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Latitude: 55.3537 / 55°21'13"N
Longitude: -4.7929 / 4°47'34"W
OS Eastings: 223035
OS Northings: 610179
OS Grid: NS230101
Mapcode National: GBR 43.4SSM
Mapcode Global: WH2Q6.BPXN
Entry Name: Culzean Castle Estate, Dolphin House, Inlcuding Cistern and Water Channel
Listing Date: 14 April 1971
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 339554
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB7608
Building Class: Cultural
County: South Ayrshire
Electoral Ward: Girvan and South Carrick
Traditional County: Ayrshire
William Reid, 1840; later alterations by ARP Lorimer, 2000-2001. 2-storey, 3-bay central block flanked by single storey pavilions, lower outshot to W, castellated former estate laundry, with crowstep gables and corner bartizans. Squared rubble, with random rubble (N elevation), and droved ashlar dressings. Sited on seashore with beach to N and entrance front to S. S ELEVATION: 2-storey, 3-bay advanced central block with doorway to right. Moulded corniced string course between floors. Ocular windows at upper floor. Roofless bartizans on corners. 12-pane window with sidelights and roofless bartizan on W wing. 2 12-pane windows (1 with sidelights) and roofless bartizan to E wing. N ELEVATION: flush façade with Serlian window to lower central bay. Other fenestration irregular.
Timber windows in sash and case. Grey slate roofs. Stone crosses on apex of skews. Diagonally set square chimney stack to E gable.
INTERIOR (seen 2010): no original features evident. Ground floor: kitchen and dining room, teaching room, showers and conveniences. First floor: offices. Plasterboard walls and ceilings, timber tongue and groove wall panelling, concrete floors and concrete staircase with panelled timber balustrade.
CISTERN AND WATER CHANNEL: rubble barrel-vaulted cistern structure and stone-lined water channel and pool to S of building.
Part of an A-group at Culzean Castle Estate comprisesing: Culzean Castle; Castle Walls etc; Fountain Court etc; Ruined Arch and Viaduct; Stable Block etc; Camellia House; Cat Gates; Home Farm; Powder House; Ardlochan Lodge; Dolphin House; Hoolity Ha'; Swan Pond Complex; Swan Pond Ice House; Walled Garden; Bathing Complex; Water Works; Shore Boat House; Battery and Mast House; Main Drive Walls and Piers; Gas Works.
Built for the 1st Marquess of Ailsa, this utilitarian laundry building was clearly designed to have an ornamental appearance when viewed from the Castle, clifftops or from the sea. This building was an obvious emulation of Robert Adam's Home Farm buildings (1787) located on the clifftop to the east of the castle, where all of the architectural motifs used here are to be found. The cottage at Culzean's Gas Works and Enoch Lodge (see separate listings) were also executed in this style in the same period and demonstrates a consistency and a clear interest in maintaining a distinct architectural identity for the estate over many decades.
After use as a laundry, the building was converted and used as a dwelling for many years before conversion to its current educational use as part of South Ayrshire Council's Outdoor Centre. The fenestration on the north elevation was altered during residential use, while the chimney stack on the east gable has been installed since 1988, before which there were cans attached to the apex of both gable skews. The remains of a natural water supply for the laundry is extant beside the drying/bleaching green to the S of the building, now converted to form an ornamental water feature.
Together with the outstanding ornamental landscape of its estate, Culzean Castle is acknowledged as the epitome of the Picturesque movement in Scotland, in its own right and is a work of international importance. Culzean, at one time the largest estate in Ayrshire, has been associated with the Kennedy family since the Middle Ages. It was gifted by Gilbert the 4th Earl of Cassillis to his brother Thomas Kennedy, in 1569. In the 1660s, the barmekin around the tower house was breached to create the terraced gardens, orchards, and walled garden for which Culzean was notable, while the caves beneath the castle ' now a scheduled monument ' were fortified to serve as secure stores. Culzean Castle became the principal family seat when Sir Thomas Kennedy (1726-75) became the 9th Earl of Cassillis, in 1759. A continuing programme of improvements was undertaken by Sir Thomas and his successors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The 10th Earl began rebuilding the Castle to designs by Robert Adam. This work was continued by Archibald (1770-1846), the 12th Earl, later the 1st Marquess of Ailsa. From about 1810 onwards he commissioned numerous structures, both practical and ornamental, and several important architects and landscape designers were engaged to embellish the gardens and grounds with ponds, gates, lodges and pavilions, resulting in several key works of the Picturesque era. The 3rd Marquess undertook the modernisation and enlargement of the Castle in the 1870s. In 1945, the 5th Marquess of Ailsa divided the property, making over the Castle, and the policies immediately surrounding it, to the National Trust for Scotland. Conversion of 1950s interior scheme to outdoor education centre, with office space, 2000-2001 by ARP Lorimer Architects.
William Reid (died 1849) was in practice in Glasgow during the early 19th century. He is known to have designed the classical St George's Church, Paisley (1819) and possibly the castellated County Buildings there. He won a prize in 1813 for his Calton Hill scheme.
List description revised as part of the Culzean Castle Estate Review 2010-11.
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