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Asknish House

Country House (18th Century)

Site Name Asknish House

Classification Country House (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Lochgair, Asknesh House; Lochgair House; Ardcastle

Canmore ID 40059

Site Number NR99SW 20

NGR NR 92844 91510

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Argyll And Bute
  • Parish Kilmichael Glassary
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Argyll And Bute
  • Former County Argyll

Architecture Notes

NR99SW 20.00 92844 91510

NR99SW 10 Asknish Castle

NR99SW 20.01 92935 91416 Sundial

Site Management (7 August 2007)

Georgian. 3 storeys. Coursed rubble; piended roof with flat deck. Giant pilasters with Rusticated plinths; cornice. Projecting central pavilion; round-headed niche flanked by windows at 2nd floor; Palladian window (fluted Ionic) at 1st floor; Classical doorway (Doric pilasters, entablature and pediment) Gabled pavilion at rear. Also, lean-to with crow steps; crenellation. Curved flanking walls; ball-finials.

Formely a mansion of MacIver Campbells of Asknish (in Kilninver and Kilmelfort). Replaced an ancient castle (now gone) of Campbells of Auckinbreck, (Kilmodan) who sold the estate to MacIver Campbells 1768. Sometimes called Asknesh. (Historic Scotland).

Thought to have been used as a house/ school for evacuees during WW2. (The Blitz on Clydeside, GCC)


Field Visit (September 1987)

This late 18th-century mansion stands on an artificially terraced site in wooded policies 250m from the N shore of Loch Gair, and 1.1km NNE of Lochgair village (No. 222). It was built by Robert Campbell of Asknish, sheriff-depute of Argyll, and replaced the former Campbell of Auchenbreck mansion of 'Kenlochgair', which appears from Roy's Map to have stood close to the loch, on or near the site of the castle No.l36 [NR99SW 10]. The date of erection of the house is not recorded, but no window-tax was paid on the property between 1783 and 1787, and its architectural features are consistent with its construction during that period (en.1*). Except for minor additions to the E side and rear, and the insertion of some internal partitions, it remains almost unaltered.

RCAHMS 1992, visited September 1987

[see RCAHMS 1992, No. 153, for a detailed architectural description]

Standing Building Recording (September 2017 - October 2017)

NR 92844 91510 A standing building survey was undertaken,

September – October 2017, of the house in advance of its

restoration. Asknish House was an 18th-century house, a

replacement for an earlier house/castle dating to at least

the 16th century. The structure had been abandoned for a

number of years and water ingress had caused extensive rot.

The stripping back of 20th-century linings and opening up of

the original structure revealed original construction details,

including an interesting arrangement of principal joists in the

flooring and structural partitions. Recovered from within one

original partition was a mid-18th-century print of the Earl of

Bute, which had been broken up in its frame, accompanied

by a letter by an unknown writer, referring to the late Duke

of Argyll.

Archive: NRHE (intended)

Funder: Private individual

Kenneth Macfadyen – Addyman Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 19)

Geophysical Survey (9 July 2018 - 19 July 2018)

NR 92844 91510 Geophysical survey was carried out, 9–19

July 2018, over two pasture fields (2.7ha) to the S of Asknish

House, Lochgair. The survey aimed to map potential buried

remains associated with the earlier castle, including garden

features, and to locate a series of stone drains associated with

the current house. A resistance survey was undertaken with

data collected at 0.5 x 0.5m intervals.

The resistance survey detected a wide variety of anomalies

across the survey area resulting in a complex data set. Very

high responses were recorded in the N of the survey area,

which are thought to have a largely natural or modern origin.

The data is confused by a series of parallel trends throughout

the eastern field. While these could have various origins, it is

thought that they relate to a phase of field drains.

The survey successfully mapped the known drains

associated with Asknish House. However, most of these

appear to terminate in a general area of very low response

suggesting collapse/damage of a central drain that they

appear to feed into. Additional possible field drains and cable

trenches have also been detected. These are thought to be

later and may well have contributed to the damage of the

original drains, which are known to be extremely shallow.

Several linear anomalies have been recorded, suggesting

the possible limits of a postulated formal garden surrounding

a surviving sundial. While some anomalies suggestive of

garden features were noted within the enclosed area, the

results are not very clear.

Additional anomalies immediately to the SW of the

presumed formal garden suggest possible structural remains.

It is not clear if these are associated with the earlier castle.

However, their apparent association with the presumed

formal garden and their proximity to exposed stone

flooring/foundations in the track bisecting the survey area,

together with early mapping, suggest they are likely to be

archaeologically significant.

Archive: Rose Geophysical Consultants

Funder: Addyman Archaeology

Susan Ovenden – Rose Geophysical Consultants

(Source: DES, Volume 19)


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