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Islay, Islay House, East Tower

Folly (Period Unassigned), Tower (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Islay, Islay House, East Tower

Classification Folly (Period Unassigned), Tower (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Cnoc Na Croiche

Canmore ID 142839

Site Number NR36SW 14.07

NGR NR 33521 62479

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/site/142839

Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2018.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Killarow And Kilmeny
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Architecture Notes

NR36SW 14.07 33521 62479

This tall octagonal structure (NR 335 624), which was erected probably a short time before the death of

Daniel Campbell in 1777, stands on the site of a gun battery about 30m N of the E gate lodge of Islay House policies. It

rises to a height of about 11.5m and measures 5.2m across opposing facets. The walls, which are set on a high-level

plinth, measure 0.9m in thickness, and are constructed of coursed rubble masonry incorporating alternating blocks

and slab pinnings. The summit of the tower incorporates a corbelled string-course of slab construction and a crenellated

parapet carried on three courses of continuous squared corbelling. The tower is lit by narrow slit-windows which

incorporate through-splayed ingoings and preserve traces of wooden window-frames in the surrounding plaster. The

doorway incorporates the remains of a drawbar-slot, and has a decorative two-piece head bearing monograms of the

initials: dexter, D C (Daniel Campbell) and sinister, G R (P Georgius Rex).

The interior, which is circular on plan and measures 3.8m in diameter, formerly contained four floors. There is a mural

fireplace at first-floor level, and a domed ceiling above the third floor.

The low grassy eminence on which the tower stands served as an artillery battery at about the period of the Napoleonic

Wars and later. It is shown in use in one of the Heath views of about 1830, but the surviving remains simply comprise a

terraced earthen platform with the barrels of ships' cannon laid at intervals around the perimeter. At least one of the

barrels bears the cast insignia of King George III (1760-1820).

Visited May 1976

RCAHMS 1984

Site Management (27 April 2010)

A folly. Octagonal. Coursers in decorative banding. Corbelled crenellated parapet. Unglazed slit windows. String course. Decorative door- head; 2 shields bearing monograms. Circular interior. Domed ceiling below platform roof. Formerly had turnpike stair. (Ref: Historic Scotland) Raised over a gun battery site, the tower rises over 11m. Four level interior (its circular plan within an octagon recalling staircase towers at Islay House) lit by slit openings, the turnpike stair lost. Above the doorway a two part decorative lintel, carved in relief with Rococo scrolling bears the monograms of DC for Daniel Campbell and GR for Georgius Rex (?) (ref: FA Walker)

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