DiCamillo Companion

Inveraray Castle (Inverary Castle)

  • Earlier Houses: A 15th century castle was demolished to make way for current 18th century house. It was at this earlier house that James V stayed in 1533 and that his daughter, Mary, Queen of Scots, visited in 1562.

    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. In the 1770s the village of Inveraray was rebuilt a mile away so it wouldn't interfere with the view from the new house. Inveraray 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, Inveraray's tapestry drawing room sports its original Beauvais tapestries, still in the settings for which they were designed. The armoury hall, which contains a display of wall-mounted 18th century weapons, 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 (which is why the queen paid a visit to Inveraray in 1874). The castle was damaged by two major fires: in 1877, when the center section was damaged (restored 1878-79, when the conical spires were added to the towers), and in 1975. Most of the important parts of the collection survived these fires and the damaged sections of the interior were restored. The pattern of argyle, found in socks and sweaters around the world (see "Images" section), is named after a modified design of the dark blue, green, and black Campbell family tartan (the largest clan in Scotland, of which the Duke of Argyll is head). 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 2022, covers approximately 50,000 acres.

  • Architect: Alexander Nasmyth

    Date: 1801-04
    Designed: Landscaping for 5th Duke of Argyll

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    Architect: Anthony Salvin

    Date: 1878-79
    Designed: Rebuilt house in Scots Baronial style after 1877 fire; added third story and conical spires.

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    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, 738
    Publisher: New Haven: Yale University Press
    ISBN: 9780300125085
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Category A

    Park Listed: Listed as a Garden & Designed Landscape

  • "Downton Abbey" (2012 - TV series, as Duneagle Castle). "Secret Scotland" (2020 - TV series). "A Castle for Christmas" (2021). "A Very British Scandal" (2021 - TV mini series).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Torquhil Ian Campbell, 13th Duke of Argyll; Campbell family here since early the 15th century.

    Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Sir Colin Campbell, 1st Earl of Argyll, until 1493; Gillespie Archibald Campbell, 2nd Earl of Argyll, 1493-1513; Colin Campbell, 3rd Earl of Argyll, 1513-29; Archibald Campbell, 4th Earl of Argyll, 1529-58; Archibald Campbell, 5th Earl of Argyll, 1558-73; Colin Campbell, 6th Earl of Argyll, 1573-84; Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll, 1584-1638; Archibald Campbell, 8th Earl of Argyll and 1st Marquess of Argyll, 1638-61; Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll, 1661-85; Archibald Campbell, 10th Earl of Argyll and 1st Duke of Argyll, 1685-1703; Field Marshal John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll and 1st Duke of Greenwich, 1703-43. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Archibald Campbell, 3rd Duke of Argyll and 1st Earl of Ilay, 1750-61; General John Campbell, 4th Duke of Argyll, 1761-70; Field Marshal John Campbell, 5th Duke of Argyll, 1770-1806; George William Campbell, 6th Duke of Argyll, 1806-39; John Douglas Edward Henry Campbell, 7th Duke of Argyll, 1839-47; George John Douglas Campbell, 8th Duke of Argyll, 1847-1900; John George Edward Henry Douglas Sutherland Campbell, 9th Duke of Argyll, 1900-14; Niall Diarmid Campbell, 10th Duke of Argyll, 1914-49; Ian Douglas Campbell, 11th Duke of Argyll, 1949-73; Ian Campbell, 12th Duke of Argyll, 1973-2001.

    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 seat of Scotland's largest clan, the Campbells.

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01499-302-203

    Fax: 01499-302-421

    Email: [email protected]

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

    Historic Houses Member: Yes