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Ossian's Hall

The name given to a summerhouse built in a scenic location in The Hermitage by the Duke of Atholl, Ossian's Hall overlooks the River Braan to the west of Dunkeld.

Built secretly in 1758 by a nephew of the 2nd Duke of Atholl as a surprise for the Duke, who had laid this area aside for a woodland plantation, Ossian's Hall is a circular building with an opening onto a balcony and sits atop a rocky outcrop that overlooks the Black Linn Fall and also offers views to distant woodlands. In 1783 the interior of the folly was decorated in a Classical scheme, with fine plasterwork and mirrors designed to create a dramatic effect. This effect is made theatrical because visitors enter through a small dark chamber and then a sliding door is opened to reveal the decorated room with the spectacular falls beyond.

The Hall was almost destroyed in 1869 when it was blown up, most likely by a certain Alexander Robertson who was the colourful leader of a group protesting against the imposition of tolls on Dunkeld Bridge, although no-one was ever charged with the crime. After lying in ruins for some years, the Dowager Duchess of Atholl was responsible for its reconstruction in 1884. It was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland in 1944 and restored in 1953.


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