History in Structure

Grishipoll House

A Category C Listed Building in Oban South and the Isles, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.6448 / 56°38'41"N

Longitude: -6.5849 / 6°35'5"W

OS Eastings: 119039

OS Northings: 759733

OS Grid: NM190597

Mapcode National: GBR BC44.SS2

Mapcode Global: WGX9G.T7JV

Plus Code: 9C8MJCV8+W3

Entry Name: Grishipoll House

Listing Name: Grishipoll House, Also Known As the Old White House

Listing Date: 7 February 2008

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399852

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51048

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200399852

Location: Coll

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Parish: Coll

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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1754 (but see Notes). 2-storey and attic, 3-bay, roughly symmetrical, rectangular-plan, gabled laird's house, now roofless, with prominent central gable and stacks. Widely spaced window openings. Central first floor window formerly a door. Random rubble with roughly-squared masonry to quoins and openings; formerly harled. Large crack to full height of S gable; collapsed masonry to base of NW corner.

Draw-bar slot to E entrance doorway. Large gable stacks with slate cornice, slated drip courses and remnants of slated roof to bases. Sandstone skewputts.

INTERIOR: in ruinous condition. Joist holes in walls show position of upper floor. Single large room either side of central staircase still evident from wall finishes. Plain lintelled fireplaces; narrow segmental-arched recess to central wall. Doorways to central gable at first and attic floors.

Statement of Interest

Grishipoll House is a substantial mid 18th century Laird's house in a roofless condition, surviving to wallhead height with evidence of its former grandeur. Grishipoll is a rare surviving example of its type within the region: the RCAHMS Inventory covering Mull, Tiree, Coll and Northern Argyll (Argyll, Volume 3) identifies only 9 other 18th century houses in the area (in various states of repair), of which only a small handfull are directly comparable. It is also the only building of this scale and importance to survive on Coll, other than the two Breachacha Castles (see separate listings). The prominent central gable is an unusual feature in buildings of this type and the three gables with broad stacks create a striking silhouette. Evidence of the first floor doorway is an unusual survival (see below) and the draw-bar slot to the main entrance is an interesting defensive detail.

Grishipoll is believed to have been built by Hugh Maclean 14th Laird of Coll at about the time he succeeded his brother in 1754. Johnson and Boswell visited in 1773 when it was lived in by tacksman McSweyn. The building is believed to have been divided into two large rooms on each floor with a timber staircase at the centre, and is said to have housed 8 servants in the attic floor. The window over the front entrance appears to have also originally been a door, and it is suggested in the RCAHMS Inventory that this may have been accessed by a forestair (although evidence for this is inconclusive).

Although the house is usually dated to 1754, there is some evidence that it may actually be earlier. The first floor door is a feature more usually associated with 17th century Laird's houses (giving direct access to the principal rooms, which would have been on the 1st floor), and its existance therefore indicates an earlier date - perhaps early 18th century. The survival of this feature is of particular architectural interest, as very few examples now survive and it contributes to the understanding of the development of this building type. Local tradition says that a datestone of 1737 (now lost but previously on a nearby cottage) originally came from Grishipoll House.

Mackenzie's Map of 1775 shows Grishipoll, then spelt 'Grishabil' as a large settlement to the N of the island; today only Grishipoll House and the adjacent fank cottage survive. The house stands in a picturesque setting close to the SW shore of Grishipoll Bay. The area was one of the more populated area of the island before the establishment of Arinagour Village to the S after the clearances in the early 19th century. By the publication of the 1924 OS map the settlement has vanished.

The building has been in a ruinous condition for many years and survives as an important ruin in the landscape. Graffiti carved to the interior in 1886 illustrates that it has been in this condition since that time. The current owner intends to consolidate the ruin and restore part of it for domestic use (2008).

The drystone wall enclosing large section of land to East of house was built in the 1990s

External Links

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