Torosay Castle

Please note that the Castle is currently closed to the public but there is a beautiful woodland walk from Craignure through to Torosay Castle Gardens.  Occasionally,  the gardens are open to the public.  Check local information.   As a general rule, the gardens are open the first Sunday of every month during the ‘season’.

Torosay Castle was completed in 1858 by the eminent Architect David Bryce in the Scottish Baronial style. It is one of the finer examples of his work.  the southern elevation of the new house was designed in the style of a French chateau.  The house was completed in 1858 and the Campbells named it Duart House, appropriating the name of the ruined castle across the bay.

The estate was improved with the commercial planting of trees while the park surrounding the house was landscaped, including the building of the now derelict Campbell mausoleum.  John Campbell continued to develop the estate until he suffered financially with the onset of the American Civil War (1861-1865), which led to the collapse of the price of sugar, and in 1865 the now 14,000 acre estate was bought by Arbuthnot Guthrie for the huge sum of £90,000.  The estate supported a gamekeeper at £45 per annum, a forester at £40, a ploughman £24, a gardener £36, two apprentices at £5 per annum each, plus numerous other estate workers and house servants. Duart House was lit by gas supplied by a gasometer, which consumed 14 tonnes of coal a year at £1 per ton, and used 45 tonnes of domestic coal for heating, etc., at 12 shillings [60p] per ton.  The farms of Scallastle and Garmony were acquired in 1867 adding a further 10,000 acres to the estate.

Torosay is surrounded by 12 acres of spectacular gardens including formal terraces (attributed to Sir Robert Torosay Castle from the airLorimar) which are covered with roses, other climbers and underplanted with perennials.

Many tender plants grow outside benefiting from the Gulf Stream, and to the west of the garden you will find the woodland garden with pool surrounded with candelabra primulas and other moisture loving plants, the alpine garden, rhododendron collection with Himalayan blue poppies and many woodland plants. The eucalyptus walk along the burnside which leads to the old walled garden can be found to the south, and to the east you can explore the bog garden, old rock garden, greenhouses and Japanese garden with its dramatic seaview.


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