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Ardanaiseig (also known as New Inverawe)


The designed landscape at Ardanaiseig comprises parkland, woodland, formal grass terraces and a productive mid-19th-century walled garden. It is particularly noted for the woodland gardens developed largely in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. They feature many trees and shrubs planted under conifers or in glades, including a notable rhododendron collection. After a period of neglect the gardens are being brought back to life. Ardanaiseig is presently (2014) a hotel.

The following is from the Historic Environment Scotland Gardens and Designed Landscapes Inventory. For the most up-to-date Inventory entry, please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website:

Type of Site

A lochside estate with formal gardens and terraces around the house and a wider setting of parkland and woodland, and a fine and unusual plant collection in well established woodland gardens.

Location and Setting

Ardanaiseig is situated on the western headland of Loch Awe where the River Awe joins the Loch some 9 miles (14.5 km) south east of Taynuilt. It lies some 3.5 miles (5.5km) east of Kilchrenan and is bordered on two sides by Loch Awe. A minor road and woodland form the boundaries on the north and south sides. The gardens are only about 250' (76m) above sea level. The soils are acid loam and become more peaty on the rocky outcrops. The climate is relatively mild although the hills rise up steeply to Ben Cruachan to the north and the annual rainfall is over 85" (2250mm). There are extensive panoramas of the magnificent upland scenery from various locations, especially to Ben Cruachan, 3,695' (1,126m), and east across Loch Awe to Ben Lui, 3,708' (1,130m). The woodland canopy on the edge of Loch Awe adds variety to the surrounding scenery and can be seen from the railway and the A85(T) along the north shore and the A819 on the east side of Loch Awe.

Ardanaiseig House faces east towards Loch Awe and lies about 300m from the headland. It is protected from the wind by shelter woodlands. The policies have remained about the same size since they were laid out in the 19th century. The garden was extended in the 1920s. The designed landscape extends to some 240 acres (97ha). Documentary evidence relies on the 1st & 2nd edition OS plans.

Landscape Components

Architectural Features

Ardanaiseig House, listed category B, was designed by William Burn in the Scots Jacobean style in 1833 for J.A. Campbell of Inverawe. The Walled Garden was built at the same time as the house. There is also a Lodge.


The policies are laid out along the lower-lying land of the headland. The pasture is enclosed by the remnants of woodland strips which were mainly oak, sycamore and some beech. There are still several specimen trees left, mainly oak, but some show signs of wind burn. The drive sweeps through the woodland garden before approaching the house from the south-west.


The woodlands are mainly of hardwoods planted about 180 years ago. They are mostly oak planted c.1880. Conifers were also planted in blocks amongst the hardwoods at the end of the 19th century and during the 1950s.

Woodland Garden

The first woodland garden was planted between the house and the walled garden and it was later extended around the walled garden and up the slopes beyond it. Under a light canopy of many different conifers, including two large Wellingtonias planted in 1880, there is a wide range of small trees and shrubs particularly species and hybrid rhododendrons. Alan Mitchell measured over twenty specimen trees here in 1976. The path from the house meanders through these trees, through several glades and around a pond full of water lilies. There is a particularly large Crinodendron hookerianum with its large crimson lanterns and a very fine Enkianthhus campanulatus with its lily-of-the-valley like bells. A tall Judas Tree Cercis siliquastrum grows against the stone wall of the walled garden.

Around the walled garden there are further glades planted with several fine varieties of magnolias and species of Sorbus and southern beech Nothofagus. There is a network of paths through the woods which are filled with all kinds of special plants. Rhododendrons and azaleas are planted everywhere and there are many other flowering shrubs to be seen including eucryphia and embothrium.

The woodland garden was extended in the 1920s along the path which leads from the east side of the house to the Boathouse on Loch Awe. From the shore looking south, there is a spectacular panorama across Loch Awe to the Isle of Inishail. Near the Boathouse next to a very old oak is a magnificent Hoheria glabrata. Around it there are other interesting trees and shrubs. The garden extends southward and in a secluded vale a large number of Canadian maples have been planted, mainly Acer saccharum or A. saccharinum. These were planted to celebrate the centenary of the Confederation of Canada in 1867 in the creation of which, George Brown, the grandfather of the present owner of Ardanaiseig, played a major part.

The Gardens

The house faces east overlooking Loch Awe and is set on three large grass terraces. In the 19th century these were planted up with formal flower beds. Today, the grass banks are kept mown and lead down to the tennis courts and croquet lawn. Around the house several beds are attractively filled with colourful herbaceous and annual plants. The lower terrace extends down to the loch shore where wildflowers and spring bulbs are encouraged.

Walled Garden

The high walls are curved at the north end of the garden and climbers grow along the long south-facing wall including the enchanting and unusual Erinus alpinus which covers it with pink flowers during the spring. Flowers, tender shrubs and vegetables have always been grown within the protecting walls; part of the garden is now laid to lawn and vegetables are grown at the north end. There is a large herbaceous border.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

The following is from the Historic Environment Scotland Gardens and Designed Landscapes Inventory. For the most up-to-date Inventory entry, please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website:

Reason for Inclusion

An 18th century designed landscape comprising mainly woodland, gardens, parkland and architectural features. The gardens contain a notable collection of trees and shrubs.

Main Phases of Landscape Development

Early 19th century and extended in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Site History

The designed landscape was laid out in the early 19th century and the gardens were extended in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

In early times Ardanaiseig was the embarking point for the holy Isle of Inishail which contains an early Chapel and a burial ground where the 11th Duke of Argyll was buried in 1973 after a funeral ceremony held at Ardanaiseig.

Little is known about the site before 1833 when James Archibald Campbell, a younger son of the Campbells of Inverawe, commissioned William Burn to build the house in the Scottish Baronial style. It was then called New Inverawe but it was written into the deeds of the house that the name had to be changed if it ceased to be a Campbell house. The name was later changed to Ardanaiseig when the house was sold to John Ainsworth.

The Campbell family planted many fine hardwoods, mostly oaks, and various conifers, a few of which still survive, but there is no evidence of any planting by them of decorative shrubs anywhere throughout the policies. Colonel Campbell died in 1879 and in 1880 New Inverawe was sold by his executors to a Mr John Ainsworth from Cumberland, and the name was changed to Ardanaiseig. John Ainsworth became MP for Argyll and was created a baronet in 1916 for his public services. He began the planting of rhododendrons and azaleas along the avenue and near the house, but it was his son, Sir Thomas, who really created the gardens as we know them today when he inherited the property on Sir John's death in 1923.

Sir Thomas lived at Ardanaiseig till shortly after World War II when he decided to move to Ireland and in 1947 the property was sold to Sir Duncan McCallum who was also MP for Argyll. A considerable number of rhododendrons, which were not too old to move, were taken away by Sir Thomas and found a temporary home in Colonsay until his garden in Ireland was ready. This created a time-gap in planting at Ardanaiseig which could never be completely rectified. Sir Duncan died in 1958 and Lady McCallum sold the property in 1963 to the Brown family who are the present owners.

During the years since Sir Thomas Ainsworth went to Ireland the gardens had received little attention but after several years of restoration work it became possible to start new planting and a great deal has been done in recent years to restore the old garden and to open up new areas.

Between 1979-80 the house was converted into an hotel and the grounds are open to hotel guests at all times and to other visitors daily during the summer.

Associated People
Features & Designations


  • Historic Environment Scotland An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland


  • Terrace
  • Description: Formal grass terraces.
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: A productive mid-19th-century walled garden.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
  • Planting
  • Description: The woodland gardens were developed largely in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.
Key Information





Principal Building






Open to the public