"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.
Regrettably there are no Auchinleck House Tours available over the Festival weekend in 2018 due to a booking oversight.
Auchinleck House is available for private hire through the Landmark Trust.