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Latitude: 56.0976 / 56°5'51"N
Longitude: -5.2678 / 5°16'4"W
OS Eastings: 196842
OS Northings: 694241
OS Grid: NR968942
Mapcode National: GBR FDCL.PTQ
Mapcode Global: WH1K5.1ZSV
Plus Code: 9C8P3PXJ+3V
Entry Name: Folly, Minard Castle Wood
Listing Name: Minard Castle Wood, Folly
Listing Date: 1 February 2007
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 399339
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50812
Building Class: Cultural
County: Argyll and Bute
Electoral Ward: Mid Argyll
Traditional County: Argyllshire
Probably early 19th century. 2-stage, square-plan roofless Gothic folly with central pointed arched openings at both levels on 3 elevations (N, S and E), with flanking Greek cross detail. Small forestair to W elevation. Rubble with render; raised margins.
This is a good example of an early 19th century purpose- built Gothic folly with simple, yet effective decoration in the form of pointed arched windows, Greek Cross design and raised margins. The folly is now closely bounded by trees, but the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map indicates significantly less planting to the East towards Loch Fyne and the Castle which suggests that it could have been more easily seen than currently and there would also have been views across the Loch from the structure. It seems likely that the folly could have been seen from certain parts of the Castle as well as from the main drive. It was built primarily, therefore as a feature sitting within a wider designed landscape, but was also a place from which to view the surrounding countryside. It is likely that the structure was not roofed, to enhance its apparent antiquity.
The Estate in which the folly is situated was originally owned by Archibald Campbell of Knockbuie who built Knockbuie House in 1775, to the NE of the folly and on the site currently occupied by Minard Castle (see separate listing). He is known to have improved the Estate and its policies and it is likely that the folly dates from his time in the castle. The estate was subsequently sold in 1842, and in 1848, the house was altered and extended and the name changed to Minard Castle.
Minard Castle is currently in private ownership (2006).
Gothic follies were popular architectural features in the planned landscape of country Estates from the mid 18th century. During the 18th century, it became fashionable for landowners to appreciate the natural drama of their landscape and to show it to its advantage to visitors, rather than lay out large formal gardens. This drama could be enhanced by the strategic placing of small structures at particular vantage points. These may be to draw attention to particular elements, such as a waterfall, or be positioned in such a way as to provide a wide view of the surrounding Estate and beyond. They were built in a variety of architectural styles, but the Gothic style became popular as it was thought to add dramatic quality.
Currently in a state of disrepair (2006).