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Achnacarry House

A Category B Listed Building in Caol and Mallaig, Highland

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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

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 338891

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB7096

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kilmallie

County: Highland

Electoral Ward: Caol and Mallaig

Traditional County: Inverness-shire

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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
continuous hoodmould.
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.

Statement of Interest

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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