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Drimsynie House Hotel

A Category B Listed Building in Cowal, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.1719 / 56°10'18"N

Longitude: -4.9132 / 4°54'47"W

OS Eastings: 219238

OS Northings: 701511

OS Grid: NN192015

Mapcode National: GBR 06.H07C

Mapcode Global: WH2L8.H4LD

Entry Name: Drimsynie House Hotel

Listing Date: 28 August 1980

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 344418

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB11814

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Lochgoilhead and Kilmorich

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Cowal

Parish: Lochgoilhead And Kilmorich

Traditional County: Argyllshire

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Drimsynie House, built 1859-60, is a large castellated mansion, square plan (incorporating a service courtyard) with a 3-storey entrance tower and hoodmoulded openings. This 2-storey and basement house is built on a slight sloping site, looking out to Loch Goil to the S; it sits at the heart of a late 20th century caravan and chalet park, largely built on the garden grounds of Drimsynie House. In the 1970s, a large single storey leisure complex was built, directly adjoining the mansion house, wrapping around its SE corner at basement level. Drimsynie House is an example of a mid-19th century small mansion, and a good, although late, example of the cubic composition and castellated style which was particularly popular in the earlier 19th century. It retains most of the original interior features and, despite 20th century additions, continues to make a positive architectural contribution to its prominent setting.


Drimsynie House was built for Ronald Livingstone, a Liverpool merchant, replacing an earlier house which was situated just the south of the present building. The Clan Livingstone coat of arms and family motto are displayed on the pediment above the main door of the house. The design of Drimsynie House is thought likely to have been the work of James Smith, a Glasgow architect.

The W entrance front has a slightly advanced entrance tower, with steps leading up to the principal floor. To the N side of the tower is a single storey section, one room deep, which provides a screen for the service courtyard which lies beyond. This open courtyard, bounded to the N and E by a battlemented screen wall, was originally accessed by carriages through a large pointed arched opening in the E wall, but this was later blocked up and only a pedestrian entry in the N wall remains.

The rectangular windows, predominantly in groups of two or three, provide the public rooms on the principal floor with excellent views of the loch, while smaller segmentally headed windows light the more private 1st floor rooms. The castellated square corner turrets are both aesthetic and practical, enforcing the fortress-like character of the house, but also concealing chimney stacks behind their parapets.


The interior is relatively unaltered, and retains a great deal of original plasterwork, particularly in the public rooms, including wall borders and ornate cornicing and ceiling decoration. The original woodwork is largely extant, and much of it, including door architraves and shutters, is embellished with a recurring motif of a carved, four-petalled flower. There is also some marquetry and parquetry flooring, particularly in the hall. There are several chimneypieces; those in the principal public rooms are of marble. Some 1st floor rooms have been subdivided.


Roughcast, with narrow painted stone margins and quoins; brick margins and quoins to some parts of courtyard elevations. Mainly single-pane timber sash and case windows. Mixture of cast-iron and plastic rainwater goods. Roof concealed by castellated parapet.

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