Argyll’s Lodging is a well-preserved town mansion built in 1632 by Sir William Alexander, who later went on to found Novia Scotia. When Sir Alexander died, the house was passed to the Argyll family, who continued to add on to the sprawling building. It really is this rather odd salmon color on the outside. It’s rather startling, especially when you look up the hill towards Stirling Castle and see the same pinkish-orange hue (is it puce?) on the Great Hall.
The house was added to in 1666, when it was bought by Archibald Argyll. It has been used as a military hospital and as a very luxurious youth hostel, prior to being restored and handed to Historic Scotland, who have done a wonderful job of creating an historic museum. The house was reopened in February of 1997 after the interior was finally completed.
Furnishings and materials in the house are meticulous reproductions of how the house would have looked in the 17th century, and are based on an inventory of the house from that period. The main hall has been finished with beautiful trompe l’oeil wall columns, the original painting is protected behind canvas, but can be seen on one wall, on the cabinet doors.
For just a moment, as we crossed the cobbled road from the cemetary, this building looked like something out of a Disney set-design. The conical towers, which actually do fly pennants on occassion, and the odd color, certainly add to the image. We were suprised to find a luxurious and well-appointed house tucked in behind the facade
I have a strange and irresistable urge to stand in the huge fireplace. I can’t imagine actually having a fire in one of these monstrous hearths–the heat would be enough to drive people out of the room! A later visit to Linlithgow Palace revealed two enormous kitches with fireplaces like these. And, the house was boasting all the latest in interior accoutrements: indoor bathrooms. Still just a chamber pot in a nice box, but a bit more comfortable.