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Beside the cold, clear waters edge of Loch Indaal on the Isle of Islay, Scotland sits the imposing white, mansion called Islay House that looks out over the wild sea.

islay-mountains

Acquried in 1677, the property is seeped in Scotlands past and also foreshadows the islands bright future.

islay-house-bridgend

Listed as a Category A historic home, it was gifted for services rendered during the reign of Charles II and given as a reward to Sir John Hughs for bringing the rebellious residents of Islay to heal in 1614.

Charels II

It wasn’t until 1644 that his great grandson, Sir Hugh Campbell of Cawdor, felt secure enough to build the house on the land granted by the King of England as a Crown Charter “Ye lands of Ylay and Rynnis”.  They owned the entire island.

cawdor castle

It was Cawdor Castle, the family’s seat, which is forever linked with the name Macbeth in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy.

shakesphere

The Islay site was chosen because the land was very fertile at the head of Loch Indaal, but also it’s sweeping views across the water of the Kilchoman Peninsula which must have been the deciding factor in the houses location.

islay-view

The island has ancient chapels, historic standing stones and also is the site of Finlaggan, chosen by the Macdonalds, Lords of the Isles, in the 12th Century as the base from where they ruled the Hebridean Islands and the west coast of Scotland.

Islay-bay

The loch’s tides can be seen from the house windows and sweeping lawns.

tide

Over the centuries, the house has had many alterations and additions, the most dramatic completed in the 1730s.

islay-side

The gable-fronted north wing was added, and repeated again in the 1760s, with matching octagonal staircases to both the north and south wings.

islay-staircase

They are also hung double doors at the main front door entrance, with pillars and fanlight that give a sense of drama at the entrance.

islay-house-bridgend

It wasn’t until 1841, that the Scottish architect William Playfair was hired to create the service buildings to the rear, which added a deer larder, dry goods larder, wine cellar, butler’s pantries, housekeeper’s suite and other staff quarters all on three floors.

Islay_02

The present day house, although large and impressive, is well laid out for modern day living.

red

The trophy room is large and has tall ceilings, with a large stone fireplace.

green

The central part of the house, which was the former servants’ hall in the north east wing feature a beautiful curving staircase at each end and an impressive reception hall, with well proportioned reception rooms.

islay-sittingroom

The mansion has many fine period features such as original fireplaces throughout and decorative cornices, wooden panelling and working window shutters.

islay-kitchen

There is a massive kitchen and store rooms where once the servants prepared the family meals.

islay-stores

There were many stone built outbuildings, such as the gameskeepers cottage.

gardens

The current owner has leased the Walled Garden to local residents that created a productive vegetable business.

garden store

Islay Ales Brewhouse serves fresh beer from the former horse stables.

brewhouse

Islay is world famous for single malt whiskies fromits 8 whisky distilleries and the renowned Bowmore Whisky Distillery sits directly on the sea.

bowmore

There is the outstanding annual Islay Festival Music and Malt, which helps to bring tourism to Islay Isle.

Islay_03

Yet it is Islay House that forever stands as a testament to time immortal of the clans whose hertiage built this remarkable home on this wild, remote part of Scotland.

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