WEST SHANDON HOUSE

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Nothing remains of the palatial West Shandon House built in the 19th century for the father of Clyde shipbuilding, Robert Napier.
It stood on the east coast of the Gare Loch near Shandon, on land which was originally an ancient seat of the Earls of Lennox.
Napier, born in Dumbarton in 1791, had intended to build a small cottage in the grounds, but he decided on a grandiose mansion to house his extensive collection of paintings, books, furniture and porcelain.
The mansion was completed in 1852 in a Jacobean style by John Thomas Rochead.
Napier's gallery not only included paintings by the old Dutch, French and Italian masters but also works by Raeburn and McCulloch.
He built gardens, ponds and hot-houses to cultivate rare species which explorer David Livingstone had brought back from his travels in Africa.
After Napier's death in 1876, the house and treasure were sold.
The mansion later reopened as Shandon Hydropathic health spa but with the outbreak of the First World War was erquisitioned as a hospital.
It later became a hotel but in 1960 was cleared as part of the new Faslane naval development.
All that remains of the estate today is a lodge and one of the garden walls.

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