View Full Version : Argyll Hotel, Oban - Aug 2012

29-08-2012, 10:30 AM
Hello again everyone. Thought I'd put up another previous report. First up I took these images in November of 2011. The hotel itself was pulled down the following month after being abandoned for over a decade, something I was not expecting. Being in my home town it's still one of my favourites though.

A prominent part of the coastal town of Oban’s waterfront esplanade for a century and a half was the Argyll Hotel, built in the Scottish baronial style in four seperate phases dating back to the early 1800′s. The original building had been extensively modified throughout its life, most notably by local architects Alexander Shairp and Lake Falconer Jnr, (responsible for design and construction on many of the towns current and former landmark buildings), in 1896 and 1930 respectively.

The building presumably started its life as a hostel, (early history of the building has proved difficult to find) and gradually grew in size until it reached its current form in 1896, by which point it was enjoying luxury status under the management of former Caledonian MacBrayne chief steward J D Smith.



In recent years however its prominence as a local landmark has been due more to its dilapidated state. Having been closed for a little over a decade the building had fallen into serious disrepair whilst being at the heart of a heated debate over its future between Argyll & Bute Council, Historic Scotland and the buildings current owners.

After a lengthy feud Argyll and Bute Council’s planning committee granted permission in April 2011 for the Hotel to be demolished and a new 63-bedroom ’boutique’ hotel built in its place, a plan put forward by owners Alan and Callum MacLeod. The father and son team who currently own and run the Ee-Usk and Piazza restaurants on the town’s North Pier ran into delays in mid 2009 when the council called for a conservation report to be produced before the building could be demolished. But the MacLeods said there was no statutory requirement for this as they had already spent £3,000 on an engineering report which stated it was not economically viable to restore the building.



Head of planning Angus Gilmour said: “The hotel has been vacant for more than 10 years. It has been a very problematic building over the years and is now in a very serious structural condition. It is a potential threat to public health and safety.” The hotel had been granted listed building status that month, a condition of which was that demolition should not start until the owners had secured a contract for the site’s redevelopment. This was standard procedure recommended by both the Government and Historic Scotland to avoid unsightly gap sites.



In November councillors discussed an application from the Macleods to remove that condition, so allowing the demolition to commence before a contractor for the new building was in place. The decision to approve the application was made on the recommendation of the council’s planning department, which had assessed both a new survey of the building commissioned by the Macleods and a report from the council’s own consultant engineers, as well as the advice of the council’s building standards manager.

Councillor Daniel Kelly, who chairs the planning committee, thanked the planning and building standards staff teams for their work on the situation. He noted that it has been accepted for some time by the Council and by Historic Scotland that the building had no sustainable future in the condition into which it had lapsed and that the economic impact on the town of its replacement had to be prioritised.



Sadly the Argyll Hotel is no longer with us. With the MacLeods finally getting their way the building was pulled down on December 30th 2011, only a month after these pictures were taken.


mr beardy
29-08-2012, 03:33 PM
like this picture lots


29-08-2012, 05:00 PM
like this picture lots

Cheers matey :)

29-08-2012, 06:39 PM
like this picture lots

What he said mate :thumb

30-08-2012, 12:54 AM
Cheers guys. Just a shame it's gone now.