Ardanaiseig was built in the Scottish Baronial manner for Colonel Archibald Campbell of Clan Campbell in 1834. It was designed by William Burn and is listed for its architectural importance.
Ardanaiseig is a Category B listed house. Whilst the exterior remains virtually unchanged, parts of the interior were altered by former residents, the Ainsworth family, and more recently during the conversion of the house to a hotel. Every effort has been made to keep these changes to a minimum and to preserve the atmosphere of a private house, whilst ensuring compliance with fire precautions and the need for private bathrooms.
The original design included a tower and a third storey but this plan was mercifully abandoned before building commenced. The final version is, both aesthetically and practically, a more satisfactory building than the first attempt.
The entrance hall boasts some fine pieces of antique furniture and works of art. It is very much the original entrance hall of a traditional country house. Other public rooms include the library, with its roaring log fire, the long drawing room where chamber music and piano recitals are sometimes performed, and the games room with its full size snooker table.
About the Architect
Sometime after Robert Adam died in 1793, four architects were appointed to carry out his unexecuted plans for the New Town in Edinburgh. One of them, William Burn (1789 - 1870), who later became one of the leading architects of his time, was the builder of Ardanaiseig.
Burn's early work was in and around Edinburgh. His best-known buildings are the Melville Monument, the Edinburgh Academy, John Watsons and St John's Episcopal Church. The Edinburgh Academy and John Watsons are neo-classical buildings with no trace of the Scottish Baronial style of building of which Burn and his pupil Bryce were to become the most dignified exponents.
During the 1830's and 1840s, Burn was the principal architect in Scotland of large houses for the nobility and gentry. His chef d'oeuvre was Bowhill which he built for the Duke of Buccleuch.
Burn was a forthright critic of the work of his competitors and his rows with his great rival Playfair provided many problems and some amusement to the Committee of the Royal Scottish Academy of which they were both members. There was probably some relief when Burn went south to London in 1844.
The only other example of his work in this area is Gallanach near Oban, which was built in 1817, but which was extensively altered and added to at the beginning of this century.