Mar Hall

(Erskine House)

Mar Hall
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Mar Hall

A fine Tudor-Gothic pile which was once the seat of the Lords Blantyre, Mar Hall is now an exclusive five-star hotel located 1¼ miles (2 km) northwest of Erskine in Renfrewshire. Formerly known as Erskine House, it set in a 97-ha (240-acre) estate with fine views across the River Clyde towards the Kilpatrick Hills. The building was the work of English architect Sir Robert Smirke for Major-General Robert Stuart, 11th Lord Blantyre (1777 - 1830). Construction began in 1828 but, with the unfortunate death of the patron, was not completed until 1845 at a total cost of some £50,000. The stone came from a quarry on the estate, but the fine oak used to fashion the interior was imported from Quebec (Canada).

The Blantyre line became extinct in 1900 and like many other country houses Erskine House entered a phase of decline, but was taken over as the Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers in 1916. The building became redundant when new hospital facilities were built in the eastern part of the estate and a £15 million refurbishment began in 2002 and the hotel opened in 2004. The hotel includes 53 bedrooms and the Picture Gallery, now known as the Grand Hall, is a remarkable 36m (118 feet) in length.

The site of the former Erskine Castle, which was abandoned in favour of the new house in 1829, lies nearby. The lands of Erskine gained their name as the property of Henry de Erskine in the 13th century, whose family which later became the Earls of Mar. The estate was sold to Sir John Hamilton of Orbiston in 1638 and acquired by the Blantyres in 1703.

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