Balloch Castle, Balloch

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Balloch Castle
Other Name(s)
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NS 39029 83024
Location Type
HS Reference No


Castellated Tudor-gothic. Stugged squared sandstone, ashlar margins and dressings. String course; hoodmoulds; battlemented parapet; battered base course; blind cruciform arrowslits. 12-pane timber sash and case windows; pointed arch Y-traceried windows. Pedestalled, grouped diamond aligned chimney stacks; corniced. (Historic Scotland)

Commissioned by John Buchanan of Ardoch from London architect Robert Lugar who published his design as "Balloch Abbey", forming the centre piece of a landscaped estate which became a country park in 1981. (J Gifford & FA Walker)
Building Dates
Robert Lugar

Category of Risk and Development History

Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
13/10/2008, 25/02/2011, 27/3/2012, 13/03/2020
Development History
October 2008: External inspection reveals that the castle is in use but is suffering from some condition problems. The surface of the masonry has crumbled away over large areas of the building and architectural details have eroded. The windows are in need of maintenance and there are smashed panes visible on the upper levels. Vegetation is growing on and at the base of the building and the downpipe on the south elevation is malfunctioning. The projecting bay to the north-west appears to be a derelict shell. Fencing has been erected around the south and west elevations.
December 2008: Local planners report that the building has been included in the draft Local Plan as a development opportunity in the hope that investment can be secured for it.
27 February 2009: Clyde Weekly News reports that an options appraisal is being undertaken to seek the right use and funding for the building. The article goes on to note that the grounds to the Castle were renovated to create a country park in 2006.
5 March 2010: Clyde Weekly News reports Councillors are to discuss the issue of repairs to Balloch Castle after housing officials completed a report on future options for the building. The Castle is reported to need between £2.5 - 3 million repairs which includes structural repairs, stonework repairs and a new roof. The article notes the property is owned by Glasgow City Council but is under lease to WEst Dunbartonshire Council until 2035, who are also responsible for repairs costs. The Castle is currently occupied in part by the Council‘s sport development team with a tenanted flat also occupied.
12 March 2010: The Lennox Herald reports on discussions at the Council‘s housing, environmental and economic committee. Councillor Criag McLaughlin is reported to be concerned with the long term decay of the building and that the original lease was signed with the building in poor condition. The possibility of seeking funding from bodies such as SNH has been discussed.
January 2011: BBC news website reports on a number of heritage projects having secured funding from the Scottish Government. Balloch Castle is noted as having secured £64,056 to cover roof and masonry repairs.
February 2011: External inspection finds the building to be in much the same condition as on our previous visit. The condition of the roof, masonry and window frames continue to give the greatest cause for concern.
27 March 2012: External inspection finds no significant change from the previous site visit.
16 January 2014: Listed Building Consent for the rebuilding of 2 chimney stacks and installation of roof anchors is currently being sought ref: 2013/0317/LBC. The application form for the repairs notes the property is disused.
7 April 2014: LLTNPA advise West Dunbartonshire Council (lessee of the property) is currently undertaking emergency repairs at the property.
13 March 2020: External inspections finds the castle remains in much the same condition as seen previously. Deterioration continues. Issues with dampness seems to be the main cause for concern. Remains At Risk.
Post Survey Update: West Dunbartonshire Council has recently commissioned a fresh condition survey of the Balloch Castle buildings and are pulling together plans for an upgrade and repair, new window installation and additional wind and water tight works. Any queries regarding potential uses of the buildings should be directed towards their Asset Management Team at

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number


Current Availability
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
BARR original text : Residential to Visitor Centre/Tourist Attraction
Name of Owners
Glasgow City Council owner, West Dunbartonshire Lessee
Type of Ownership
Local Authority

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
West Dunbartonshire Council leases & manages the building.
F A Walker and F Sinclair NORTH CLYDE ESTUARY (1992), p 48. Buildings of Scotland Stirling & Central Scotland p 199 John Gifford & FA Walker.
Online Resources
Country Houses, Mansions and Large Villas
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit