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Knoydart Estate, Inverie House

Country House (Period Unassigned), Military Camp (20th Century)

Site Name Knoydart Estate, Inverie House

Classification Country House (Period Unassigned), Military Camp (20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Special Operations Executive Training Centre; Inter Services Research Bureau

Canmore ID 88890

Site Number NM79NE 4

NGR NM 77352 99491

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Glenelg (Lochaber)
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Lochaber
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Recording Your Heritage Online

Inverie House, 18th century and later An awkward looking grey and white mansion with ranges of varying dates, enclosing a central courtyard. The plain, south-west front added c.1857 for James Baird is the latest, running at right angles to an earlier bow-ended wing with wallhead stacks. The mansion almost certainly incorporates parts of Coll Macdonald of Barrisdale's house of 1743 , considered 'one of the best in this countrie' beautifully covered with blue slate, and contained 18 firerooms, besides as many without chimnies'. Financed on the proceeds of Barrisdale's infamous racketeering (see p.142 for more on this), it was 'reduced to ashes[ by HMS Furnace in May 1746. In 1793 the theatrically anachronistic clan chief, Alasdair Ranaldson Macdonell of Glengarry, put up a seven-bay 'creel house', probably where the front part of the present house now stands. Rather remarkable for its time and place, this curiosity was built 'on the old fashioned wattled system' covered outside by wood and slates only down to the ground'. It seems to have been a conscious revival of earlier wooden houses and summer hunting lodges, such as had existed at Achnacarry and Greenfield. Comprising a drawing and dining room each side of a central chimney stack, with two plastered bedrooms at each end, it led through to a stone building - presumably what is now the rear (former kitchen) range of the present house, which is 18th century in appearance, with old cellars that probably survive from Barrisdale's original house. Various later 19th-century estate buildings include: the farm square (now a hostel), a simple dairy (now a house) and some cottages, built 1880s in style of Baird's mineworkers' cottages.

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

Archaeology Notes

NM79NE 4 77352 99491

See Architecture.

Inverie House is situated at the S end of Inverie village.Owned by Lord Brocket in 1940, the House was requisitioned during the Second World War for use in training Special Operations Executive (SOE) personnel in clandestine warfare in Europe.

The house is visible on vertical air photographs (CPE/UK/Scot 178, frames 4157-4149, flown 7 Ocotber 1946), where there is no evidence on the photographs of military occupation or activity.

S Allan 2007; Information from RCAHMS (DE), April 2008.

Site Management (30 January 1997)

Large Georgian-style mansion of 2 different builds. The rear section is late 18th century in date and is in whitewashed rubble. It extends to 2 storeys on a U-plan. The irregular north elevation features 2 long multi-pane windows lighting the kitchen (possible a former cruck-framed hall). The first floor windows are diminutive and sit close under the eaves. This original section is fronted by a late 19th century addition in white harl with contrasting painted ashlar dressings. The addition also rises to 2 storeys on a U-plan, and features a 5 bay asymmetrical south elevation with a centre door flanked by long sidelights. A bowed full-height bay sits to the right. The west gable extends to 3 asymmetrical bays, whilst the east gable features 3 piended dormers breaking the eaves. The interior features a pine-panelled entrance hall, an oak staircase with decorative balustrade, and moulded ceiling cornices. A further low single storey wing projects west from the original build.


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