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.
Robert Macfie 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.
In 1881 Robert and Agnes celebrated their golden wedding anniversary and again in 1891 they celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary at Airds.
During his 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 : -
fine old West Highland Estate, belonging to Wm. Macfie Esq.,
CB. ( Robert's son) is situated in the South Western corner of the
Appin District of Argyllshire, in the Parish of Lismore
and Appin. it lies on the north shore of Loch Creran, and is almost
surrounded by it and by Loch Linnhe, the land march of the Estates
with the rest of Appin being not more than 2 to 3 miles in length. It
is a very compact block of over 3500 acres, the only outlying portion
being Sheep Island 9 about 14 acres) with lime works.
The 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.
The Mansion 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.
The Garden 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 maine avenue.
There is Stabling for four horses, coachman's house, large groom's room, coach house & c, all convenient and in good order.
Yachting 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.
Fishing . 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 : -
In 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 matured grounds, with its own Garden, Stabling, coach house & c.
The 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.
The 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
There are Feu-duites on the Estate amounting to 28L 13s 6d and well secured.
For all further particulars apply to R M Reid, Factor Druimneil, Appin Argyllshire, or Arthur W Russell WS 23 Castle St Edinburgh (upset price 38,000L)
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 .
|Secluded country holidays on unspoiled private estate 5 period houses available in 450 acres of woodland, moor and pastures, with two (2) miles of coast line.|
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 .
||Mrs , widow of John||Farmer
Derrick & Hawley
Derrick & Hawley
||Postmaster, Baliff, Farmer
Justice of Peace