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Invereck (Church of Scotland Eventide Home) Including Outbuildings, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

A Category B Listed Building in Cowal, Argyll and Bute

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.0035 / 56°0'12"N

Longitude: -4.9777 / 4°58'39"W

OS Eastings: 214427

OS Northings: 682952

OS Grid: NS144829

Mapcode National: GBR 03.TPR0

Mapcode Global: WH2M0.HCWH

Entry Name: Invereck (Church of Scotland Eventide Home) Including Outbuildings, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 4 May 2006

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398448

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50432

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunoon and Kilmun

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Cowal

Traditional County: Argyllshire

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Description

Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority

Invereck is a small Baronial country house of the late 19th century by James Thomson, situated at the mouth of Glen Massan. The house is an example of the work of Thomson, a good example of a later Baronial house with such prominent features as a large tower, and the interior is of exceptional quality.

The house, of squared rubble is 2-3 storey, consisting of a 4-bay front block with an off-centred battlemented porte-cochère with a crow-stepped gable above. To the NE is a prominent 3-stage square-plan tower, with a two-storey canted bay and 4 bartizan turrets. To the SW is a long crowstepped extension of c.1950.

Details: there was a cottage on the site of Invereck in the mid 19th century, described by the Ordnance Survey as 'small but handsome' and located in roughly the same location as the present house. The cottage and grounds were sold in 1872 to George Miller. The date of foundation of the present house is unclear, but it is thought that it may have been around 1876. However, the most reliable date is the '1886' on the main tower to the side. The house combines a rectangular-plan 4-bay front block, with a prominent advanced crowstepped gable and a porte-cochère with round-arched openings. On the upper floor are dormers with unusual scrolled pediments. On the ground floor the main dining room faces the SE, with mullioned and transomed windows. On the return (NE) elevation the front block has a large canted bay in the ground floor. To the right of this is a small 2-storey link block with a NW facing verandah, opening from a second reception room, above which is a balustraded balcony. On the N corner rises the 3-stage tower, with a prominent canted 2-storey bay. To the rear, the enormous stair window has its own gabled bay, with low 4-storey service accommodation to the W. On the OS map of c1898 there is a large conservatory in the SW corner (since demolished).

There have been considerable alterations to the building over the years, particularly when the house was altered and extended to form a home for the elderly. During the 20th century (c1950) the conservatory was removed and a large and prominent 2-storey extension added. The crowsteps and raised long and short quoins pay some respect to the Baronial style of the main house. A large fire escape was also added to the rear.

Interior: the interior of Invereck contains a numbers of features of quality, despite some later additions and subdivisions. The entrance, through timber double doors in a timber entrance screen of fluted pilasters and pedimented side-lights opens into the entrance hall, with a geometrically-panelled plaster ceiling and marble columns with gilded capitals. To the right, the main reception room has a timber dado and decorative marble fireplace. A second room has oak panelling and an elaborately-carved timber fireplace. Further to the rear is an intact butler's pantry.

The imperial-plan main stair, with heavy turned balusters and gilt newel lamps, is lit by a large stained glass window, with a pedimented Minerva above figures of Music, Industry and Painting, thought to have been exhibited in the Paris Exhibition of 1889. The upstairs landing, originally a large open space but divided by fire doors, is lit by a painted glass dome. Throughout the house original joinery and plasterwork is intact.

Materials: squared rock-faced sandstone with ashlar dressings. Harled later extension of block/brick. Grey slate roofs. Tall, corniced stone stacks and clay cans. Predominantly plate glass timber sash and case windows.

Ancillary Structures: the older house at Invereck appears to have stood in quite formal grounds, probably due to the influence of William Jackson Hooker, the well-known botanist and keeper at Kew gardens who owned the house for a time. The gardens do not appear to have survived the rebuilding. Only the ruinous buildings to the NW of the house, at the former formal gardens survive. The more substantial piend-roofed L-shaped outbuildings on the Glenmassan road are later 19th century. The L-shaped piend-roofed lodge is in separate ownership. To the S a series of sheltered homes were built in the middle of the 20th century. The house is surrounded by a rubble boundary wall, with square-plan gatepiers.

Statement of Interest

In the entrance lobby is a watercolour of the house as built, signed 'James Thomson FRIBA 1889'. James Thomson (1835-1905) of Baird and Thomson was a prominent architect of the late 19th century in Glasgow, in what was probably the biggest practice of the period in the city. Thomson designed commercial and domestic buildings in the city, such as Crown Circus and a number of country houses. Thomson's most important clients were ironmasters. It is likely that George Miller of Invereck was among these.

Since 1946 the house has been a church of Scotland Eventide Home. Before that it seems that the House was used as a residential home for the Independent Order of Foresters.

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