Font Size

100% 150% 200%

Background Colour

Default Contrast
Close Reset

Ardtornish Estate, Old Boathouse

Boathouse (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Ardtornish Estate, Old Boathouse

Classification Boathouse (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Loch Aline; Achranich; Aird Toirinis

Canmore ID 108846

Site Number NM74NW 14

NGR NM 70058 47287

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2024.

Toggle Aerial | View on large map

Digital Images

Administrative Areas

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

Recording Your Heritage Online

Boathouse, 1853 The most sophisticated and latest of a group of boathouses serving the gentry houses of Morvern, this one at the head of Loch Aline and possibly incorporating an earlier structure. Its gothic features bear a strong similarity to the great barn at Achranich, suggesting the same hand. A lancetted south wing contains a private room.

Taken from "Western Seaboard: An Illustrated Architectural Guide", by Mary Miers, 2008. Published by the Rutland Press

Archaeology Notes

NM74NW 14 70057 47288

For (new) boathouses at NM 6979 4654, see NM64NE 45. For Ardtornish House or Tower (NM 7033 4753) and related buildings, see NM74NW 13.

On the shore of Loch Aline, S of the mansion house, Old Boathouse built of rough ashlar in 1852-3. Too high up the loch for its purpose and was superseded later in the 19th century by the boathouse to the S (NM64NE 45).

J Gifford 1992.

The following sites were surveyed in 2002 (boathouses) and 2003 (fish traps) as part of a wider project to study the maritime landscape of the Sound of Mull.

(NM 7005 4728) Achranich (later Ardtornish) Built in 1852-3 (datestone in S gable, 1853), this boathouse post-dates the barn at Achranich (1851) but pre-dates Ardtornish Tower (1856-9, 1864-6). Like the barn, the boathouse has gothic lancets and is built of ashlar masonry. Architecturally it is more complex than it first appears, and it is possible that it incorporates part of an earlier building.

The survey has identified at least three phases. The first may have been a boathouse, whose N wall (and possibly other elements) was incorporated into the 1853 building. The second phase is the 1853 gothic boathouse. Thirdly, at some later date the large opening at the rear had its lower half filled in, and a wooden loft built inside with its floor at the level of the top of the blocking wall. The rear opening appears to have been heightened, and a steel beam replaced the earlier arch or wooden beam, with different stonework above it. A large opening in the N wall may also have been blocked at this time, as a main beam of the loft was inserted into the blocking stones.

As well as these three definable phases, however, there are other features which cannot be assigned to any particular phase.

Situated near the head of Loch Aline, a sea loch, this is the only example in our survey built with its arched doorway below the high tide mark, like a boathouse on a river or inland loch. Gaskell claims it was soon superseded 'as it could not be used for any but the smallest boats except at high tide'. There is a channel outside the boathouse, close to where the River Rannoch runs into the loch, where a boat could sit however low the tide, though it could not get across the shallows to the loch itself. Landing could be made not far away, however, and this boathouse would not have functioned very differently from any of the others when the tide was out; it does not appear to have been replaced until the 1890s.

Immediately to the N is a quay built of large boulders at two levels, possibly earlier than the boathouse. It presumably served the farm of Achranich, or possibly the quarry immediately inland, marked on the 1st edition OS 6 inch map of 1872. The road from Achranich to Old Ardtornish, built in 1853-5, runs immediately landward of the boathouse.

A fuller description of this feature has been lodged with NMRS.

Report lodged with Highland SMR.

Sponsor: Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

P Martin and C Martin 2003


MyCanmore Image Contributions

Contribute an Image

MyCanmore Text Contributions