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Glenborrodale Castle

A substantial Scots Baronial mansion overlooking Loch Sunart from the southern shore of Ardnamurchan peninsula. It was built 1898-1902 for Charles Rudd (1844 - 1916), who had made his fortune on the coat-tails of Cecil Rhodes in South Africa. It was intended to become the central focus of his Ardnamurchan Estate, but has now been separated and sits within just 54 ha (133 acres) including the islands of Risga and Eilean an Fheidh.

Rudd commissioned the architect Sydney Mitchell (1856 - 1930) to design the castle, replacing an existing mansion on this sloping site. It was built using red sandstone ashlar brought by puffer from Annan in Dumfriesshire. Its broad facade faces Glenborrodale Bay and varies in height. It rises to five storeys in the west, with a cap-house corbelled out above the round stair tower in the centre. An eastern block reaches three storeys with an attic floor above. This is in turn connected by a low service block to a further stair tower and a two-storey residential wing to the east. The entrance is at the rear. The principal public rooms are on the first floor and feature wood on the ceiling or as panelling on the walls. They are connected by a barrel-vaulted gallery hall, with a grand chimney-piece and access to a balcony. Stairs descend from this balcony to the terraced garden which offers dramatic views and includes an ornamental lake and walled garden. The garden is designated as an important example of an early 20th C. pleasure ground with a significant plant collection.

The U-shaped former coach house and stables have been converted for residential use. This is built of bull-faced rubble blocks with red sandstone ashlar dressings and features crowstepped gables. At the entrance to the castle's drive is a gate-lodge in a similar style. The Castle and coach house were A-listed in 1980, with the gate lodge B-listed five years later.

On Rudd's death the estate was bought by Kenneth Mackenzie Clark (1868 - 1932), of the Paisley thread-making dynasty. He entertained lavishly at Glenborrodale, with visitors including King George V (1865 - 1936), Sir Thomas Sopwith (1888 - 1989) and Sir Thomas Lipton (1850 - 1931).

John Boot (2nd Baron Trent; 1889 - 1956), of the Boots Chemist Company, acquired the estate in 1936. The house was occupied by the Navy during the Second World War, but was also available to staff from the Boots Company as a wartime rest centre. Boot sold parts of the Ardnamurchan Estate in 1949 and it was then that Glenborrodale was split from the bulk of the estate. The Castle was run for twenty years as a hotel, then again became a private residence. The property was on sale for £3.75 million in 2018.


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