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A Category B Listed Building in Beith, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.7339 / 55°44'2"N

Longitude: -4.5634 / 4°33'48"W

OS Eastings: 239142

OS Northings: 651923

OS Grid: NS391519

Mapcode National: GBR 3D.CTYR

Mapcode Global: WH3PP.W44M

Plus Code: 9C7QPCMP+HJ

Entry Name: Highgate

Listing Name: Easter Highgate Including Boundary Walls, Railings and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 2 December 1980

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 331413

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB958

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Beith

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Dalry and West Kilbride

Parish: Beith

Traditional County: Ayrshire

Tagged with: Building

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Early 19th century. 2 storeys, 5 bays with low projecting wings forming wide U-plan courtyard. 3 bays to R, 2 to L; doors in 2nd and 4th bays; segmentally-headed carriage arch to outer L. Base course; windows and doors with raised, painted margins; eaves course. Coursed rubble whinstone with droved, sandstone tabs; elevation now painted.

NW (REAR) ELEVATION: single storey and attic service wing at right angles to L; later 20th century 2-storey extension to R. Low single storey wings to L and R (former stable, barn and kennel).

UPVC windows replacing timber sash and case 4-pane windows (probably originally 12-pane). Grey slates (3 skylights removed); stone ridge; corniced end stacks and ridge stack; circular clay cans.

INTERIOR: some good original unpainted timber work (pine) including reeded architraves with corner roundels, panelled doors with raised fields. Bed closets in kitchen with 2-leaf panelled doors. Timber boarded door painted 'CHESE STORE' [sic]; wooden cheese pegs and hatch to coachhouse below.

Statement of Interest

Prominently sited on the Lochlibo Road, Easter Highgate was built for James Findlay, cheese dealer. Noted for its dairy produce, much of Ayrshire produced the renowned Dunlop cheese developed by Barbara Gilmour of Dunlop in the early 18th century. Farms in the parish produced significant amounts of this type of cheese during the 18th century prior to the development of larger creameries in the 19th and 20th centuries. Easter Highgate was a smart dwelling and its surviving interior woodwork is of good quality and typical of the period, relatively plain but elevated by the Regency style mouldings, details indicative of the prosperity once enjoyed in the region. Its practical design, with the cheese store over the coachhouse, illustrates the functional nature of the building.

The New Statistical Account describes the cheese trade in rural Beith in 1845: 'The pasture lands are occupied by milk cows of the best Ayrshire breed. Their produce is disposed of partly in butter, but chiefly in cheese, which may be considered as the staple article, from which at least two-thirds of the rents are raised; great attention is therefore paid to the dairy. The cheese is considered equal to the best Dunlop, and bears the highest price as such in the Glasgow market. The tenants seldom carry their cheese to the Glasgow market themselves. They dispose of it to a class of cheese-merchants or middlemen, who purchase from the tenants, and attend the disposal of it in the markets. Many of these cheese-merchants have made considerable fortunes. Mr James Findlay, a well-known cheese dealer, has erected a large storehouse at Easter Highgate in which he has often 12 000 stones of cheese, and 1000 bolls of oatmeal. He carries a very large quantity to the Glasgow market yearly.''

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