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Belretiro, (now Auchendennan House) Arden, Argyll and Bute: unexecuted designs for a garden seat for William Rouett, 1770 (3)

1770
William Rouett (dates unknown) was the nephew of Baron Mure of Caldwell, and it is most likely through this connection that he came into contact with Robert Adam. Rouett is described by Bolton as the Rector of Saxham, and a Professor of Church History at the University of Glasgow. He owned the Auchendennan estate, on the west shore of Loch Lomond, once part of the royal hunting demesne formed by Robert the Bruce. On this land Rouett had a house called Belretiro, and it was for this estate that Adam was commissioned to made unexecuted designs for a garden seat in c1770.

Little is known of Belretiro as it was demolished and rebuilt, first for George Martin, a Glasgow tobacco merchant, in c1818, and to the designs of an unknown architect, and then it was rebuilt, secondly in a baronial style in 1842-46 to designs by John Burnet (1814-1901). Later additions were made for Mr Chrystal, a chemical manufacturer, by Alexander Nisbet Paterson (1862-1947) in 1902-3. Auchendennan House, as it came to be known, was used as an anti-aircraft headquarters during the Second World War, and was then taken over by the Scottish Youth Hostels Association. It is now the Loch Lomond Conference Centre and Youth Hostel.

Literature:
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, Index pp. 4, 86; F. Arneil Walker, The buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute, 2000, pp. 111-12; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume II, p. 215; British listed buildings online: ‘Auchendennan House with Conservatory, Terrace Wall, Fountain, Statuary'

Frances Sands, 2013
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