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Benmore Botanic Garden, Benmore House, Golden Gates

A Category A Listed Building in Cowal, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.022 / 56°1'19"N

Longitude: -4.9897 / 4°59'23"W

OS Eastings: 213767

OS Northings: 685047

OS Grid: NS137850

Mapcode National: GBR 03.SM16

Mapcode Global: WH2LT.BW5T

Entry Name: Benmore Botanic Garden, Benmore House, Golden Gates

Listing Date: 19 June 1992

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 338024

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB6438

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunoon and Kilmun

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Cowal

Parish: Dunoon And Kilmun

Traditional County: Argyllshire

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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 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.

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