BENMORE BOTANIC GARDEN, BENMORE HOUSE, FERNERY (Ref:6436)
This building is in the Argyll And Bute Council and the
Dunoon And Kilmun Parish.
It is a category B building and was listed on 19/06/1992.
Group Items: See Notes,
Group Cat: B,
Map Ref: NS 13529 85163.
Loch Lomond And Trossachs National Park Planning Authority
The fernery at Benmore is a rare survival of this type of building. Few ferneries survive in any condition in Scotland. This example, although it is ruinous, retains its walls and internal features. It is a rare structure and important as an integral part of the gardens at Benmore.
The fernery, which is built into a steep-sided cleft using rubble, is rectangular in plan with semicircular gables. The entrance is to the S and supports a stone arch, with steps to either side. The interior consists of high walls with occasional built-in ledges for ferns. Only a few iron hoops for a barrel roof survive. It appears from the shape of the gables that there was a lantern running the length of the roof. The interior of the fernery also contains a quartz grotto with steps to either side. To the NW, on the exterior is a small lean-to structure ' probably the original heating plant for the fernery.
Ferneries became popular in British gardens from the 1850s, the result of a new interest in more exotic plants and the fashion for fern collecting and continued to be built until after 1900.
In 1870 the Benmore estate was acquired by James Duncan, a Greenock Sugar Refiner. Duncan carried out many improvements to the estate, including extending the house and building a number of worker's cottages. Duncan was also largely responsible for the garden layout which survives today. The fernery belongs to this period.
Benmore Estate is perhaps best known as the setting for Benmore Botanic Garden, run by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. The garden and designed landscape is notable for the collection of coniferous trees, planted by successive owners since c1820.
Part of B-Group including Benmore House, the Steading, North Lodge and Gates, the Golden Gates, `Puck's Hut', Walled garden and the cottages to the E of it (see separate listings).
Within Benmore-Younger Botanic Garden Designed Landscape.
Ordnance Survey 1st edition (c1863) and 2nd edition (c1898); Inglis' Guide to Dunoon and Environs (1883); Land Use Consultants, An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, Vol 2, 1987; Walker, F A and Sinclair, F, North Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (1992), 132; Walker, F A, Buildings of Scotland: Argyll and Bute (2000), 144-6; Walker, F A, Argyll and The Islands: An Illustrated Architectural Guide (2003), 23-4.
© Crown copyright, Historic Scotland. All rights reserved. Mapping information derived from Ordnance Survey digital mapping products under Licence No. 100017509 2012 . Data extracted from Scottish Ministers' Statutory List on . Listing applies equally to the whole building or structure at the address set out in bold at the top of the list entry. This includes both the exterior and the interior, whether or not they are mentioned in the 'Information Supplementary to the Statutory List'. Listed building consent is required for all internal and external works affecting the character of the building. The local planning authority is responsible for determining where listed building consent will be required and can also advise on issues of extent or "curtilage" of the listing, which may cover items remote from the main subject of the listing such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. or interior fixtures. All category C(S) listings were revised to category C on 3rd September 2012. This was a non-statutory change. All enquiries relating to proposed works to a listed building or its setting should be addressed to the local planning authority in the first instance. All other enquiries should be addressed to: Listing & Designed Landscapes Team, Historic Scotland, Room G.51, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, EDINBURGH, EH9 1SH. Tel: +44 (0)131 668 8701 / 8705. Fax: +44 (0)131 668 8765. e-mail: email@example.com. Web: http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/historicandlistedbuildings.