"Whatever you seek is here, in this remote place, if only you have a good firm mind."
Perhaps the finest example of an eighteenth-century country villa to survive in Scotland, nearby Auchinleck House is where the renowned biographer James Boswell indulged his penchant for 'old laird and family ideas'. Built around 1760 by Boswell's father LordAuchinleck, its architect is unknown; it seems likely that Lord Auchinleck himself had a hand in the neo-Classical design, perhaps influenced by the Adam brothers. Certainly one of the major influences was the neighbouring Dumfries House, which was built shortly before by the Adam brothers. Once inherited by Boswell, the house was host to much 'social glee', which he recorded in his Book of Company and Liquors.
In 1999 after a long period of neglect, Auchinleck House was bought by the Landmark Trust, a conservation charity whose aim is to 'rescue historic and architecturally interesting buildings and their surroundings from neglect and, when restored to give them new life by letting them for holidays.' They have restored not only the house with its magnificent library looking across to Arran, but also the pavilions, the obelisks and the great bridge across the Dippol Burn, on whose picturesque banks are an ice-house and grotto.
Limited tours of the house will be available again this year in 2015 through the Box Office. Please see below shortly for confirmation of the following tour times.
Auchinleck House tour times:
Saturday & Sunday: 11.00am & 12.00pm
Auchinleck House is available for private hire through the Landmark Trust.
The Boswell Trust
The Boswell Book Festival is run by a charitable trust, The Boswell Museum and Mausoleum Trust which was established in 2010 to restore the Boswell Mausoleum in Auchinleck churchyard and to create the only museum anywhere in the world to celebrate the life and work of the great biographer and Ayrshireman, James Boswell in the adjoining seventeenth-century Boswell Aisle.
Progress to date:
Conservation Architect Ben Tindall has been appointed to undertake an initial survey of the buildings. A business strategy is being developed before major fund raising begins. Grateful thanks for initial funds from SCORE and The Cumnock and Doon Minerals Trust.
The Boswell Mausoleum and Boswell Aisle in Auchinleck Churchyard
The square neo-classical mausoleum in the foreground built in 1754 with its stone pyramid roof, houses the remains of James Boswell and his immediate family. It is attached to the 17th century Boswell Aisle (seen behind) which was part of the original Auchinleck Church. Re-roofed in the 1970s, the interior is now derelict and will be restored as a visitor experience about James Boswell and his world.