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Garden Category: North Scotland Gardens
The history of Ardanaiseig really begins in 1801 when Archibald Campbell of Blackhouse and Finalyson purchased this property of Tervine from the Inverawe Estate which had been owned by his ancestors since the 14th century.
After his death in 1832, Tervine, which comprised a very ancient ferry house and about 1000 acres of hill and rough grazing, was sold by his executors to his nephew, Colonel James Archibald Campbell, who built this house, which he called New Inverawe, in 1834 after spending two years in laying out the grounds and planting trees, some of which still survive.
Colonel Campbell died in 1879 and in 1880 New Inverawe was sold by his executors to a Mr John Ainsworth who had large interests in iron, coal and heavy industry in Cumberland. A condition of the sale was that the house was no longer to be called New Inverawe since it had ceased to belong to the Campbell family and the name was accordingly changed to Ardanaiseig, the Gaelic name for point of land near which the house was built. The word means “the point by the ferry” but the reference to a ferry is obscure.
After Sir John’s death in 1932 his son, Sir Thomas, lived until shortly after the last war. During his time a great number of flowering shrubs of all kinds were planted and the area of woodland gardens was much enlarged. Up till the outbreak of the Second World War, a number of gardeners were employed but inevitably maintenance deteriorated during the war years.
Ardanaiseig was sold to Sir Duncan McCallum, once again the Member of Parliament for Argyll, but this time a Unionist. Sir Duncan’s father, against his family’s wishes, had gone on the Music Hall stage using the stage name of Charles Coburn and made an enormous success with his song “The man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo” which became one of the most famous songs of its era. Sir Duncan chose a less hazardous career and became a soldier, serving in various capacities in China, the Middle East and Bulgaria and then in the Second World War until he went into politics. He died in 1958 and his widow, after disposing separately of Tervine and Ballimore – two of the farms forming the estate – finally sold Ardanaiseig itself in 1963. The current owner, Bennie Gray, bought the property in 1995.
Ardanaiseig Gardens are made up of 100 acres of Victorian woodlands on the shores of Loch Awe. Set out in 1834 when Ardanaiseig House was built, the garden still contains many of the original trees, rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias. Many other rare shrubs line the extensive walks and the walled garden has a colourful herbaceous border. Read more ….