Ascog House is a seventeenth-century Laird’s house overlooking the rediscovered paths and terraces of a former Victorian formal garden. It is available for self-catering holidays for up to 9 people.
Bute has been called the Scottish Isle of Wight, and certainly Rothesay, its capital, with its Winter Garden and decorative ironwork, is reminiscent of the South Coast. Ascog lies on the sheltered east coast of the island. Trees (especially beech) and shrubs (Charles Rennie Mackintosh drew fuchsias here) grow lushly in its mild climate. It has been gently developed as a superior resort since the 1840s, with a scattering of respectable houses above the bay. Building on the shoreline was wisely forbidden.
One such house stands in the large and secluded grounds of the old mansion house of Ascog, once home to a branch of the Stewarts. The Landmark Trust have acquired both buildings, which stand a few hundred yards apart, each looking over its own, rather different, garden.
Ascog House once belonged to a branch of the Stewarts and is a typical seventeenth-century laird’s house. Landmark's restoration rescued it from dereliction, removing clumsy Victorian additions to reveal the true proportions and dignified character of stair turret, dormer windows and crow-stepped gables. An impressive Edwardian stair turret has been kept as a free-standing structure, to house a romantic extra bedroom and bathroom.
Modern visitors will appreciate the views of the grounds, through windows helpfully enlarged in the eighteenth century, with the best view of all from the cap house, a perfect little bedroom tucked at the top of the stair turret. Seen from the front, the House’s main rooms are on the first floor, reached by a wide turnpike stair. Go round behind and the rise of the ground brings them level with the garden. Inside, the arrangement of the rooms is new, but there are old fireplaces, including in the kitchen a noble fragment of a magnificent carved chimney piece from an early stage in the building’s history.