Finlaystone House

Castle, Country House

Site Name Finlaystone House

Classification Castle, Country House

Canmore ID 42414

Site Number NS37SE 3

NGR NS 36458 73717

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Inverclyde
  • Parish Kilmacolm
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Inverclyde
  • Former County Renfrewshire

Archaeology Notes

NS37SE 3.00 36458 73717

NS37SE 3.01 37410 73527 East Lodge

NS37SE 3.02 Centred c. 3645 7366 Sundials

(NS 3645 7370) Finlaystone House (NAT) on site of Finlaystone Castle (NR)

OS 6" map (1919)

Though the New Statistical Account [NSA] states that Finlaystone House occupies the site of the earlier Finlaystone Castle (described by Crawford as "a noble and great building, round a court") Name Book (1856), SDD List (1963) and A H Millar (1889) all state that part of the castle is incorporated in the present mansion.

In 1856 it is stated "the slightly projected portion seen on the east side and continuous through to the west is the oldest part of the building (said to be of late 15th century date, according to Millar); the north and south wings are of recent construction. A considerable part of the building has been removed during few years".

The SDD describe the present Finlaystone House as a three storeyed mansion, with attic dormers and large circular towers at the corners. The major part was probably erected about 1760 around an early nucleus, but about 1893, it was extensively altered and added to by Sir J J Burnet.

Finlaystone belonged to the Dennistons in the latter half of the 14th century; it passed through marriage to the Cunninghames in 1404, and the barony was held by the Earls of Glencairn till the title became dormant in 1796.

NSA 1845; Orig Paroch Scot 1851; G Crawfurd and W Semple 1782; W Macfarlane 1907

Finlaystone House: name confirmed (Gen Sir Gordon McMillan, owner). The oldest part of the house is the N wing, at present used as residential quarters. It has had a modern porch built on, and the upper storey has been added to. The S part of the house is modern.

Visited by OS (JD) 25 July 1955

Architecture Notes


Owner: Gen. Sir Gordon MacMillan

Architect: Sir J.J. Burnet, 20th c, remodelling of 18th c house (c.1760) which possibly itself contained some earlier work

Sir J.J. Burnet c. 1893 ( alterations and additions)


Scottish Record Office

Contract between the Rt. Hon. William Earl of Glencairn and architect John Douglas to build 'towards the west end of the N. front of the present house of finlaystone a new house of 3 storeys'.

1746 GD39/6/Box 3

Description of house and grounds. Letter from ' Jackie' Clerk to her father Sir John Clerk.

1751 GD18/5474/2



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