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4 bedroom detached house for sale

Ferry Inn, Rosneath, By Helensburgh, G84

Sold STC £795,000

Property Description

Key features

  • By Sir Edwin Lutyens
  • Detached cottage
  • Private beach and sea loch frontage
  • 5 public rooms
  • 4 bedrooms (master en suite)
  • Kitchen
  • Gardens
  • EPC Rating = G

Full description

Tenure: Freehold

An Arts and Crafts masterpiece by Sir Edwin Lutyens


Ferry Inn is set in four acres of its own grounds on the Rosneath Peninsula with 250 metres of frontage to Gare Loch and ownership of the shingle beach in front. The grounds form the corner of the promontory on the edge of Rosneath which juts out into the sea loch. There are magnificent views from the house over the loch and to the marina at Rhu on the opposite shore.

The Rosneath Peninsula lies to the north of the Firth of Clyde. The peninsula is reached by the road from Garelochhead in its neck to the north. The peninsula is bounded by Loch Long to the northwest, Gare Loch to the east and the Firth of Clyde to the south and is connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus at its northern end. Gare Loch has been used as a naval base since the 1830s and Faslane on the opposite side of the loch is a key naval base to this day. There is also a naval yard at Coulport on the west side of the peninsula. The peninsula is about eight miles long and is only two and a half miles wide at its widest point. A ridge runs along the centre of the peninsula from where there are magnificent views in all directions. Villages situated along the coastline include Rosneath, Kilcreggan (where there is a foot ferry to Gourock) and Cove.

Rosneath provides a primary school, two churches and local shops. The village has expanded in recent years providing housing for servicemen at the naval base and associated workers. There are further local shops at Garelochhead. Helensburgh on the opposite side of the loch is a larger town with a full range of supermarkets, high street stores, independent shops and both local authority and private schools.

The accessibility of the Rosneath Peninsula has been greatly improved by the opening of the new Ministry of Defence road over the hills to Loch Lomond. The journey time to Loch Lomond, the Erskine Bridge and Glasgow Airport has been significantly reduced by the new road which bypasses Shandon, Rhu and Helensburgh on the A814 on the other side of the loch


The original Ferry Inn stood next to the main jetty for the ferry which ran between Rosneath and Rhu on the opposite side of Gare Loch. The inn dated from 1800 and was extended three times between 1862 and 1897.

In about 1896 Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's daughter, instructed a young architect called Edwin Lutyens to extend the inn as a private residence. Princess Louise's husband was the Marquis of Lorne, who succeeded his father in 1900 as the 9th Duke of Argyll.

Lutyens was only 27 when he undertook this commission. His design added the part of the house which still exists today. The original inn was subsequently demolished, leaving Ferry Inn House and Ferry Inn Cottage which stands as a detached dwelling behind.

The house is one of only two Lutyens buildings in Scotland and is a fine example of the architect's style at this period. Lutyens created a two storey house over a raised basement in the Arts and Crafts style. The house is unusual in that its three main elevations, to the south, east and north, are all very different. The original drawings for Ferry Inn (which included a much grander Baronial style scheme which was not adopted) are held by RIBA. The importance Lutyens gave to the scheme and his royal clients is illustrated by the fact that he added watercolour to his sketch drawings.

Princess Louise never moved into the house, due to the Marquis' ill health, and during the Boer War the building became a convalescent home for wounded soldiers. It was requisitioned by the government for military use in 1939 and after the war it was used as married quarters until 1958. The house was acquired in 1959 by a local boat yard owner, Peter Boyle, who used his apprentice ship fitters to refurbish the house with Limba wood panelling throughout. The current owners favoured a more traditional and softer appearance and reinstated wooden panelling to dado height and deep sandstone sills to the windows in the reception hallway and the salon. In keeping with the original plans for Ferry Inn, the grand formal salon has been reinstated.

The many unusual features of the house include the dominant triple chimney stack, the impressive stone entrance hall with its curving roof ends and the arched doorways. There are a variety of window styles at different levels, including outshot windows at first floor level on the east elevation overlooking the sea, arched windows on the ground floor and the near full length windows to the salon.

Internally, the quality and character of the house are combined with excellent living accommodation. A large central hall gives access to the dining room, kitchen, breakfast room, morning room and re-instated salon / drawing room and has stairways leading to the first floor and lower ground floor. The kitchen was refitted in 2003 in an Edwardian style by Clive Christian of London. It is finished to the highest of specifications with solid granite and Corian work surfaces, a central island and a number of integral appliances including a Lacanche range cooker. There is a small morning room to the north with a door to the garden outside. There is a long landing on the first floor with four bedrooms off it. The master bedroom has its own well appointed bathroom and there are two further bathrooms, unusual for the period, in that they are original to the layout, and include a luxuriously appointed Art Deco style bath / shower room.

The basement has been recently developed to offer further accommodation including a hallway, sitting room and a further bedroom giving five bedrooms in total. .


The present owners bought Ferry Inn Cottage in 2009. It sits adjacent to Ferry Inn and was comprehensively upgraded over a four year period to include a new roof, re wiring, re plumbing, new windows and a new heating system.

Its accommodation is largely open plan with the main living space combining the sitting area with a dining area and bedroom space. Its kitchen and bathroom have been expertly designed, hand made and fitted by renowned local craftsman Drew Grieve. Both the kitchen and living space have wood burning stoves.

Below the living space on a ground floor level is excellent storage in a number of outhouses including a boiler room, wood store, workshop and cold stores. Additional outbuildings include a tractor shed, green house and garden shed.


Ferry Inn is set in gardens and grounds extending to some four acres. This ownership includes 250 metres of loch frontage and the shingle beach in front.

Formal gardens surround the house, with a gravel courtyard parking area to the south enclosed by railway sleeper walls with trees and shrubs. To the north of the house are a patio and a well stocked garden enclosed by a thick beech hedge. This secluded garden is an ideal spot for summer entertaining and is reached directly from the morning room.

The grounds to the north of the house are mown parkland, with some fine trees.

*pictures taken in August 2015

Square Footage: 5,000 sq ft
Acreage: 4 Acres


From Glasgow Airport take the M8 northwest to Junction 30 and exit to the Erskine Bridge. Take the A82 north past Balloch and pass the entrance to Cameron House Hotel and Marina on the right hand side. At the next roundabout turn left signposted Helensburgh and then turn left at the roundabout following the road into Helensburgh. Continue down Sinclair Street and turn right into West Montrose Street (signposted Helensburgh Cricket and Rugby Club). Continue to junction with Clyde Street (Firth of Clyde facing you) and turn right (A814). Continue through Rhu, Shandon, pass Faslane Naval Base on the left and go through Garelochhead. Turn left signposted Rosneath (B833) and follow the shores of Gare Loch for 6 miles to the village of Rosneath. In Rosneath, turn left at the Co-op and follow this road, forking left, and, continuing to Ferry Inn, taking the second driveway on the left hand side just before the shore of the loch.

More information from this agent

Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
13 October 2016

Map & Street View

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