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Walled Garden, Wester Highgate And Highgate House

A Category B Listed Building in Beith, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.7349 / 55°44'5"N

Longitude: -4.5648 / 4°33'53"W

OS Eastings: 239057

OS Northings: 652035

OS Grid: NS390520

Mapcode National: GBR 3D.CMCS

Mapcode Global: WH3PP.V3GW

Plus Code: 9C7QPCMP+X3

Entry Name: Walled Garden, Wester Highgate And Highgate House

Listing Name: Wester Highgate Farm and Highgate House, Including Original Outbuildings and Walled Garden

Listing Date: 2 December 1980

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 331417

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB962

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Beith

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Dalry and West Kilbride

Parish: Beith

Traditional County: Ayrshire

Tagged with: Walled garden

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2 adjoining dwellings of 1757 (dated lintel inscribed 'TB MJ') and 1818 (dated stone above entrance inscribed RB MS), plus ancillary range at right angles to R forming L-plan farm complex. Stone slab well in front of later house.

2-storey 3-bay farmhouse: enlarged window openings to ground; 3 small 1st floor windows; roll-moulded surround to central door; inscribed lintel below outer L 1st floor window. Coursed sandstone with ashlar margins and eaves cornice. 2-storey 3-bay later addition to L: central timber panelled door in panelled pilastered architrave with quatrefoil decoration in frieze, cornice over and inscribed panel above; 2 inserted windows to ground; rubble segmental arch at L links house to small cartshed. Coursed whinstone rubble with raised sandstone ashlar margins (painted); angle margins, eaves course and cornice.

S (REAR) ELEVATION: earlier house low, single storey with 20th century box dormer; later house with door to outer L, altered openings to ground and 2 1st floor windows. Harl pointed sandstone rubble.

INTERIOR: later house with good original woodwork including panelled doors with 6 and 8 fields. Dining room: buffet niche with scalloped-edged shelves (doors missing), cupboard below; flanking 2-leaf doors to former bed closets; reeded architraves. Former 1st floor drawing room: original unpainted timber doors (5 in total) with broad reeded architraves and corner roundels, 8 bead-moulded fields to each door with central vertical moulding (2-leaf doors to bed closets).

UPVC windows throughout (originally 12-pane timber sash and case glazing to later house); 2-pane sash and case (late 19th or early 20th century) to 1st floor of earlier house. Grey slate roofs; stone ridges; straight stone skews to later house; corniced ashlar end and ridge stacks; moulded octagonal clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.

CARTSHED: at right angles to main house; segmental arch in gable, small opening above. Grey slates; stone ridge.

ANCILLARY RANGE: linear single storey and attic range with byre, former threshing barn and stables (or former barn?), probably built in 3 phases; later brick lean-to extensions. Byre with original stone trevises and fireclay troughs (probably later). Barn at N end with scrolled skewputs and straight skews to gable, probably circa 1759.

WALLED GARDEN: tall rubble coped wall; areas of non-traditional 20th century repair and replacement. Sundial on baluster base.

Statement of Interest

Wester Highgate Farm and Highgate House together illustrate the development of farm dwellings with the small mid 18th century farmhouse now dwarfed by the Regency version. The juxtaposition of the two is an indication of the increasing prosperity in the area as a result of agricultural improvement from the mid 18th to the 19th century. Most obvious is the change in the wallhead height and the size of the windows between the two houses, though the smaller house is an early improved dwelling. The interior of the later farmhouse still shows clearly how the internal space was used. The house is one room deep with bed closets on the rear wall of the dining room. On the other side of the steep central stair is the kitchen/parlour area with access to the rear and the walled garden. There may also have been a dairy or milk room. Upstairs a narrow corridor gives access to the former drawing room, differentiated by its fine quality doors and architraves, the most elaborate in the house. Two bedrooms are on the other side of the hall but the number of bed closets in the house hint at the large number of people once accommodated within the walls of the house.

The ancillary buildings are well preserved and the interior of the byre is intact. It is becoming increasingly rare to find such buildings intact inside as larger, modern milking sheds are now the norm. This byre is no longer used for its original purpose but still retains its interior fittings. According to map evidence, a circular horse-engine house was situated to the west of this range next to what was presumably a threshing barn.

The inscribed initials are those of Robert Biggart and his wife, and most likely Thomas Biggart and his wife. John Wylie is recorded as a cheese dealer at Highgate in 1837 and would have been a tenant of Robert Biggart. Wester Highgate continues to operate as a dairy farm and is in the hands of the Wylie family today (2003).

External Links

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