Finlaystone House

Port Glasgow, United Kingdom

Finlaystone House is a mansion and estate in the Inverclyde council area. Finlaystone was a property of the Dennistoun family, and passed to the Cunninghams in the 15th century. It was the seat of the Earl of Glencairn until 1796, and is now the property of the Chief of Clan MacMillan.

In the late 14th century, King Robert II confirmed a grant of the lands of Finlaystone to Sir John de Danyelstoun. He was succeeded by his son, Sir Robert, who was keeper of Dumbarton Castle. When he died in 1399 his estates were divided between his daughters. Elizabeth inherited Newark Castle, while Margaret inherited Finlaystone. In 1405 Margaret married Sir William Cunningham, whose family held the estate as the seat of Clan Cunningham until the 19th century. William's grandson Alexander Lord Kilmaurs (1426–1488) was created Earl of Glencairn in 1488. The family were supporters of the Scottish Reformation, hosting the world's first Protestant Reformed communion service by the preacher John Knox in 1556.

The architect John Douglas was commissioned to design a new house in 1746, but building works were not carried out until 1764. The new house incorporated part of the 15th-century castle. In 1796, the 15th Earl of Glencairn Lord Kilmaurs, Chief of Clan Cunningham, died without issue, and Finlaystone passed to a cousin, Robert Graham of Gartmore, whose family took the name Cunningham-Graham. The Cunningham-Grahams sold Finlaystone in 1862 to Sir David Carrick-Buchanan, who in turn sold it in 1882 to George Jardine Kidston. Kidston commissioned the architect John James Burnet to carry out a Scots Baronial style remodelling of the house, completed in 1903. The grounds of the house were extended and planted during the early 20th century. Kidston's granddaughter Marian married General Sir Gordon MacMillan, Chieftain of the Clan MacMillan. Their son George Gordon MacMillan is the current chief and owner of Finlaystone. The estate is operated as a visitor attraction, with walks and play areas in the 4.0 ha gardens.



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Founded: 1764
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in United Kingdom


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jen Mc (28 days ago)
I am part of the MacMillan clan and Finlaystone is where the current clan chief lives. He warmly welcomed us and we were able to have a nice sit down chat with him. Very kind man! The grounds are very beautiful and there are a few trails I found.
Bhoy 68 (45 days ago)
I used to visit Finlaystone on school trips and with my grandparents when I was younger. Decided to take my wife (and dogs) to show her a place that I used to go to in my youth. Was a bit late for the snowdrops as they were all passed, but there was a good showing of daffodils in their place. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed with the experience. Maybe my memories of the place have been corrupted by time, but I felt the Estate was looking tired and run down. The trails could be doing with better signage. Some of the wooden directional stakes were either rotted, missing, or the painted arrows too faded to see. The trail paths could be tidied up to make it easier to walk on, more so for elderly or those with poor mobility. The cafe and it's surrounds again were looking tired and neglected. A lot of the garden area, too, was looking poor and neglected. I know that it takes a lot of money to keep these places running but I feel that a bit of investment is required to bring it back up to the standard of my memories. It could be such a great place again with a bit of money spent on it.
Kaitlin Noelle (6 months ago)
I've been visiting here since I was a little girl, amazing memories. Now I get to create new ones with my two year old. He just loves it here. We also made a goat friend, ha.
Pamela Massey (9 months ago)
Stunning place. Massive wooded area, streams, rivers, playpark, walled garden. Loads of wee books and crannies to sit and eat, climb, explore and walk. It has a cafe and toilets too. Absolutely worth a visit especially to let kids explore. Dogs allowed but must be on lead in certain areas.
John Rundell (12 months ago)
Really good entry price £6 for adults £4 for kids/concession. The car park is really small but it's free. In the visitors centre is the dolly mixture. This is the dolls museum and shows a lot of dolls the family collected all over the world and It's based over 2 levels. The gardens are well looked after and very relaxing to walk about. There is lots of benches so you can sit and enjoy the gardens. The paths are well maintained. The smelly garden as the name suggests is small area where you get to smell plants. The cafe is located as you enter the garden area. There is picnic tables located about the park. The play area is large but there also different play items located at different area in the walking trails. The walking trails are fairly easy to walk about. The toilets are across fro the visitors centre.
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