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Arisaig, Glen House

House (Period Unassigned)

Site Name Arisaig, Glen House

Classification House (Period Unassigned)

Alternative Name(s) Clansburgh Cottage

Canmore ID 277551

Site Number NM68NE 52

NGR NM 66557 85238

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Arisaig And Moidart
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Glen House, J. Gillespie Graham, from 1809 Truncated survival of plain laird's house, originally known as Clansburgh Cottage, Clanranald having 'entered into arrangement with James Gillespie architect in Edinburgh for building a dwelling house in Arisaig for his own use'. In 1819 this house was aggrandised with a large (now demolished) villa added at right angles, described in 1825 as " beautifully situated " one of the most elegant and commodious mansions in the Highlands of Scotland. It has been built within these few years and is surrounded with a park , extending to form 6-700 Scots acres, about 500 of which consist of natural and planted wood "Much has been done by planting and draining the park of Arisaig". The oddly-proportioned single-storey and basement form of this house had no obvious parallel among Gillespie Graham's other works, but the architect's continuing involvement with the site until 1823 is documented (it is possible that only a reduced version of the intended design was built). The budget went wildly out of control so that 'the total expenditure' in connection with the house at Arisaig [which must include the extensive programme of tree planting] amounts to the enormous sum of £32,876' An explanation for building this mansion at a time when bankruptcy loomed might be the perceived need for a selling point, it having become apparent that the estates would have to be sold. A flat terrace overlooking what was the water's edge of Loch nan Eala (later drained and reduced to its present size, exposing the only Crannog in West Lochaber) is the last vestige of this mansion in the Strath of Arisaig. It was demolished in 1864 with the building of the present Arisaig House a mile or so away, leaving only the earlier house of c.1809 still standing. Remnants of "Clanranald's Garden" and orchard (planted after 1808) survive near Larachmor.

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


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