Knockdow House is an 18th century historical property situated in the county of Argyll, Scotland. This beautiful Georgian property is remotely located amongst 250 acres of woodland and fields, and is a stone’s throw away from Dunoon town, which is the main town on the Cowal peninsula, which is located on the west shore of the Firth of Clyde.
About the Property
Knockdow House has an enthralling history. The property dates back to 1760, and belonged to the Lamont Clan for around 600 years. Its illustrious history has definitely influenced the look and feel of the house, including the stately exterior which features harled walls, slated roofing and pedimented upper windows.
When you enter the property one of the first things you will notice are the many exotic woods throughout, including the main stairwell, which is lined with timber panelling that came all the way from Palmiste in Trinidad. Exotic woods were brought over by Sir Norman Lamont, who was the Laird of Knockdow during the 1920s. He travelled extensively and spent much of his time in Trinidad, where he was responsible for the family’s plantations.
Aside from exotic woods you will also find elaborate cornicing, a domed cupola in the former Great Hall, an etched antique glass window and even a tower, all of which add to the grandeur and graciousness of this magnificent property.
Introducing the Lairds of Knockdow House
Knockdow House has had many Lairds of Knockdow, including Baron John Lamont, the 5th Laird of Knockdow, who was born in 1520 in Argyll, Scotland. He was the son of John MacGorrie, the 4th Laird of Knockdow, and Jean Campbell, and was married with one son. He died in 1584, age 63.
Unlike many clans whose history was lost during the course of wars and clearances, the Lamont’s have excellent written records of their history.
In the second half of the 18th century, this Highland Clan system suffered immensely. Subsistence farming was not able to sustain an increasingly large population, and new policies of many major landowners ordered them to clear their lands for sheep farming, which resulted in the clansmen being expelled.
When the Jacobites failed to restore the Stuart line as kings, more and more clan chiefs and gentry became landlords, abandoning traditional obligations of clanship. They became incorporated into the British aristocracy, and used the clan lands mostly as a source of suitable income.
Each Laird of Knockdow that passed away left an heir, and there was been a Lamont of Knockdow for 450 years until Sir Norman Lamont inherited the title. Sir Norman Lamont was the 17th and last Laird of Knockdow. As he was unmarried, the baronetcy granted upon his father became extinct.
Fortunately, the Lamont history has been very richly preserved.