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Latitude: 56.9469 / 56°56'48"N
Longitude: -4.9991 / 4°59'56"W
OS Eastings: 217678
OS Northings: 787966
OS Grid: NN176879
Mapcode National: GBR GB1C.6WL
Mapcode Global: WH2GC.5NQ8
Entry Name: Achnacarry House
Listing Date: 5 October 1971
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 338891
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB7096
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Caol and Mallaig
Traditional County: Inverness-shire
James Gillespie Graham, but not completed to his design,
1802-37. Additions by Alexander Ross, later 19th century.
Near square symmetrical crenellated, castle-style mansion
of 2 storeys and attic over raised basement, 7 bays to north
and south facades, 5-bay side elevations; asymmetrical
single storey over raised basement service wing to SW. All
coursed rubble with contrasting tooled and polished
sandstone dressings, with long and short detailing to
windows. South entrance front with slightly advanced centre 3
bay with centre door in painted polished ashlar doorpiece
with panelled pilaster strips, cornice with ball finials
and centre strapwork cartouche with shield. Long narrow side
windows; centre round-headed 1st floor window linked to
smaller similar flanking windows (blind at east) by
North facade with wide centre 3-windowed bowed bay rising
to 3 storeys over raised basement. Regular 6-bay east
elevation; 6 bays to west, with service court partially
enclosed by later Scottish Baronial service wing (Alexander
Ross) with crenellated wallhead to single storey, 2-bay south
facade and secondary entrance to mansion.
Longer ground floor windows, mainly with 2-pane plate glass
glazing, with intersecting astragals in centre front 3
bays, survives elsewhere hoodmoulds to all upper floor
windows. corbelled and crenellated wallhead, with quatrefoil
detailing in south front parapet flanking centre advance
portion, which has raised central panel filled with
exagerrated fluted detail and corbelled angle bartizans with
blind cruciform detailing; similar dummy bartizans to all
angles except at NW where angle stair-tower is corbelled
out from ground floor, rising to 3 storeys.
Piended platform slate roof with 3 piended dormers at east
and 4 at west, very long paired flue batteries running
parallel on line of internal cross walls aligned to
outer edges of centre platform, with glazed toplight to light
Interior; large centre stair hall rising full height with
wide staircase (by William Burn) ascending 3 sides with
turned wooden balusters.
Drawing room in SE and dining in N with wide bowed bay
window; original chimney pieces in drawing, dining rooms and
library, that in dining room an unusually striking
Neo-classical design with supporters in the manner of
Thomas Hope. Decorative plaster ceiling cornices with central
roses; moulded door cases with 6-panelled doors; panelled
and beaded window shutters.
Built near former Achnacarry Castle, destroyed by fire by
Duke of Cumberland's troops 1746, only portion of walling
remains. James Hogg in a letter to Sir Walter Scott...
"we reached Achnacarry viewing the new castle of Lochiel
the building of which was then going brisky on, conducted
by Mr John Gillespie architect; a respectable young man
possessed of much professional knowledge..." (Hogg
in error over Gillespie Graham's christian name) NSA
describes the house as a "large, handsome and substantial
building not yet finished".
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