History in Structure

Ulva House, Island Of Ulva

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

We don't have any photos of this building yet. Why don't you be the first to send us one?

Upload Photo »

Approximate Location Map
Large Map »


Latitude: 56.4743 / 56°28'27"N

Longitude: -6.1552 / 6°9'18"W

OS Eastings: 144211

OS Northings: 739092

OS Grid: NM442390

Mapcode National: GBR CC5L.ZBV

Mapcode Global: WGZDQ.FJ6L

Plus Code: 9C8MFRFV+PW

Entry Name: Ulva House, Island Of Ulva

Listing Name: Ulva House Including Outbuilding, Island of Ulva

Listing Date: 18 September 2014

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 402582

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52282

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200402582

Location: Kilninian and Kilmore

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Parish: Kilninian And Kilmore

Traditional County: Argyllshire

Tagged with: Building

Find accommodation in


Leslie Graham MacDougall (Thompson), 1955-56. 2-storey and attic, 9-bay, symmetrical T-plan, harled neo-Georgian mansion house. Fine post-war rebuild of an early 19th century house on same site of similar profile and dimensions. Square and snecked rubble whinstone base course. Eaves course. Piended roof.

Principal (northwest) elevation: advanced 3-bay block with piended roof to centre with sweeping steps to round-arched entrance. Decorative sunburst fanlight and flanking margin lights and carved crest above. Central block flanked by single-storey, flat roofed wings with ashlar skews and urn-finials. First-floor windows set close to eaves. Pair of small attic dormers.

5-bay arrangement to rear elevation. Shouldered wall-head gable to centre with wall-sundial and 3 urn-finials. Bowed outshot with curved glazing to southeast elevation with decorative cast-iron parapet. Turn-pike stair outshot rising to attic level to northwest elevation.

Multi-pane glazing to timber sash and case windows (timber secondary glazing). Grey slate. Pair of coped ridge stacks. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

The interior was seen in 2014 and is a distinctive Regency/Adam influenced interior scheme, unusual for its mid-20th century building date. Central hall with hardwood handrail to sweeping open well stair. Library, dining room and sitting room to ground floor with Adam-style fireplaces and timber panelling. Dining room with bowed entrance wall and bowed door. Panelled niches flanking bowed window in sitting room to east. Round-archways to halls on ground and first floor. Round-arched door to attic.

Outbuilding: to northwest of house, rectangular-plan, piended roof with large double-door to ground and lean-to section to left. Stone fore-stair to upper level in re-entrant angle.

Statement of Interest

Ulva House is a rare and significant example of a large mansion house of the early post-war building period in Scotland which is largely unaltered. It is by an important 20th century Scottish architect with an unusual and distinctive regency style interior scheme. The house incorporates fabric from the earlier 19th century Ulva house, on the same site, adding to its contextual and associated historic value. The exterior aesthetic is interesting in the context of inter-war country house design and the transition between Arts and Crafts and Modernism, blending this within the exterior profile and massing of an earlier 19th century house on the same site. The sundial and ornamental urn-finials from the earlier 19th century property have been incorporated into the new Ulva House.

The interior scheme at Ulva House displays a respect for traditional craftsmanship, with a distinctive Regency/Adam influence from the earlier house on the site and this is very unusual for the 1945 date of construction. Large architect-designed mansion houses with good intact interior schemes of the early post-war building period are rare in Scotland as they were increasingly unfashionable or too expensive to justify during that period.

Leslie Graham Thomson (MacDougall after 1953) was one of Scotland's leading architects during the inter-war period. Thomson's house for himself, Srongarbh (1936-8) at West Linton, is listed at category A. He commenced his architectural training at Edinburgh College of Art under Sir George Washington Browne and John Begg and was articled to Sir Robert Lorimer whose influence underpins much of Thomson/MacDougall's design work. Non-domestic commissions include the Guardian Royal Exchange in Edinburgh and the Isobel Fraser Home of Rest in Inverness (see separate listings).

Ulva House is situated to the south side of the Island of Ulva, off the west coast of Mull, and is the architectural focal point of a small island community which has been identified as outstanding as a tax exempt heritage asset. Until 1777, Ulva was the seat of Clan Macquarrie. The 17th or 18th century mansion house of the MacQuarrie's was replaced by a new house in the early 19th century and this building is depicted in William Daniell's aquatint of 1820. (A Voyage Round Great Britain (1813-1823) plate 39). Ulva House was rebuilt a third time in 1955 using the same footprint and similar dimensions, following a fire on the site of the 19th century house. Bracadale Steading to the south of Ulva House occupies the site of the 17th or 18th century mansion house.

External Links

External links are from the relevant listing authority and, where applicable, Wikidata. Wikidata IDs may be related buildings as well as this specific building. If you want to add or update a link, you will need to do so by editing the Wikidata entry.

Recommended Books

Other nearby listed buildings

BritishListedBuildings.co.uk is an independent online resource and is not associated with any government department. All government data published here is used under licence. Please do not contact BritishListedBuildings.co.uk for any queries related to any individual listed building, planning permission related to listed buildings or the listing process itself.

British Listed Buildings is a Good Stuff website.