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Callander, Roman Camp Hotel

Hotel (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Callander, Roman Camp Hotel

Classification Hotel (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Roman Camp House

Canmore ID 135290

Site Number NN60NW 41

NGR NN 63161 07530

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Stirling
  • Parish Callander
  • Former Region Central
  • Former District Stirling
  • Former County Perthshire

Summary Record (May 2009)

The Roman Camp Hotel derives its name from what was believed to be the remains of a Roman Camp to the south of the house. It is well documented and recorded that the earthworks of a Roman Fort survive to the west of Callander at Bochcastle; thus it is thought that the formation nearby to the hotel is a naturally occurring feature created by the changing course of the River Teith.

The main block, a gabled two-storey and attic five-bay house, probably incorporates a hunting lodge reputed to have built in the 17th century by the Drummond family on the north bank of the Teith. A bow-ended wing, now the drawing room, was added to the west in the 18th century. It all appears to have been remodelled c.1840.

In 1896 the house was bought by Reginald Balliol Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher, who employed Stewart and Paterson of Glasgow to undertake a series of alterations and extensions including a library and a stone domed chapel to the north of the drawing room, with a large comfortable loggia added to the south embracing the view.

Dunnage & Hardmann Architects of London also carried out work possibly related to the insertion of the wide variety of architectural salvage items that Esher acquired, both confusing and enriching the architectural history of the building. A Jacobean ceiling with plaster pendants and panelling in the library, linenfold panelling to the staircase, and a white Sienna marble chimneypiece in the drawing room were all installed. The dining room was embellished with a carved overmantle depicting the Masque of Atalanta from the period of James I. The artist James A Gray painted the ceiling with 16th and 17th century Scots motifs.

In the gardens Esher installed Italian statuary and a richly carved marble well-head, brought from Windsor and said to be Italian Romanesque. Bedford Lemere recorded the house and its grounds in 1911 (See RCAHMS Photographs B 64764-B64776).

In 1939 the house was developed into a hotel but much of the Esher interior and furniture survives. A series of new bedrooms and service rooms have been added, along with a large new dining room to the east in 1997, now called Drummond Hall.

Reginald Balliol Brett, 2nd Viscount Esher (1852-1930) became Deputy Governor of Windsor Castle in 1901 and Governor in 1928, and so was close to the Royal Family. A man of some privacy, he retired from public life in 1895, however he is believed to have been a prominent advisor to the Liberal governments of Henry Campbell-Bannerman and Herbert Henry Asquith. His daughter Sylvia became the last Ranee of Sarawak in 1917.

Information from RCAHMS (STG), 2009

Architecture Notes

NN60NW 41.00 63161 07530

NN60NW 41.01 63255 07476 Walled Garden

NN60NW 41.02 63247 07691 Gate and Gatehouse

NN60NW 125 62898 07728 Sundial



Callander Roman Camp

Inventory and appraisal of household furniture indicates the layout of rooms of the house.

1811 GD 161/Box22


Field Visit (25 May 2009)

Roman Camp Hotel was visited by RCAHMS on 25 May 2009. At this time it was not possible to carry out a photographic record.


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