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Inverary Castle

Inverary Castle

Inverary is a delightful whitewashed town on the shores of Loch Fyne a short distance from its castle, the seat of the chief of Clan Campbell. The castle is the Roger Morris' original Gothic Revival edifice that was altered externally in the 19C with the addition of a range of dormers at battlement level and conical roofs to the corner towers. On the four fronts, pointed Gothic windows predominate with a tiered central keep rising above the general roof line. During the 5th Duke's late 18C redecorations in the interior the original long gallery was subdivided to give two main rooms on either side of a small entrance hall.

Dining Room - This room is a masterpiece of delicately detailed decoration where roof and walls are perfectly Matched. The compartmented plasterwork ceiling by a London craftsman is complemented by Clayton's frieze and cornice, and matches admirably the superb painted work of Girard and Guinand (grisaille rounders over doors and in wall panels). The 18C chairs are of Scottish fabrication after a French design and are covered with 18C Beauvais tapestry. Resplendent under the Waterford chandelier (1800) and on the Gillow table are several German silver gilt nets (c 1900).

Tapestry Drawing Room - The outstanding set of 18 C Beauvais tapestries and decorative panels and overdoors by Girard rival the compartmented ceiling based on Robert Adam's design. Off this room, the China Turret has an impressive display of porcelain.

Armory Hall - The hall rises through several storeys to the armorial ceiling. The plain pastel-coloured walls provide the ideal background for the impressive display of arms (pole-arms, Lochaber axes and broadswords). From one of these balconies the Duke's personal piper awakes the household with a medley of Campbell tunes.

Saloon - The main family portraits hang here where the decoration is confined to an attractive frieze, curtain pelmets and girandoles on the end walls. The principal portraits face each other, namely Pompeo Batoni's 8th Duke of Hamilton and Gainsborough's portrait of Conway, enlarged to match the former. Among the relics in the show cases are some belonging to the Duke who was the Marquess of Montrose's arch enemy.

North West Hall and staircase - Of the portraits note the builder 3rd Duke by Allan Ramsay and the 8th Duke (Gainsborough) and his Duchess Elizabeth Gunning.

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