Mrs. Grant of Laggan: Comments on James Smith of Jordanhill, and Roseneath, in 1815

Letter XXXVI To Mrs. Gorman, Kilmore, Ireland

Edinburgh, 19th December, 1815

“I accompanied my friends down to Roseneath,  a beautiful seat which the Argyll family have upon the west coast, opposite to Greenock. There Mr. James Smith, my friend’s eldest son, resides with his family in one of the oddest, oldest, most fantastic, and yet most pleasant and comfortable houses I ever was in. The Duke’s family had an old castle here, which was a favourite residence, to which they made additions on every side. A few years since, the castle took fire; the main tower was burnt down, but one of the wings remained, which is now the habitation of my friend. I cannot describe how pleasant and comfortable the well-furnished dwelling has been made: so pretty a library, so gay and airy a drawing-room, and such endless dormitories and closets I have not seen; besides a most baronial kitchen. There is also moored opposite to the window a little gem of a yacht that Mr. Smith has built for himself, which is an epitome of a comfortable house, with library, fire-place, and every possible convenience. This is a great source of amusement for himself and his guests: he not only encircles the coast of Scotland, but goes sometimes to the North of Ireland in this floating tenement.”