Balmory Hall

(Balmory House, Laidlaw Memorial Home)

Balmory Hall, Ascog
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Balmory Hall, Ascog

An A-listed mansion at Ascog on the east coast of the Isle of Bute in Argyll and Bute, Balmory Hall lies 1½ miles (2.3 km) southeast of Rothesay and has fine views over the Firth of Clyde. The ten-bedroom house features a grand entrance hall and Adamesque interior, including fine ceilings, fireplaces and decorative mirrors. Balmory House was built in 1861 for Thomas Croil, a wealthy Glasgow merchant who made his fortune importing spices from the West Indies. He bought a 2.75 ha (6.8-acre plot) from the Ascog Estate (still owned by the trustees of the noted hydraulic engineer Robert Thom). However, Croil took ill and died without having enjoyed his new house for long. Thereafter, John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, the 3rd Marquess of Bute (1847 - 1900) and his family are said to have made their home at Balmory after Mount Stuart was destroyed by fire in 1877 until the replacement was completed. It was then sold to Robert Laidlaw, a Glasgow iron-master but became the Salvation Army's first home for married couples in 1927, renamed the Laidlaw Memorial Home. This closed in the early 1990s and the house returned to private ownership as Balmory Hall. It was subject to a sympathetic refurbishment, with the original dining room has been converted into a modern kitchen and family living area. Balmory was operated for a time as bed and breakfast accommodation.

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