History in Structure

Sundial In Walled Garden, Brodick Castle, Arran

A Category A Listed Building in Ardrossan and Arran, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.5938 / 55°35'37"N

Longitude: -5.1488 / 5°8'55"W

OS Eastings: 201687

OS Northings: 637854

OS Grid: NS016378

Mapcode National: GBR FFNX.Y1S

Mapcode Global: WH1MQ.WNCK

Plus Code: 9C7PHVV2+GF

Entry Name: Sundial In Walled Garden, Brodick Castle, Arran

Listing Name: Brodick Castle Estate, Walled Garden, Terraces, Garden Gates, Sundial and Commemorative Gates

Listing Date: 14 April 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 339413

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB7508

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200339413

Location: Kilbride

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Ardrossan and Arran

Parish: Kilbride

Traditional County: Buteshire

Tagged with: Sundial

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Dated 1710 (carved in stone at entrance). Rectangular-plan enclosure on N-S sloping ground falling to SE of Brodick Castle, laid out as an ornamental garden with three terraced levels. Stone steps in single flights traversing grassed embankments between levels. Sundial in centre of lower terrace. Boundary walls of red sandstone rubble. Bee boles (niches) in W wall, some blocked up. Vertically boarded timber door in NE corner. Vertically boarded door in aperture in centre of S wall with granite flagstone inscribed 'BRODICK CASTLE' at threshold. W wall has decorative gates at entrance from lower castle terrace. Spur wall attached to outside of N wall with Commemorative Gates.

SUNDIAL: composite piece comprising elements dating from 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Stepped circular stone plinth, carved foliated stone baluster, circular brass dial.

GARDEN GATES (WEST): circa 1840s. Wrought iron gates, with arched top, scroll pattern to lower bout and slender balusters.

COMMEMORATIVE GATES: 1931. Wrought iron gates with scrolled pattern, applied floral and foliate decoration, and basket finial at apex. Squared gatepiers of pink sandstone rubble with flat copes. Brass plaque on S pier.

Statement of Interest

Part of A Group at Brodick Castle Estate comprising: Brodick Castle, Bavarian Summerhouse, Cnocan Burn Road Bridge, Greenhyde and Castle Cottages, Ice House, Walled Garden, the Nursery, Main Gates, West Gates and Coastal Boundary Walls, South Gates, Sylvania and Brodick Kennels.

A rare and early example of a Scottish walled garden sited unusually close to the main house. It retains its original wall intact while having being redesigned in the mid-19th C.

The Walled Garden was built for Duchess Anne of Montrose in 1710 as a kitchen garden and later served as a tree nursery. Laid out as a pleasure garden in the mid-19th century at the same time as the earlier 19th century extension to the castle was built. As such it lacked a heating system, as was to become more common later in the century. The enclosure's survival and conversion to ornamental use is rare, as such utilitarian structures tended to be completely removed from the vicinity of country houses by the 19th century. The flights of steps are of the same pattern as those traversing the terraces to the S of the castle, which were part of the rebuilding by James Gillespie Graham in the 1840s. The W gate probably also dates from the 1840s.

A photograph of circa 1900 shows a pavilion on the site now occupied by the sundial. The sundial is a composite piece consisting of an 18th century baluster, with a specially made plinth and 19th or 20th century brass dial. It was purchased in 1908, at the time the new rose garden was sunk. In 1982 the garden was reconstructed using 1920s photographs as a guide. At this time a new garden shelter, based on an old design was erected on the E side. Octagonal in plan and open on 3 sides, it is of timber construction with a thatched roof.

The Commemorative Gate, to the N of the Walled Garden, provides access to the upper castle terrace from the E. A brass plaque on the S pier commemorates its presentation by the tenantry on the silver wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Montrose, 14 June 1931.

Brodick Castle Estate, now a discreet entity, was originally the nucleus of the Lands of Arran. Fought over during the Scottish War of Independence, it was transformed into an Earldom and granted to James Hamilton by his cousin, King James IV, in 1503. The Isle of Arran remained as one of the minor estates of the Dukes of Hamilton until the late 19th century. Agricultural improvements in the 18th century, culminating in the clearances of the early 19th century, eventually displaced the small scale and subsistence farming on the island. In the mid-19th, improved transportation made Brodick an attractive picturesque resort and hunting destination for the Hamiltons and the castle was substantially rebuilt with the area around it laid out as gardens and pleasure grounds. On the death of the 12th Duke, in 1895, Brodick passed to the future Duchess of Montrose. In 1957 the Castle and the policies immediately surrounding were conveyed to the National Trust for Scotland.

List description revised as part of the National Trust for Scotland Estates Review, 2010-11.

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