Knockdow House is a charming Georgian property in Dunoon and the greater region of Argyll and Bute. This Category B listed building is nestled in ‘Argyll’s Secret Coast’, a mysterious and largely untouched part of the world surrounded by nature, wildlife and breath-taking views.
The property originally belonged to the Lamont Clan, one of Scotland’s oldest clans. For some 600 years, the Lamont Clan ruled over most of the Cowal peninsula of Argyll, and maintained Knockdow.
Due to their extensive travels, there are many Caribbean influences throughout the property, including mahogany, sandalwood to timber panelling. The family also owned a number of estates in Trinidad as they owned sugar plantations, as well as fields for other crops.
Sir Norman Lamont was the 17th and final Laird of Knockdow. He was well educated and passionate about Scottish heritage and politics. At the age of 79, in 1949, Norman Lamont passed away. He did not leave an heir; therefore the house ceased to belong to the Lamont Clan, but was instead purchased privately by a number of different owners.
In 2010, it was restored and refurbished extensively, and is now home to a modern biomass heating system and water filtration system, which provide an environmentally-friendly source of renewable energy. While the renovations were extensive, the owners wanted to bring the house into the 21st century while retaining the property’s rich and intricate heritage.
With 12 bedrooms and a range of function rooms including a TV room, tea room and dining room, Knockdow House offers a gracious living space. Set amongst 250 acres of grounds, the house has three floors, including nine reception rooms, a large drawing room and a former great hall, which is now used as a sitting area.
With its chimney and fireplace, the former great hall makes for a superb relaxation area. It is exquisitely furnished and features influences from the Ionic order, including a domed cupola supported by slender and ornate Ionic columns. There are also traditional paintings and gorgeous woven carpets, creating a wonderfully atmospheric feel to the room.
Knockdow House is also home to a crenelated tower with bay windows. Just beside the tower, on the first floor, is a large suite that was formerly used as the men servants’ quarters. This section of the house is now a separate wing with two double bedrooms (each with an en-suite), a private sitting area and fully fitted kitchen.
Outside, there are gardens, two lakes, a former mill pond, lawns, parkland and wooded forests. This is a fairy-tale come true with its remote setting and 18th century architectural characteristics.
While Knockdow is today a private property, anyone with an interest in otherworldly scenery needs to take a trip to Argyll’s Secret Coast!