Morvern Lines – 28.1.20

Horace Newton (white beard) and family having a picnic in Glen Cripesdale. Photograph supplied by Iain Thornber.

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Continued from last week.
‘The house is of comparatively modern erection, most substantially built, rough caste and slated, with lofty tower, presenting a commanding appearance in harmony with the surroundings. The accommodation is as follows: on the second floor – two bedrooms in the tower, approached by the principal staircase. A secondary staircase leads to seven bedrooms, WC, and boxroom. On the first floor entered from the north gallery, two large bedrooms and smaller bedroom or dressing room between.

‘Out of the south gallery is a large bedroom at the end, two smaller bedrooms and bathroom fitted with large bath with hot and cold supply. The west gallery leads to a large principal bedroom with south and west aspects. Housemaids’ closets and WC, small south bedroom, two other large west bedrooms, two adjoining dressing rooms, or bedrooms, corner bedroom with west and north aspect, and maid’s room. Hot and cold water are laid on to 13 of these bedrooms and to taps on second and first floor landings. On the ground floor, entrance and staircase hall, capital dining room (22 ft 6 ins by 15 ft 6 ins, exclusive of sideboard recess; elegant drawing room with bay (23 ft by 22 ft); handsome billiard hall (30 ft by 16 ft.6 ins and 33ft high) with gallery along three sides). Cheerful library, garden hall and cloak room, smoke room, bachelor’s bedroom, hat and boot cupboards, telephone room. Passage to lavatory with hot and cold supply, two WCs, gun room, with separate entrance from the grounds, sheltered by a waiting porch with ghillie’s seat and WC entered from outside.

‘The domestic offices are well shut off, and comprise servant’s hall, butler’s pantry, bedroom, large kitchen and scullery, housekeeper’s room, drying room, WC, boot and lamp rooms, store room, range of larders for game, meat, pastry and vegetables, covered yard, coal cellars, side entrance and passage &c. Deer skinning and weighing house, with venison larder over, forming a dwarf south-east tower. Hidden from observation among the shrubberies is a bothy, substantially built, for nine to 12 men in three divisions.

‘On the strath, about 80ft below, is the original farmhouse of Glencripesdale (the former main house) occupied by the head keeper. The farm buildings &c are roomy, modern and substantial and include two byres, two barns, silo house (so constructed as to be filled on the level), cattle sheds, cart shed, stable with large loft over. Yacht stores and workshop, a second large cattle shed, divided; bothy for two men, laundry with washing and ironing rooms, water laid on, boiler house and drying green. Here also are the kennels with enclosed runs. Pleasure grounds and policies, including lawns with broad gravelled sweeps around, and amidst thriving plantations of luxuriantly grown rhododendrons in rich profusion; shady serpentine walk radiate from thence through the woods to the glen, up the hillsides and down to the shore, where there is a stone jetty. A tidal dock for a steam yacht of over one hundred tons is at the mouth of the burn, with flood gates for scouring it out in winter. Sheltered cove with bathing shed and beaching place for yachts and boats, inside of moorings. Glencripesdale House is abundantly supplied with pure water from a spring high up in the hills which by natural gravitation supplies a large tank, from whence it is carried all over the premises. The sanitation has been effected on the most approved modern principles, and is in thorough working order. In the valley below the knoll on which the mansion house stands, and near the farmery, are paddocks, meadow and cultivated land, and these with the home woods and plantations, lawns, garden and policies, comprise together about 250 acres, and are fenced off against deer, the boundary extending from the loch side, west of the Demesne, some distance up the hill, returning again to the shore eastward.

‘Two roads have been constructed in a thoroughly sound and permanent manner, most creditably engineered, with easy gradients, crossing the burn by a substantial and picturesque stone bridge, giving a lovely view of the burn rushing along its rocky bed between its wooded and craggy slopes. One road leads to the beach, running along the hanging woods for two miles to Camusalloch, and could be carried on to Laudale House (where the public road begins) without interfering with the deer forest. The other road runs up the glen for about one mile and a half in a south-easterly direction, and from thence a bridle path leads up the mountain side, past the fishing loch of Duncan’s lochan, at an altitude of about 1,000 feet (where there is a small fishing lodge) and then winds down to Laudale House. From many points of this pass views of extreme grandeur and majestic beauty are obtained.

Laudale House. Photograph supplied by Iain Thornber.

‘Laudale House stands back from the loch, with rich pasture and meadow land intervening, in a sheltered bay, nestling under the wooded slope of lofty hills which rise precipitously at the back. A considerable stretch of cultivated land runs along the shore and affords rich grazing ground for cattle and yields excellent crops of corns and roots. The house is a substantial structure of stone with slated roof, and consisted originally of two storeys with wings, but in recent years a large outlay has been incurred in the erection of an additional story, and now forms a capital shooting box and factor’s residence; it contains five bedrooms, bathroom and WC, on the second floor; large sitting room, two bedrooms and store room on the first; two sitting rooms, small office and store room on the ground. In the west wing is the kitchen, scullery and other offices with two rooms over, and in the east wing two rooms upstairs and two rooms down. The outbuildings consist of dairy, boiler house, coal and wood sheds, meat house, &c in an enclosed yard, outside of which in the farmery, comprising large byre, stable, cart shed, hay house, cattle house, silo and hay shed on the strath, with labourer’s cottage.

‘There is also a shooting lodge at the other end of the estate, at the head of Loch Teacuis known as Kinloch-Teacuis, so called from its proximity to the Kinloch River, which rushes down the mountain behind from a height of some 1,300 feet, and forms a beautiful cascade. at a short distance from the house. There are five bedrooms, bathroom and WC, upstairs. On the ground floor are two parlours, kitchen and other conveniences. Capital farm buildings including modern byre for twenty head, hay house, smearing house, store, stabling &c. Contiguous are excellent parks, arable land and pastures under the hills up the glen and for some distance along the shore towards Rahoy, which is a good steading with dwelling house and needful buildings.

‘Conveniently placed in different parts of the property are shepherds’ and labourers’ cottages and steadings, notably one at Lochhead where there is also a byre; and the same at Achleek, the house there having two storeys, byre and smearing house and cottage. At Camusalloch there is a comfortable house and at Liddesdale a shepherd’s house, gamekeeper’s lodge, kennels and byre. At Achagavel a specially good cottage for shepherd; as also at Lurga. On Carna’s Isle is a crofter’s cottage, and outbuildings, and a shepherd’s house. It may be specially noted that on the whole of this large estate there is only one crofter, a fact which will commend itself to the sportsman as being indeed a rarity on a property such as this.

Continued next week.