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Coll, Breachacha House

Country House (18th Century), Findspot, Sword (Bronze)(Bronze Age)

Site Name Coll, Breachacha House

Classification Country House (18th Century), Findspot, Sword (Bronze)(Bronze Age)

Alternative Name(s) Breachacha Castle (New), Breacacha House, Breacacha Castle, Coll House

Canmore ID 21583

Site Number NM15SE 16

NGR NM 15896 54014

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

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

Summary Record (22 February 2012)

Originally a three storey mansion house with linked wings, links decorated with blind Venetian windows. Built by Hector MacLean, 13th Laird of Coll. A fourth floor was added in 1860 and the crenellations and turret bartizans added.


Archaeology Notes

NM15SE 16 15896 54014

(NM 1590 5400) Breachacha (New) Castle: This mansion which stands about 140m NW of its medieval predecessor (NM15SE 1) comprises work of two main periods. As first constructed in 1750 it was a plain three-storeyed and hip-roofed block of almost square plan, measuring 13.5m from E to W by 11.9m transversely over walls some 0.9m in thickness. The building was linked by quadrant screen-walls to a pair of hip-roofed pavilions, thus forming a courtyard on the S side. Rather more than a century later the original house was raised to a height of four main storeys and the pavilions were reconstructed and extended, this new work being carried out in an undistinguished Scottish Baronial style. An entrance-porch was afterwards constructed on the N side of the main block, while in 1936 a smaller brick-built porch was erected on the S side. The entire structure subsequently became derelict, but is now being restored.

Now known as Breacachadh House.

RCAHMS 1980, visited 1973.

NM 158 540 Part of the blade of a Late Bronze Age leaf-shaped sword was found by Mr N Cochran-Patrick beside the main entrance to Breachacha (New) Castle, where it lay under a few centimetres of grass and topsoil and above an earlier compacted stone path encircling the house. First constructed in 1750, the mansion was extensively remodelled in the second half of the 19th century and underwent further alterations in the first half of the 20th century. The circumstances of discovery indicate modern redeposition of an old find. There are records of two previous finds of bronze swords from the locality (NM15SE 3 and NM15SE 6) and the new fragment most probably represents a piece that has been was overlooked, mislaid or discarded following one of these earlier discoveries. Claimed as Treasure Trove and allocated to Glasgow Museums (TT 44/05).

T Cowie, 2006.

Architecture Notes

Coll, Coll House.


Promotion of Coll House 'to the rank of castle'. Letter from H(ugh) Maclean. He hopes the building will be habitable soon. 1814, GD 170/2608/4.

Site Management (13 October 1997)

Georgian house built by the Lairds of Coll to complement the medieval Breachacha Castle which stands 140m to the north west. The house is harled with exposed red sandstone dressings and slate roofs. The house was originally a 3 storey square-plan block with a hipped roof. This main block is linked to a pair of hipped-roofed 2 storeys pavilions by quadrant walls to form a courtyard at the south side. That to the east is the former servants' quarters and kitchen, whilst that to the west is the former coach house, garage and laundry. The doorway to the main block features a faceted and lugged surround. A stone panel bearing the incised date of 1750 occupies a blocked-up window recess at first floor level, probably relocated from above the door.

The house was bought by John Stewart of Glenbuckie and Lorn in 1856 and was raised to 4 storeys and the pavilions reconstructed and extended in a Scottish baronial style with pepperpot turrets and crenellations added.. An entrance porch was later added to the north elevation, whilst that to the south dates to 1936 and is in brick. Some 18th century features remain inside, though the interior was remodelled in the mid and late 19th century. Dr Johnson and Boswell stayed in the house in October 1773. Boswell described the house as a "neat new-built gentleman's house" though Johnson noted that "there was nothing becoming a chief about it. It was quite a tradesman's box."


Photographic Survey (22 April 2008)

Photographed by the Listed Buildings Area Survey, Argyll upgrade programme.



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