Monday, September 27, 2010

Inverneill Mausoleum, on Loch Fyne

Major General Sir Archibald Campbell of Inverneill has become one of my favourite Knapdale characters. I have devoted a very large part of KnapdalePeople to this gentleman, and have been able to reproduce copies of family paintings on my site because of the great help from one of his (indirect) descendants, Neill Campbell. During the 19th Century, two proprietors owned most of Knapdale: the Campbells of Inverneill and the Malcolms of Poltalloch, and so to understand Knapdale, it is necessary to understand these Estates.

The Inverneill Campbells exemplified the Highland military aristocracy who - after Culloden - joined the British Empire and in doing so, made their fortune. Unlike the Campbells of Duntroon, the Inverneill family did very well financially, and managed to maintain their Knapdale Estates to the time of World War I.

The memorial inscriptions in the Inverneill Mausoleum are in the Knapdale People site. By reading those inscriptions, you can see the history of the British Empire.

With the help and guidance of Inverneill House's present owner, Gordon Hutton, we managed to track down the Mausoleum. This was a true adventure, and without Mr. Hutton, I would never have scrambled over that last fence (and he never laughed, either, he is a kind and wonderful gentleman!)

The area is really a deciduous jungle. In the photo on the right, you can sort of see me, within all the leaves and trees. There was once a path to the Mausoleum, but this has disappeared. Two large sequoias have grown up outside the mausoleum's outer wall, which helped Mr. Hutton guide us to the building from the road and across a couple of cow pastures and a small forest.

It was a lovely building, carefully planned and built, now well on its way to ruin, and it made me think of Shelley's poem, "Ozymandius."

Over the front entrance, there is the Campbell of Inverneill Coat of Arms; and on the back, there is a stained glass window. The latter has been broken. Plywood covers the hole.

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