House, Garden & History

Dougarie Lodge

Dougarie was built as the sporting lodge for the 11th Duke of Hamilton around 1865 and until the 1970s had antlers adorning the external walls. The Duke married Princess Marie of Baden and it is thought that her European connections and perhaps the strong influences from Bavaria and Hungary gave rise to many of the unique features such as deerskins on the passage walls, antler door handles and a window over the main fireplace.

The Towers

Beyond the Lodge is the Towers. The plans for the castellated style were drawn in 1875 by John Currie, although there were previous buildings on this site. The Towers includes two domestic residences. There are also kennels and various outbuildings currently used by the gamekeeper to the estate.

The game larder, built in 1883, is a large dodecagonal building of a similar style to the Bavarian summer house at Brodick Castle (also formerly owned by the Dukes of Hamilton).

The Boathouse

In 1885 a large boathouse was built out of local red sandstone not only for launching boats but also for parties and entertaining guests.

The Gardens

The garden which was added in 1905 was built in the form of a castellated folly to celebrate the marriage of the daughter of the 12th Duke of Hamilton to the Duke of Montrose. It was designed by James Mather who was the architect for many of the other buildings on the Island.

The garden is terraced on three levels and due to the Gulf Stream semi-hardy plants grow happily here.

The garden is open to the public once a year and by appointment for garden societies and touring groups.