Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
NM 19039 59733
119039, 759733


1754 (but see Notes). 2-storey and attic, 3-bay, roughly symmetrical, rectangular-plan, gabled laird's house, now roofless, with prominent central gable and stacks. Widely spaced window openings. Central first floor window formerly a door. Random rubble with roughly-squared masonry to quoins and openings; formerly harled. Large crack to full height of S gable; collapsed masonry to base of NW corner.

Draw-bar slot to E entrance doorway. Large gable stacks with slate cornice, slated drip courses and remnants of slated roof to bases. Sandstone skewputts.

INTERIOR: in ruinous condition. Joist holes in walls show position of upper floor. Single large room either side of central staircase still evident from wall finishes. Plain lintelled fireplaces; narrow segmental-arched recess to central wall. Doorways to central gable at first and attic floors.

Statement of Special Interest

Grishipoll House is a substantial mid 18th century Laird's house in a roofless condition, surviving to wallhead height with evidence of its former grandeur. Grishipoll is a rare surviving example of its type within the region: the RCAHMS Inventory covering Mull, Tiree, Coll and Northern Argyll (Argyll, Volume 3) identifies only 9 other 18th century houses in the area (in various states of repair), of which only a small handfull are directly comparable. It is also the only building of this scale and importance to survive on Coll, other than the two Breachacha Castles (see separate listings). The prominent central gable is an unusual feature in buildings of this type and the three gables with broad stacks create a striking silhouette. Evidence of the first floor doorway is an unusual survival (see below) and the draw-bar slot to the main entrance is an interesting defensive detail.

Grishipoll is believed to have been built by Hugh Maclean 14th Laird of Coll at about the time he succeeded his brother in 1754. Johnson and Boswell visited in 1773 when it was lived in by tacksman McSweyn. The building is believed to have been divided into two large rooms on each floor with a timber staircase at the centre, and is said to have housed 8 servants in the attic floor. The window over the front entrance appears to have also originally been a door, and it is suggested in the RCAHMS Inventory that this may have been accessed by a forestair (although evidence for this is inconclusive).

Although the house is usually dated to 1754, there is some evidence that it may actually be earlier. The first floor door is a feature more usually associated with 17th century Laird's houses (giving direct access to the principal rooms, which would have been on the 1st floor), and its existance therefore indicates an earlier date - perhaps early 18th century. The survival of this feature is of particular architectural interest, as very few examples now survive and it contributes to the understanding of the development of this building type. Local tradition says that a datestone of 1737 (now lost but previously on a nearby cottage) originally came from Grishipoll House.

Mackenzie's Map of 1775 shows Grishipoll, then spelt 'Grishabil' as a large settlement to the N of the island; today only Grishipoll House and the adjacent fank cottage survive. The house stands in a picturesque setting close to the SW shore of Grishipoll Bay. The area was one of the more populated area of the island before the establishment of Arinagour Village to the S after the clearances in the early 19th century. By the publication of the 1924 OS map the settlement has vanished.

The building has been in a ruinous condition for many years and survives as an important ruin in the landscape. Graffiti carved to the interior in 1886 illustrates that it has been in this condition since that time. The current owner intends to consolidate the ruin and restore part of it for domestic use (2008).

The drystone wall enclosing large section of land to East of house was built in the 1990s



Murdoch Mackenzie Map, West Side of the Island Mull with Islands Tiri and Coll, 1775. James Boswell, Journey to the Hebrides. 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map 1862. N Banks Six Inner Hebrides (1977) p73. RCAHMS, Argyll, Volume 3, Mull, Tiree, Coll and Northern Argyll, (1980) p231 and p37. F Walker, Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute (2000) p503. Sabina Strachan, 'The Lairds' Houses of Scotland' (draft thesis, 2008).

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. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. 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: 22/05/2024 21:38