10 Abandoned Manor Houses & Baronial Mansions of Scotland

7. Keil House, Southend, Argyll

keil-house-southend-argyll (Image: via Secret Scotland)

At one time, Keil House was the largest, most magnificent houses in the area. Today, its ruins aren’t even the most impressive set of ruins, often overshadowed by the nearby remains of Keil Hotel.

The house in Southend was built by a merchant who had made his fortune in importing cotton from India, and later became the director of the City of Glasgow Bank. He had decided he wanted a house that reflected his fortune, and the resulting manor home ended up having more windows than Buckingham Palace (two were covered up to keep from insulting the royal family). There were extensive gardens, gatehouses, and lodges, along with a series of cottages built on the property. But unfortunately, the Fleming family got a little carried away, and his finances – along with the bank – collapsed. Fleming left Scotland, and when he died, it was estimated that his estate was worth about £15.

keil-house-southend-argyll-2 (Image: Johnny Durnan via Secret Scotland)

The house was sold several times, and in 1915 it was turned into a technical school. The highly-regarded school was to be short-lived, though, as the building was all but destroyed by fire in 1924. The school moved to another location, and ultimately was forced to close in 2000.

Today, there’s little more than walls left of the once-magnificent manor home, standing on the shore, a sad reminder of a family stretching beyond their means.


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About the author: Debra Kelly




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