About The First House, Inveraray

Formerly the Fernpoint Hotel, this beautiful Georgian lochside house offers comfortable and relaxing accommodation in Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne with uninterrupted loch views from many of its rooms.


Inveraray boasts a wide variety of sights and activities for an enjoyable break, but is also a great central location from which to explore Argyll and the Western Highlands. Inveraray was built between 1753 and 1776. It is one of the earliest and best preserved planned towns in Scotland. It was created a Burgh of Barony by James III in 1474 and a Royal Burgh in 1648 by Charles I.


The house itself was the first house to be built in the new town. Tack or lease to build a house on "the fern point" was granted in 1748 to local merchant John Richardson by the Duke of Argyll in recognition of his services in the Jacobite rebellion. In 1746 Richardson served the Duke without fee under Archibald Campbell of Ballamore, at Duart Castle on Mull and later became Lord Provost of Inveraray.


Richardsons tack was granted as early as 1748, though his house was not finished " in a more expensive manor than at first proposed" until 1753 and in recognition of his enterprise his tack duty for the first year was fixed at 6 pence and he was exempted from "all Cess Schoolmasters Sallaries and other Publick Burdens"


The finished house was let out to John Campbell of Clochcombie and Richardson built another house on the front street which became known as Neil Gillies's house. Both of these houses have turnpike staircases of which only a few are to be found in the town.

Fernpoint is a fine Georgian building with an unusual left hand thread circular turnpike stair in the turret, serving all three stories of the building. The house is notable for the fact that it is out of alignment with the rest of the houses in the town which suggests it was not in the original plan of the burgh.


The original name of the house was "Ardraineach" which is the gaelic for the "Fern point".