Benmore Estate was acquired by James Duncan, a Greenock Sugar Refiner, who carried out many improvements to the estate. The main entrance to the estate was originally here, and the relatively simple single-storey lodge demolished c.1995 was probably that built by architect Baird of Glasgow in c.1850.

The gates are thought to have been either commissioned by Duncan in Paris or purchased by him there and altered to include his initials. They are also thought to have been awarded a prize in a Paris exhibition of 1871, before being brought to Benmore. There were, however, no great exhibitions in Paris between 1867 and 1878 and the gates may have been exhibited in a smaller exhibition.

Benmore Estate is perhaps best known as the setting for Benmore Botanic Garden, run by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The garden and designed landscape is notable for the collection of coniferous trees, planted by successive owners since c1820.

Part of B-Group including Benmore House, Steading, North Lodge and Gates, 'Puck's Hut', Fernery, Walled garden and the cottages to the E of it (see separate listings).

Within Benmore-Younger Botanic Garden Designed Landscape.



Ordnance Survey 1st edition (c.1863) and 2nd edition (c1898); Forsyth, R, Memories of Dunoon and Cowal (1997); McLean, A, Chronicles of Cowal, Argyll, (2001); Land Use Consultants, An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, Vol.2, 1987; Walker, F A and Sinclair, F, North Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992), 132; Walker, F A, Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute (2000), 144-6;. Walker, F A, Argyll and The Islands: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (2003), 23-4; Information courtesy of David Younger (2004).

About Designations

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 statutory listing address is the legal part of the listing. 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.

Listing covers both the exterior and the interior. Listing can cover structures not mentioned 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. For information about curtilage see 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 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: 25/10/2016 13:03