THE CASTLE GHOST
Rumour has it that the Castle is home to the ghost of Lady Sophie Scott who was also a resident of the Castle in Edwardian times. Lady Sophie was a keen sportswoman and reputedly an excellent shot. She and her husband, Sir Samuel Scott were renowned for their hospitality and hosted many a shooting party at Amhuinnsuidhe. Although she was very fond of children, she was unable to have any of her own. She died in 1937 at the age of 63. Her remains and those of her husband are buried in the cairn on the hill behind the Castle. If Lady Sophie does still visit her beloved Amhuinnsuidhe, she means only to keep a watch on her guests and make sure that their stay is as comfortable as possible.
Amhuinnsuidhe Castle was designed in the Scottish Baronial style by the architect David Bryce and built in 1865 for Charles Murray, the 7th Earl of Dunmore. His mother, Lady Catherine set up an embroidery school and encouraged the then-fledgeling Harris Tweed industry.
Originally named ‘Fincastle’ the castle has traditionally been run as a sporting lodge and has welcomed many guests over the years. The current owners are committed to helping ensure the long-term environmental and economic sustainability of this exceptional estate.
GROUNDS & ESTATE
The Castle is situated on the quiet road to Hushinish with uninterrupted views over West Loch Tarbert. Guests have direct access to the small beach and there is a pathway to the sea pool and waterfall. This is an excellent spot to watch salmon and sea trout. There are also other short walks within the castle grounds with seating strategically placed at viewpoints.
The Castle has its own hillside gardens, which contain unusual and more familiar plants, trees, shrubs and fruit bushes. You may be greeted by small garden birds, or spot a buzzard. When the salmon start their run in June and July, you will see them leaping from the sea pool. The Castle is surrounded by some 55,000 acres of Trust owned land that provides an environment of true escapism for keen sportsmen, walkers and wildlife enthusiasts.
THE MCTAGGART COLLECTION
William McTaggart RSA RSW 1835 – 1910 was born into a crofting family in Aros in Argyllshire. At the age of twelve, he was apprenticed to a druggist in Campbeltown. In his spare time, he sketched in chalk and painted in watercolours and oils. On recommendation from a leading portrait artist of the time, Sir Daniel MacNee, McTaggart was offered a place at the Trustees’ Academy in Edinburgh in 1852. His first oil picture ‘The Little Fortune Teller’ was exhibited in the RSA 1856. His work took much influence from the sea. He was also influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement but in the 1870’s he began to develop an indigenous form of impressionism. His work has remained important because of its influence on subsequent generations of Scottish artists. The McTaggarts at Amhuinnsuidhe comprise an important collection spanning approximately 35 years.