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Breachacha Steading and Farmhouse

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

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Coordinates

Latitude: 56.5896 / 56°35'22"N

Longitude: -6.6302 / 6°37'48"W

OS Eastings: 115846

OS Northings: 753784

OS Grid: NM158537

Mapcode National: GBR BC09.HVM

Mapcode Global: WGX9N.4M0P

Entry Name: Breachacha Steading and Farmhouse

Listing Date: 21 May 2008

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399918

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51092

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Coll

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Parish: Coll

Traditional County: Argyllshire

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Description

Probably earlier 18th century with 19th century and later additions. U-plan steading with 2-storey house to middle of central range and symmetrical, 3-bay piended roof pavilions to ends of side ranges. Principal elevation to N and later wing to East enclosing courtyard. Range of roofless buildings adjoining to South with former cattle pens. Squared rubble masonry with large rough hewn quoins.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: 2-storey, 9-bay symmetrical classically proportioned (N) elevation; 3 advanced bays with segmental arched recesses, narrow voussoirs and crenellated wallheads; circular plaque and pyramidal belfry to centre. Later screen wall extending left with matching advanced end bay. Single storey range to W with 2-storey, 3-bay farmhouse to centre and ranges either side terminating in symmetrical 2-storey, 3-bay, piended-roof end pavilions with large central arched recesses. Deep sloping roof to S courtyard range with 5-bay open cart shed and stone forestair to upper floor.

Modern timber windows. Timber-boarded doors. Graded grey slate roofs, some new slated sections and corrugated roofing to E range. Cast-iron and modern rooflights.

Statement of Interest

A-Group with Breachacha Castle and Old Breachacha Castle (see separate listings).

Breachacha Steading is a substantial Improvement period steading with good architectural detailing and a U-plan layout. The steading forms a strong group with the associated and adjacent 15th and 18th Century Breachacha Castles (see separate listings) to which it is directly related as part of the Breachacha Estate. The principal elevation to the NE is a fine classical composition with later picturesque castellated detailing mirroring the principal S elevation of the New Castle it faces.

A group of buildings is shown on this site in Mackenzie's map of 1775. It is likely that they depict the steading or at least part of it, which is assumed to have been built in conjunction with or not long after the new Breachacha Castle of 1750 (see separate listing). The steading range is marked as 'offices' on 1st Edition map of 1881. It is probable that the lower range to the E that encloses the courtyard is a later addition and that when first built the U-plan steading was open to the sea with the two pavilion style range ends clearly visible.

Breachacha Castle was originally built to a neo-Palladian design, and it is evident the the steading was designed to reflect this. In 1856 the castle was heightened by 1 storey and the crenellations and bartizan turrets were added. It appears that the crenellated parapet on the steading is a later addition, and was therefore presumably added to reflect the new appearance of the castle. It is interesting that the appearance of the steading was updated in this way. The two castles and steading form a tight group and represent a very interesting piece of planning (see list description for Breachacha Castle).

There was a dairy and cheese factory in the steading from the later 19th century with 60 tonnes of cheese exported annually, mostly to London. The dairy industry died down on the island in the earlier 20th century and the related cheese factory closed in 1956. The steading is also thought to have at one time housed a bakery.

The main elevation is built from Lewiscian Gneiss stone, the only widely available building stone on the island; it has a grey appearance and similar qualities to granite.

The main house within the W range is known as Breachacha Farm with the remainder of the buildings to the E currently divided into five holiday dwellings (2007).

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