THE HISTORY OF CRAIGARD HOUSE HOTEL
‘Chauffeur circa 1909’
Completed in 1882, in the Italianate style popular at the time, Craigard House was the home of a local Whisky Distiller, William McKersie. He owned the Lochruan Distillery (very close to the current Glen Scotia Distillery), which closed in 1925. This was one of over thirty distilleries in Campbeltown during that period.
He and his brother, owner of a rival distillery, vied with one another to create the finest house in Campbeltown. This next commission of the architect, Henry Clifford, was Auchinlee, a large property still to be found in High Askomil, on the road to Carradale. There are several other prominent buildings, locally, by the same Architect.
Craigard House remained in the same family until 1942.
‘Family group circa 1906’
‘Family group 1930’
Photos reproduced by kind permission of relatives of the McKersie Family
In 1942 the house was purchased by the local Council to become a Maternity Home and continued to be used for this purpose until 1973, with the majority of the local people in that age group having been born here. 'Babies of Craigard' and 'Mothers of Craigard' Record Books are prominently displayed in Reception, to enable people to register their birth – or labour, when they come to the hotel. In fact, since we opened in 1997, over 1000 'babies' and numerous 'Mums' have signed in. Doctors and Midwives also have a section devoted to staff of the facility. Fathers, however, have no such record – by common consent of the local Mothers!
Following its closure as a Maternity Home in 1973, the house was divided into two flats – top and ground floors. Then, having fallen into disrepair, Craigard House was purchased at Auction in 1996, in a semi-derelict condition. Since then it has been lovingly brought to new life as an Hotel. In 1997 it opened with just four rooms, to be increased to eight in 1998.
Craigard House Hotel's popularity then increased to such an extent that it became vital to add new accommodation and facilities – with three new rooms and a laundry wing being completed in 2005. However, this expansion was still insufficient to cope with demand, and two further bedrooms were added in May 2006. The old stable was completely revitalised as a front sea view double bedroom. Now you can literally stay 'Away in a Manger'!!
Developments such as wireless internet access throughout, along with a discrete guest PC and desk; the compass patio overlooking the balustrade of the Old Coach-house; and the extensive car parking facilities, have further improved the amenities for guests. All bedrooms and bathrooms have been recently refurbished, with USB sockets added in all rooms and lounge.