Strone 3165

Cairndow, Scotland

Brief Description

Strone is famed for the record-breaking conifers in the woodland garden, planted from the late-19th century onwards on the steep escarpment above the Kinglas River. The woodland garden also contains a few trees from the original late-18th-century shelterbelt and a mid-20th-century planting of rhododendrons. An ornamental garden around the house was developed at the same time.

History

Strone was once part of the adjacent Ardkinglas Estate. The woodland garden was planted from around 1875 in the deciduous shelterbelt laid out in the late 18th century. The flower garden and Rhododendrons were planted from c.1930.

Detailed Description

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:

http://portal.historic-scotland.gov.uk/designations

Location and Setting

Strone Gardens is situated at the north end of Loch Fyne about 1/4 mile (0.5km) east from Cairndow on the old military road off the A83 about 10 miles (16km) east of Inveraray. To the south the garden is bordered by the Kinglas Water, and the military road and the gardens surrounding Strone House form the northern boundary. The woodland gardens lie on the steep escarpment which slopes down to the river and in some areas the underlying sandstone has worn away providing a shallow sandy loam. The high annual rainfall (80-100"), the mildness of the gulf stream and the cool damp summers favour the growing of trees especially conifers and ericaceous plants such as rhododendrons. From the upper garden there are filter views west through Silver firs along Loch Fyne, and more open views to the north shore and the ridge above called 'The Brannie'. The tall trees of Strone are visible from the main roads around the north end of the loch.

Strone Garden was part of the Ardkinglas estate until c.1966, and the shelter woodland was planted as part of the 18th century setting for the house. Strone Gardens cover 40 acres (16ha).

Landscape Components

Architectural Features

Strone House was built c.1930 replacing an older farmhouse. The Garden Cottage and Bothy lie adjacent to the road.

Woodland Garden

Magnificent old beech, oak, tall straggly silver firs and a few limes are all remnants of the original planting in c.1790. There is some regeneration in the eastern corner above the Ardkinglas Bridge especially along the steep bank of the River Kinglas where the river tumbles over waterfalls and craggy boulders. Young natural trees grow amongst the luscious green mosses and create a superb 'picturesque' scene. Along the road small glades have been cleared and replanted mainly with beech and larch.

Magnificent old beech, oak, tall straggly silver firs and a few limes are all remnants of the original planting in c.1790. There is some regeneration in the eastern corner above the Ardkinglas Bridge especially along the steep bank of the River Kinglas where the river tumbles over waterfalls and craggy boulders. Young natural trees grow amongst the luscious green mosses and create a superb 'picturesque' scene. Along the road small glades have been cleared and replanted mainly with beech and larch.

Below the bridge, clinging to the slopes, grow some of the finest conifers in the British Isles, including several champion trees. The important trees were measured by Alan Mitchell in 1969, 1972, 1982 and 1985. He measured over 40 conifers (22 over 120') and concluded that the collection at Strone contains the tallest trees in the British Isles. There are over 22 specimens over 37m (120 feet) high and, for example, the grand fir (Abies grandis) is over 62m (202 feet). Strone also contains the largest girthed silver fir (Abies alba) in the country at over 9m (29.5 ft), and an enormous Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa) at 22m (72 ft), a large Sawara Cypress (Chamaecyparis pisifera) at 24m (79 ft), and one of the tallest Fitzroya cupressoides from Chile at 21m (69 ft). Finally there are some huge Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata) at 46m (150 ft), Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) at 55m (180 ft), and mountain hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) at 50m (164 ft).

The Gardens

The garden around Strone House was created by Lord and Lady Glenkinglas from c.1930. It lies above the woodland garden and is much more exposed to the winds and cold weather. The conditions are more suited to alpines, yet even so the Glenkinglases have managed to grow a wide range of perennial plants, shrubs and smaller trees. Amongst the trees there is a particularly fine collection of Sorbus planted in the western meadow. Drifts of naturalized bulbs fill the grassy banks and tender climbers grow up the house. Hellebores, gentians and Primulas all grow in attractive mixed borders.

There is no formal kitchen garden but some vegetables and herbs are grown near the cottages.

Features
  • Specimen Tree
  • Description: In 1985 there were 22 trees over 37 metres high including the tallest trees in Britain. One grand fir, Abies grandis, is over 62 metres tall.
  • House (featured building)
  • Description: Strone House was built c.1930 replacing an older farmhouse.
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
History

Detailed History

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:

http://portal.historic-scotland.gov.uk/designations

Reason for Inclusion

An attractive woodland designed landscape most notable for its woodland garden containing some of the largest most impressive conifers in the UK and an important Rhododendron collection.

Site History

The woodland garden was planted from around 1875 in the deciduous shelterbelt laid out in the late 18th century. The flower garden and Rhododendrons were planted from c.1930.

Strone developed as part of Ardkinglas and its early history is described in the report on Ardkinglas. Sir Alexander Campbell planted the shelterbelt in c.1790 and the specimen conifers were planted from c.1875 when the Ardkinglas estate was owned by the Callanders. The estate was purchased in 1905 by Sir Andrew Noble and, from the 1930s', his grandson, Michael, Lord Glenkinglas, with his wife, Anne, began gardening around their new home at Strone House. The garden slowly spread into the woodland. Lord Glenkinglas was Secretary of State for Scotland from 1962 to 1963 and he died in 1984, leaving the Garden to his four children.

Contact

Telephone

0131 668 8600

Official Website

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References

References

Contributors

  • Historic Scotland