Discover Glasgow Things to Do in Glasgow Charles Rennie Mackintosh The Hill House


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Upper Colquhoun St,
Helensburgh G84 9AJ

Tel : 01436 673900



Opening Times

Closing from 4th July 2018
Anticipated re-opening December 2018
hill house
Situated in upper Helensburgh, in the graceful Victorian town of Helensburgh, The Hill House is renowned as the most exquisite domestic masterpiece of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. This iconic house was commissioned in 1902 by wealthy Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie and completed in 1904. Hill House’s rooms have a timeless quality, appearing much more contemporaray than their 1904 design would suggest.

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The House itself is constructed from local sandstone and is it's architecture is a reflection of Scottish baronial traditions. This narrow and elongated property spans from west to east and features an entrance off the road to the west. It was designed in such a way so that all major rooms are south facing with stunning panoramic views of the Clyde Estuary. At the eastern section, a wing extends north and was home to rooms for the kitchen staff, utilities and the children.

For the interior, Mackintosh played a large part in designing the fixtures and fittings, including fireplaces and furnishings. His attentions extended from the design of built-in wardrobes for the white bedroom to his intricate craftsmanship of a superb set of pewter fire tongs and poker. Interior walls in the Hill House are generally white, although some subtle colour was introduced by way of delicate stencil designs in shades of pale greens, pinks, and silver in the form of roses, thistles & other plants. The elegant furniture and fittings include Mackintosh’s trademark ladder back chairs with beautifully decorative coloured glass and tiles used throughout the House.

The Hill House sits high above the Clyde in Helensburgh, commanding impressive views over the river. Walter Blackie, director of the well known Glasgow publishers, commissioned not only the house and garden, but much of the furniture and all the interior fittings and decorative schemes. Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s wife, Margaret MacDonald, contributed fabric designs and a unique gesso panel named “The Sleeping Princess”, above the drawing room fireplace.

An information room interprets the relationship between architect and patron and provides a historical context for Inspirations, an exhibition in the upper east wing and the gardens. It brings together exceptional pieces of domestic design by great living designers, all of whom, in some way, pay homage to Mackintosh’s elegance and invention. A stroll around the gardens is the perfect way to complete your visit to the Hill House. The garden provided fruit & vegetables as well as beautiful spaces to sit out or to play tennis or croquet.

The stylishly elegant grounds have recently become a popular setting for showcasing works of art, including George Rickey’s kinetic sculpture.

Facilities include a vibrantly designed shop selling a unique selection of objets d’art designed by contemporary artists. The adjoining retail outlet offers an exclusive range of Mackintosh inspired souvenirs and books of architectural and historical interest. Guided tours are available by informative National Trust staff throughout the property and grounds.