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Castle Toward, Gatehouse (Court of Offices) and Garage

A Category B Listed Building in Dunoon, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 55.8662 / 55°51'58"N

Longitude: -5.0195 / 5°1'10"W

OS Eastings: 211157

OS Northings: 667787

OS Grid: NS111677

Mapcode National: GBR FFZ6.PKM

Mapcode Global: WH1LF.VTY9

Entry Name: Castle Toward, Gatehouse (Court of Offices) and Garage

Listing Date: 20 July 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400801

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51864

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunoon and Kilmun

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Dunoon

Parish: Dunoon And Kilmun

Traditional County: Argyllshire

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David Hamilton, 1820-21 with later additions and alterations circa 1921 by Francis W Deas (see Notes). Long and imposing, 2-storey gatehouse with accommodation range to E, in castellated Gothic-Revival manner. Stugged, pale sandstone ashlar. Turreted corner angles to entrance tower. Battlemented parapets. Canted corner angles. Hood mouldings with distinctive carved figurative corbels.

S (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: double-leaf, timber gates to four-centre entrance archway with moulded surround in square-plan, octagonal-turreted entrance tower. Slightly lower, battlemented wing to W with tri-partite window to ground. Long 7-bay range to E terminating in square-plan pavilion block, returning to 7-bay range to E elevation with pedimented dormers breaking eaves; square bartizan to NE corner angle. Garden wall projects from E elevation with timber door and small tower to far E.

GARAGE RANGE: single-storey, rectangular-plan, red sandstone block with battlemented parapet and corner towers with butressed corner angles. Canted stone cills. Large metal framed, multi-pane windows; pitched roof with grey slate. Pitched, half-timbered canopy over courtyard joining gatehouse and garage range.

Statement of Interest

Part of a B-Group comprising - Castle Toward; Castle Toward, Gate Lodge and Garage; Castle Toward, Walled Garden To East, Walled Garden To North and Glasshouse and Workshop Range; Castle Toward, Chinese Lakes including Bridges (See separate listings).

The Castle Toward Gatehouse is a distinctive, imposing and prominently sited example of ancillary estate architecture. Located at the southerly point of the Cowal Peninsula opposite Toward Quay, the building takes the form of a castle in miniature offering a wealth of figurative detail in the castellated Gothic Revival manner. It is notable for its carved details and its high quality, early 20th century additions to rear in a similar style. The single-storey red sandstone workshop range with covered motor garage component is in keeping with the Revival style of the earlier gatehouse and mansion house while functionally it illustrates changing attitudes to travel in the inter-war years.

Castle Toward was built by David Hamilton for Kirkman Finlay, a successful merchant and former Lord Provost in Glasgow. Between 1919 and 1945, the new owner of Castle Toward, Major Andrew Coats, a member of a wealthy Paisley threadmaking family, invested huge sums of money into the estate. The mansion house doubled in size with additional towers to the E and N and the creation of a large West wing in the same castellated style. Following its use as a military outpost during WW2, a residential school was founded at Toward in the 1940s following its purchase by Strathclyde Regional Council and continues to be run as an outdoor education centre.

Coats's architect was Frank W Deas, a very close friend of renowned Scottish architect Robert Lorimer whose Arts and Crafts approach to design influenced Deas' garden ancillary buildings at Toward. Collectively, the early 20th century programme of aggrandisement at Toward's designed landscape provides an excellent and rare example of large-scale estate development during the inter-war period in Scotland.

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