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Monreith House

A five-bay three-storey Palladian mansion located 1¼ miles (2 km) north of Monreith in Galloway and a similar distance east southeast of Port William. Built 1790-94 for Sir William Maxwell of Monreith, the house replaced the 16th-century Myrton Castle, the ruins of which lie a half-mile (0.8 km) to the northeast. The architect was Alexander Stevens (1739-96). Some of the stone used in building the house was salvaged from the castle. The house was extended and remodelled in 1878. Sir Aymer Maxwell (1911-87), 8th Baronet and brother of author Gavin Maxwell (1914-69), had allowed the house to deteriorate on the basis that this was a cheaper option than demolition. The house was therefore in a poor state when it was inherited by Sir Michael Maxwell from his uncle, and he immediately set about repairing large holes in the roof.

Inside is a fine two-storey galleried entrance hall, with a double drawing room to the east and a fine library in the centre of the south-facing garden front. The upper floors have been converted to provide self-catering holiday accommodation, while retaining the principal rooms on the ground floor. Still suffering from years of under-investment, Monreith featured in the Channel 4 television programme Country House Rescue in 2010.

The surrounding estate once extended to 6879 ha (17,000 acres) but is now much diminished.


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