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Inveraray Castle Estate, Maam Steading

Farmstead (18th Century)

Site Name Inveraray Castle Estate, Maam Steading

Classification Farmstead (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Maam Farmhouse; Glen Shira; Inveraray Castle Policies

Canmore ID 106730

Site Number NN11SW 8.01

NGR NN 12214 12765

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Inveraray
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Archaeology Notes

Architecture Notes


Robert Mynle, 1784.

NMRS notes:

Robert Mynle (1733-1811), Architect.


This design is nearer to the farmyard as begun in 1787 than design no.1 but neither shows the ultimate layout of the buildings. See I. Lindsay and M. Cosh 'Inveraray and the Dukes of Argyll'. 1973, p.239.

This is one of several projects undertaken by Mylne for the Duke of Argyll.

NMRS Printroom.

Robert Mylne (1733-1811).

Two designs for a circular farmyard for the farmyard for the Duke of Argyll.

Plans. Unsigned, undated, but c.1786. Acc. No.1983/18.

Purchased from Christies, London, 30th November, 1983. Lots 52 and 53.

Provenance: The Sir Albert Richardson Collection.

1. Insc: (pencil) 'Near Inveraray'.

Pen and wash with annotations in pen and pencil.

(12 1/4" x 18")

2. Plan with part elevation.

Insc: (verso in pencil) 'Duke of Argyll's Farm'.


(12 3/4" x 18 3/4")

Site Management (30 April 1996)

'Gothick' Barn: 2 high storeys. Harled; piended roof. Semi-circular bay on 1 side; gablet and buttresses on other. Crenellation. String-courses. Pointed

arches. 2 segmental wings (containing Byres): 2 low storeys. Gabled roof. Divided into bays by piers. Weather-boarded upper storey. Cobbled ground floor.

Intended to form complete circle. (Historic Scotland)


Publication Account (1990)

As constructed, this steading is half of an intended circle, placed in the valley-bottom to catch the winds for hay-drying. The old MacKellar township of Maam lay at the foot of the slope W of the existing farmhouse, but is not listed in the estate census of 1779. A series of drawings and occasional diary entries by Robert Mylne show the development of his design in the two years before its patial execution in 1787-9 (John Tavish, mason), and his extensive annotations of two drawings (A, C) probably record discussions with the 5th Duke of Argyll. In the first scheme the emphasis was on the rectangular courtyard-farm at the centre of a ring of great diameter but probably modest height, but the outer ring was later elaborated and took over most of the functions of the central block. An important feature was an intended tea-room for visitors to the glen. Although the foundations of the entire circle were visable until the 1960s, it was only the N half that was built, with its central barn and wings containing cattle-sheds in the inner, and drying-sheds in the outer, zone. The system of raised slatted floors for spreaidng and turning the hay, earlier used at the Fisherland and Maltland barns, is shown in an engraving (Smith, Agricultural Survey). The arcaded openings were filled by louvres of the type still preserved in the rectangular barn of 1793 at Elrigbeag (NN 136145), and sheaves of grain could be suspended from pegs to dry in the current of air. Wooden pinnacles were originally added to the central barn and the 'temporary' end-facades of the wings.

An 1806 plan shows a lime-kiln ('Braco Kiln') W of the steading, and a winding track can still be traced to the limestone-quarry beside a later sheepfold high above the valley (NN 116135).

Information from ‘RCAHMS Excursion Guide 1990: Commissioners' field excursion, Argyll, 7-9 May 1990’.


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