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Ardtornish Estate, The Ivy Bridge

Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Ardtornish Estate, The Ivy Bridge

Classification Road Bridge (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Kinlochaline Bridge; River Aline; Aird Toirinis

Canmore ID 107162

Site Number NM64NE 28

NGR NM 69808 47632

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/107162

Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Morvern
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Argyll

Recording Your Heritage Online

Kinlochaline Castle, probably late 15th century Square-plan tower house of the Macleans of Kinlochaline rising through a canopy of trees above Alexander Ross's Ivy Bridge of 1888. Built over a vaultless cell, the tower was altered c.1600, when two vaulted cellars were introduced and angle turrets and a corbelled parapet gave it a more martial profile. The usual horizontal wing for domestic offices probably extended northwards (now demolished). The first floor entrance, surmounted by a carving of a stag, hound and salmon, leads into the hall. This has a fireplace in the north wall, over which another carved panel depicts a shiela na gig or naked female figure. A mural guardchamber adjoins the entrance, below which a deep pit prison was uncovered in the wall thickness during the recent restoration. Attacked by the 9th Earl of Argyll in 1679, Kinlochaline was roofless by 1730, when it was acquired by Sir Alexander Murray of Stanhope. His restoration plans came to nothing, and repairs were not put in hand until c.1890, when it was remodelled as an eyecatcher by Alexander Ross. For all his antiquarian enthusiasm, Ross was surprisingly unhistoricist in his approach here, enlarging windows and squaring off wallheads. This had a detrimental effect on the castle's romantic appeal, which was captured so dramatically by Horatio McCulloch in 1855. Today, a modern house with crowsteps peeps over the battlements, evidence of the tower's conversion in 1999-2000 to a family home.

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press http://www.rias.org.uk

Archaeology Notes

NM64NE 28 69808 47632

For Ardtornish House or Tower (NM 7033 4753) and related buildings, see NM74NW 13.

W of the mansion house (NM74NW 13), bridge over the River Aline, slightly humpbacked, of two unequal arches, by Alexander Ross, 1888. It leads to Kinlochaline Castle (NM64NE 3) and Castle Cottages (NM64NE 29).

J Gifford 1992.

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