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Drimnin House

Country House (18th Century)

Site Name Drimnin House

Classification Country House (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Drimnin Estate

Canmore ID 22307

Site Number NM55NE 10

NGR NM 55384 55042

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

Summary Record (9 February 2012)

Drimnin House was re- built for Sir Charles Gordon following a fire in 1849. The interior retains much of its original c.1850 decoration most notably the entrance and stair halls, the dining room and library on the ground floor and the interconnecting drawing rooms on the floor above.

Information from RCAHMS (STG) February 2012

Recording Your Heritage Online

Drimnin House, 18th century; rebuilt c.1852 How much survives of the old house of the Macleans of Drimnin - a typical three-bay West Highland laird's house with flanking wings of slightly later dates - is uncertain: 'last night Drimnin house was in flames and nothing now remains except two or three broken ruins' wrote Margaret Gordon to her brother in 1849. The interior must be post fire, and probably much of the external masonry too, for though the rebuilt house adopted a footprint similar to that shown in David Wilson's survey of 1836, and repeated other quirks, such as the off-centre position of the windows flanking the entrance in relation to the gabled bays, it is some 10 ft wider today and, behind the render, bears no trace of the Venetian windows shown in James Anderson's survey plans and elevation drawing of 1838. These relate to a proposed scheme of alterations for Sir Charles Gordon - a budget Tudor/baronial facelift. The postfire remodelling introduced spikey Jacobethan detailing and a platform roof. Inside, it acquired a distinctly un-Highland opulence thanks to the involvement of David Ramsay Hay, the leading Edinburgh decorator and protege of Sir Walter Scott, who had decorated Drimnin Chapel a decade or so earlier. Inner doors with etched glass panels bearing the Gordon crest lead into a hall painted to imitate marble, with a pair of scagliola columns and half pilasters screening off the staircase. On the first floor, the former drawing room retains its ornate gilded cornice and stencilled borders of grotesque scrollwork, recently restored by Owen Davison and Sally Cheyne, who uncovered the inscription:"John Brown Painter 22 July 1862 from D R Hay". The improving Sir Charles Gordon (d.1845), Secretary of the Highland and Agricultural Society, upgraded his servants' quarters, built a 'hygenic dairy' (now the laundry wing), and restored the 18th-century farm square that encloses the garden to the north. This, along with a pyramidal-roofed gazebo/apple house and surviving parterres, features on the Wilson survey of 1836.

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

Archaeology Notes

NM55NE 10.00 55384 55042 Drimnin House

NM55NE 10.01 55350 55111 Steading

NM55NE 10.02 55363 55070 Gardens

NM55NE 9 55062 55243 Burial Enclosure

NM55SE 33 55118 54418 Hermitage

NM55SE 34 c. 559 538 Lodge

NM55SE 35 56135 54364 Achleanan

NM55NW 49 54884 55657 Mains of Drimnin

NM65NW 7 60712 58519 Doirlinn

Drimnin House. a "gawky Elizabethan manor" built in the 1850's for Sir Charles Gordon and probably incorporating walling of the previous house on the site, which was destroyed by fire in 1849.

J Gifford 1992.


Photographic Survey (10 August 2007)

Drimnin House was recorded as part of the Threatened Buildings Survey prior to proposed alterations following recomendations by Ian Thornber and Mary Miers.

Information from RCAHMS (STG) February 2012


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