Lochnell House



Lochnell House is a large classical and baronial battlemented mansion of three and four storeys, which has been added to and extended down the centuries. It incorporated part of a 17th-century block in one wing. The house was damaged by a serious fire about 1853 but has since been mostly restored.

The house is called after the family’s older residence on an island in Loch Nell which is visible on the Blaeu Map of 1654 [NM 8982281], which is about 3 miles east and south of Oban by Kilmore.
Lochnell House was built by the Sir Duncan Campbell, 7th of Lochnell.

Fire 1741 when newly finished

Fire 1853 and left for some years before work began again on restoration in the 1880s (Campbell, Duncan, 8th Earl)

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
Name Role Partnership Group From To Notes
Item 1 of 5 John Baxter Architect J 1737 1739 May have been responsible for new house built to SE of earlier block
Item 2 of 5 John Douglas Architect K 1737 1739 May have been responsible for the design of new house 1737-39.
Item 3 of 5 Archibald Elliot Architect A 1818 1820 Enlarged in castellated style.
Item 4 of 5 George Woulfe Brenan Architect After 1882 Before 1911 Restoration
Item 5 of 5 Leslie Grahame Thomson (or Leslie Grahame-Thomson; later Leslie Grahame MacDougall) Architect 1950 Alterations

Architect George Woulfe Brenan 1844 - 1924 http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=200432
became involved in the restorationof Lochnell House after he moved to practise in Oban in 1882, and when he returned from Glasgow he was involved in the construction of 1904 St Modan's Established Church.
Cost of George Woulfe Brenan restoration: £7,000.
Some years ago an 1892 letter from George Woulfe Brenan to Lochnell came up on Ebay.

The mansion has been held by the (Douglas Blair) Cochrane Earl of Dundonald since 1912, when they purchased the estate.

The Campbells of Lochnell had a burial aisle at Ardchattan Priory [NM 971349].
The house is said to have had a brownie, and ghostly music has reportedly been heard here.
Another story is that the staircase was made from wood from an ancient and holy yew tree that grew on Bernera island off Lismore, and under which St Columba preached (or perhaps St Moluag?). A series of disasters befell both those involved in felling the tree and then moving it (the boat in which it was being transported sank with loss of life) and the Campbells themselves, including the burning down of the house. The lore says that there will be 3 major fires (there have been 2) and the first son will never inherit.

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