entrance front of this fine house, Donald Campbell set up the carved
of Campbell of Ardnamurchan and Airds, framed within the
pediment over the projecting central panel of the facade. These
and three stone urns poised above the pediment are the only ornaments
on the outside of the building. From the small oblong entrance hall, an
oak balustrade staircase ascends in a solid , dignified curve the
floors above. The sole decoration in the hall is a little
plaster work plaque of a bearded satyr-cum-coutrier. Upstairs in
the drawing room where the west wall is very slightly rounded, a friez
of oak leaves and acorns runs around the room. The Adam fireplace was
bought from Smeaton House, east Lothian. The rectangular, rather low
ceiling dining room on the ground floor, has a glass paneled door, and
built in china cupboard.
The ground floor windows are of 18th century astragals, the
fore runner of plate glass.
of Greenock, (1812-1899), bought Airds in 1851 from Donald A Campbell .
Robert is the nephew of
Alexander Macfie of Clarenceville, and the cousin of Robert Macfie
his son. Robert first visited Airds on the 6th of September 1851, fell
love with the place and bought it out right a month later ( Oct. 4
Robert brought a young family to Airds and his wife Agnes
(Fairrie) bore two more sons after he had bought the estate. In
1861 he bought land in Oban and Glenshellach from Campbell of Sonachan.
In 1864, Robert Macfie matriculated Arms, in which he was described as
Robert Macfie, of Langhouse, county of Renfrewshire and of Airds, Oban
and Glenshellach of the county of Argyllshire.
Robert and Agnes celebrated their golden wedding anniversary and again
in 1891 they celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary at Airds.
live time at Airds, Robert made changes and improvements : he built
Dalnashean Villa for his wife's unmarried sister and Barriemore for his
daughter Margaret (
Mrs. Duncan Alexander Campbell ). A younger daughter
Mary Andrew and her husband Dr William Lage Laurie lived at Druimneil
until their death.
By the turn of
the century Robert and Agnes had died at Airds, Mary, his sister and
her husband Dr Laurie had died at Druimneil, Mary Fairrie had died at
Dalnashean. Robert's grandson was dead, his granddaughter Jane Crawford
Allan also, thus leaving only a widower R M Reid.
Macfie had inherited the Airds Estates but he was not a young
man and had already been living near Manchester for a long
time, he had no interest in the estate so i n 1908 the Estate
of Airds was put up for sale by the Macfie family .
The real estate office
listed the Particulars as follows : -
Estate is readily accessible either by railway from Oban to the
stations of Appin or Creagan, 4 to 5 miles from Airds House, or by
regular steamer service from Oban and Fort William to Appin Pier. This
Pier belongs to the Estate and is only ½ mile from the
House of Airds is a substantial old building
of date 1738. It contains 4 sitting rooms, billiard room and
8 bedrooms, 5 dressing rooms, bathroom (h&c), 4 WC's & c and
sufficient accommodation for a moderate establishment. The whole is in
good repair and well kept up.
is very nearly 3 acres in extent, has fine stone
wall, a range of conservatory and vineries & c, all
in very good order. The Policies contain some
exceptional fine old timber, both hardwood, birch and silver fir, near
the House and along the avenues. There are 3 entrance gates,
at one of which there is a lodge and fully 1½ miles of the
is Stabling for four horses, coachman's house, large groom's
room, coach house & c, all convenient and in
and Boating facilities are excellent - the Bay of
Airds some 500 yards from the House , affording a very good anchorage
and where there is also a boathouse.
. the sea fishing is good and there is also a small fresh water Loch on
the Estate stocked with Loch Leven trout.
A good shoot, especially in winter and could be very greatly developed
and improved. The bags for the last 5 years are as follows viz : -
addition to the Mansion House of Airds, there is the substantial Villa
residence of Druimneil, containing 2 sitting rooms, 5 bedroom, Bathroom
(h&c) W"C" and good servants' accommodation, standing in pretty
grounds, with its own Garden, Stabling, coach house & c.
Estate is cut up into a number of handy farms and small holding. The
farms number 13, with the average rental of about 50L and consist
mainly of dairy and cattle rearing farms, for which the district is
very well suited. There is a good demand both locally and by means of
the railway for such produce. farms of this nature have kept their
value better than any other kind of farm
in Argyllshire and the farms on Airs Estate are no exception.
Rental of lands and house on the estate, with the exception of
Airds House and Druimneil, which are in the occupation of
the Proprietor and his Factor , is 1092L 14s 4d and the Public
Burdens on the whole Estate amount to under 160L or almost 2s3d
per L of the Estate rental per valuation roll
are Feu-duites on the Estate amounting to 28L 13s 6d and well
further particulars apply to R M Reid, Factor Druimneil, Appin
Argyllshire, or Arthur W Russell WS 23 Castle St
Early attempt to
sell the Estate had failed and an auction was held in order
to obtain the desired effects , however the final offer made was
for £ 26,000 which was much lower than had been asked.
In the late 1900's the
estate was owned by one
Mr. Ralph Dundas . It was up for sale in early 1980's .
As defined by the
topographic department, is a " Lieu-dit" (a place called) in the county
Missisquoi (lat 45 02, long 73 12) otherwise known as the
Seigneurie de Foucault . We have however located one map which
clearly indicates AIRD as being located at the conjunction of Macfie
Road, Middle Road and South Beech Road.
The photo of the
the dwelling is that of the second building, as the first burnt to the
ground. There was a painting of Robert's grandfather that he had been
given on one of his trips to Scotland, that hung in
prominence in the house, it was rescued during the fire and is now in
the possession of Dr Robert A. Macfie of St. Lambert Quebec, the
painting itself still shows the marks of the disaster. Not only had
Robert in his possession this original painting of his
grandfather, but there were many objects including furniture and a
piano that had come from
Langhouse , given to the Canadian family as keepsakes by thier
ancestors in Scotland. None of these other objects, nor the many family
papers and pictures of the time made it into the new century which of
course is a great loss.
There was even a post
office there from 1868 to 1912 and a general store
Townsend & Macfie ".
This location was so
Robert Macfie , Alexander's son , who had had the occasion to visit
the original Airds in Scotland. As the general area of the Missisquoi
Bay at this spot was at that time still virgin country side we
must assume that it resembled or gave Robert at least the impression of
similarity of what he had seen in Scotland so that he chose to name
this location Aird. Today if one stands in the conjunction
of the roads and looks towards the bay, he still can see the mountains
in far off Vermont. There is still a bit of similarity to
the general landscape of Scotland in and around the
Airds Estate .