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(Ardkinglas House)

Giving the impression of an old tower-house extended in the 18th Century, Ardkinglas was actually built in its entirety between 1906-8 by the architect Sir Robert Lorimer (1864 - 1929) as a fine Edwardian sporting lodge but very much in the vernacular style. It lies on Loch Fyne, opposite Inveraray Castle, home of the Dukes of Argyll.

The estate of Ardkinglas was granted by Sir Colin Campbell to the youngest son in 1396 and a castle existed in the late 16th Century, although it was demolished by the mid 18th Century. The house which replaced the original castle was recorded as being derelict when Dorothy Wordsworth visited it in 1822. Explosives expert Sir Andrew Noble (1831 - 1915) purchased the estate in 1905 and immediately commissioned Lorimer to build a house. The rooms are of fine quality; principal among them is the oak-panelled Jacobean-style Saloon which boasts a massive carved granite fireplace, a fine plasterwork ceiling with a central painted panel illustrating Apollo, and tapestry hangings. On the first floor, the Dining Room leads out to an unusual loggia which looks onto the loch.

Ardkinglas has several interesting 'modern' conveniences, including a shower-cage designed by Lorimer. It was also one of the first country houses to have electricity incorporated at the time of building rather than as an after-thought. The tiled kitchen remains exactly as it was when built. The house was the location for the mini-series The Crow Road (1996) and the film My Life So Far (1999).

The gardens at Ardkinglas, established in 1875, contain one of the finest collections of rhododendrons and conifers in the UK.

Today, Ardkinglas remains in the Noble family and the current laird has been responsible for the economic development of the area through a successful seafood business, Loch Fyne Oysters, founded in 1978. Originally selling fish and shellfish from a roadside stall to help fund the estate, this business has developed into a productive fish farm, successful seafood retail business and a chain of Loch Fyne restaurants across the UK.

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