Dunoon Burgh Hall

History

Dunoon Burgh Hall, refurbished in 2017, is open to all as a creative, cultural hub for Cowal.

The historic B listed Dunoon Burgh Hall is now a fully accessible venue for exhibitions, performances and gatherings. Alongside a gallery and theatre, the venue offers creative workshop space, a garden and a cafe.

​The restoration of Dunoon Burgh Hall is an inspiring story of a small Scottish community coming together to preserve its rich cultural heritage. The building was rescued from demolition by the community, who worked with the John McAslan Family Trust to purchase it from Fyne Homes housing association in 2008 for a token of £1.

Find out more Read the Dunoon Burgh Hall Chronicles

 

Cool Timeline

1885
James Duncan of Benmore receives thanks

At a meeting of the Police Commissioners, James Duncan Esq of Benmore was thanked for opening up his picture gallery and for his ‘great kindness and generous liberality to Dunoon and its numerous visitors.’

Lamplighters are working efficiently

Minutes of a Police Commissioners’ meeting in the Burgh Hall note that: ‘Three lamplighters returned to the Burgh Hall after performing their work within a short time of each other, showing that their districts had been correctly allocated.’

1882
Needlework Exhibition reported in the Cowal Watchman

An exhibition of needlework takes place in the Lesser Burgh Hall, a room on the building’s ground floor (now The Colm Docherty Gallery), as reported in the Cowal Watchman.

1879
Dunoon Musical Association Secular Concert

A Secular Concert is held in the Burgh Hall, organised by Dunoon Musical Association. Admission to all parts of the Hall is one shilling.

1875
A Burgh Surveyor is appointed

The Police Commissioners appoint a full time Surveyor to take charge of the Water Works and to act as a Sanitary Inspector of the Burgh. Salary £20 per annum with offices in the new Burgh Hall.

A Medical Officer is appointed for the Burgh

Sanitation and water supply are discussed by the Commissioners at meetings in the Burgh Hall. The Commissioners appoint Dr Banks as Medical Officer for the Burgh, an office he held for 50 years. Securing a clean water supply for the town, to replace the wells, was a top priority for…
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1874
Dunoon Burgh Hall is officially opened

On 25th June 1874, just 9 months after the foundation stone was installed, Dunoon Burgh Hall opens with a sumptuous dinner held in the main hall for ‘the principal gentlemen connected with the district’. This was chaired by Provost R.L. Smith. Numerous speeches and toasts were made in honour of…
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1873
Laying the Foundation Stone

In September 1873 people gathered from across the west coast of Scotland, to lay the foundation stone of Dunoon Burgh Hall. A jar containing coins ‘of the realm’ and a copy of Colgate’s 1868 Guide to Dunoon, (written and compiled by local insurance and house agent John Colgate), was placed…
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Money raised to build a Burgh Hall

A Public Notice in the Argyllshire Standard notifies Dunoon residents of the Commissioners intention to borrow the sum of £20,000 to finance work that will bring a water supply to the Burgh, erect a Burgh Hall and ‘other necessary buildings connected therewith’ and re-pay existing Burgh loans.

1872
Robert Bryden, Architect of the Burgh Hall
black and white portrait of architect robert bryden

Robert Alexander Bryden, Architect Born 7 July 1841, Died 14 April 1906 Robert Alexander Bryden was born at the corner of Renfield Street and West George Street in Glasgow on 7 July 1841, the son of Robert Bryden of Royal Bank Place, Glasgow and Margaret Ramage of Kirkurd, Peeblesshire, and…
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