DiCamillo Companion

Inveraray Castle (Inverary Castle)

  • Earlier Houses: A 16th century house was demolished to make way for current 18th century house.

    Built / Designed For: 3rd Duke of Argyll

    House & Family History: Inveraray Castle was designed in 1745 by Roger Morris for Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll. Built in an eclectic mixture of architectural revival styles, including Baroque, Palladian, and Gothic, the House is laid out on a square plan with four round, castellated towers at each corner topped by conical spires. The Castle stands on the site of the village of Inveraray, which the 3rd Earl demolished and rebuilt a mile away so it wouldn't interfere with the view from his new house. The Castle was completed in 1789 for John Campbell, 5th Duke of Argyll, for whom the brothers Robert and William Mylne designed, in the 1770s and 1780s, a series of exceptionally refined Neoclassical interiors. The decoration of the Castle's State Dining Room, completed in 1784, is the only surviving work of the French painters Girard and Guinard, who also worked on decorating Carlton House in London for the Prince Regent (later George IV). With Adam style ceilings, the Tapestry Drawing Room at Inveraray sports its original Beauvais tapestries, still in the settings for which they were designed. The Armoury Hall, which contains a display of wall-mounted weapons dating from circa 1740, has the highest ceiling in Scotland (nearly 69 feet). The Saloon contains the grand piano on which Lerner and Loewe composed songs for "My Fair Lady." The Brown Library is the duke's study; this supposedly very haunted space was once the bedroom of Queen Victoria's fourth daughter, Princess Louise, who married the future 9th Duke in 1870. The Castle was damaged by two major fires: in 1877, when the center section was damaged (restored 1878-79), and in 1975. Most of the important parts of the collection survived these fires and damaged sections of the interior were restored. The pattern of argyll, found in socks and sweaters, is named after the design of the Campbell family tartan (the largest clan in Scotland). According to tradition, the argyll, a pouring vessel with a detachable central core that held hot water to keep gravy warm, was invented by the dukes of Argyll (there is a photo of one in the "Images" section). Most recently, Inveraray has been the subject of attention as the fictional Duneagle Castle in the third season of the TV series "Downton Abbey."

  • Garden & Outbuildings: Positioned near the shores of Loch Fyne, Inveraray Castle is set in two acres of formal gardens and 14 acres of parkland. The Inveraray Estate, as of 2012, stands at 60,000 acres.

  • Architect: Alexander McGill

    Date: 1720-22
    Designed: Temporary pavilion or lodging for 2nd Duke of Argyll (demolished 1745)

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    Architect: William Mylne

    Date: 1770-72
    Designed: Rearrangement of interiors of Castle for 5th Duke (later redecorated by his brother, Robert)

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    Architect: Roger Morris

    Date: 1745
    Designed: House in castellated Gothic style for 3rd Duke of Argyll

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    Architect: William Adam, Sr.

    Date: 1745-48
    Designed: Supervised construction of House from Roger Morris's designs for 3rd Duke of Argyll

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    Architect: Robert Mylne

    Date: 1774-84
    Designed: Fisherland Barn (1774-75), parts of Maitland Court (1774-82), Garron Lodge (1783-84), and redecoration of Castle, all for 5th Duke.

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  • Vitruvius Scoticus: Adam, W., pls. 71-74, 1810.

    John Preston (J.P.) Neale, published under the title of Views of the Seats of Noblemen and Gentlemen in England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. VI, 1823. Scotland, 1830.

    Country Life: LXII, 156, 1927. CLVII, 1485 [Linnell furniture], 1975. CLX, 962 [Plight of I.C.], 1976. CLXIII, 1619, 1734, 1978.

  • Title: Biographical Dictionary of British Architects, 1600-1840, A - HARDBACK
    Author: Colvin, Howard
    Year Published: 2008
    Reference: pgs. 59, 667, 709, 726-727
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Category A

    Park Listed: Listed

  • "Downton Abbey" (2012 - TV series, as Duneagle Castle).
  • Seat of: Torquhil Ian Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll; Campbell family here since early the 15th century.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

    Ownership Details: Owned by Trustees of the 10th Duke of Argyll. Private home of the Argyll family, and Scotland's largest clan, the Campbells.

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01499-302-203

    Fax: 01499-302-421

    Email: enquiries@inveraray-castle.com

    Website: http://www.inveraray-castle.com

    Historic Houses Member: Yes