Cally Palace Hotel

Cally Palace
©2020 Gazetteer for Scotland

Cally Palace

A grand country-house hotel located in a parkland setting ¾ mile (1.2 km) south of Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway, Cally Palace was built in 1763 for James Murray of Broughton by Robert Mylne (1733 - 1811) as the House of Cally. The building is now A-listed. The original house was a Palladian composition constructed in granite ashlar between two pavilions which had been built 15 years previously, with the windows detailed in red sandstone. The pavilions were heightened in 1794 and the house remodelled in the Neo-Classical style between 1833-38. A porte-cochère supported on immense monolithic granite Greek Doric columns leads to a beautiful entrance hall lined with marble. The fine coffered ceilings and chimney-pieces of the principal rooms have been sympathetically restored. The profile of the building is somewhat spoiled by a lift-tower added in 1956 and the demolition of the chapel in 1990.

The Murray family sold up in 1934 and the house became a hotel, now comprising 56 rooms and a leisure suite with a 15m (49 feet) swimming pool and gym. A glazed dining room was added in 1955, followed by an additional residential block - the Forest Wing - in 1974. A Stranraer-based hotel chain acquired the property in 1981.

The parkland were originally landscaped around 1700 by William Dewar, who trained at Kew Gardens. The original scheme was modified and extended c.1775, but much was later obscured by commercial forestry and cut across by the new line of the A75 road which now bypasses Gatehouse of Fleet. The 60.7 ha (150 acres) of gently rolling landscape which belongs to the hotel includes the ornamental Cally Lake, ruined 16th-century Cally Castle, a tennis court, putting green and croquet lawn, together with the hotel's own 18-hole golf course, which was designed by Tom Macaulay and opened in 1994. There are also many specimen trees, among them Douglas fir, tulip tree, copper and purple beech, monkey puzzle and mature oak.

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