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Bachelors' Club, Sandgate Street, Tarbolton

A Category A Listed Building in Tarbolton, South Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.5132 / 55°30'47"N

Longitude: -4.4862 / 4°29'10"W

OS Eastings: 243111

OS Northings: 627185

OS Grid: NS431271

Mapcode National: GBR 3H.TM8H

Mapcode Global: WH3QQ.2P0D

Plus Code: 9C7QGG77+7G

Entry Name: Bachelors' Club, Sandgate Street, Tarbolton

Listing Name: Tarbolton, Sandgate, Burns Bachelors' Club Including Boundary Wall

Listing Date: 14 April 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 354094

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB19689

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Tarbolton

County: South Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Kyle

Parish: Tarbolton

Traditional County: Ayrshire

Tagged with: Architectural structure Cottage

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17th century with later alterations. Two-storey, three-bay, rectangular-plan house. Whitewashed rubble walls, straw thatched roof with raised reed thatched ridge. Modillion eaves course.

North (Entrance) Elevation: central square-headed entrance; panelled timber door; single window to left (with timber shutter), additional entrance (panelled timber door to right); two single windows at first floor with Bachelors' Club plaque between.

East (Side) Elevation: single window to left at ground floor; single window to right at first floor (timber shutter to ground floor window). Recessed stair to outer left provides access to first floor; timber handrail.

South (Rear) Elevation: external stair provides access to first floor; flanking single windows at first floor; infilled opening to left at ground floor. Single windows at ground and first floor to outer left.

Small-paned timber windows (some sash and case). Reed-roofed; painted brick gablehead stacks; circular cans (to left only).

Interior: reconstruction of use from Burns' day (see Notes). Ground floor: divided into byre and kitchen use. Stone floor; timber dado ceiling; dado panelling to bed to south wall; byre to west wall; plain corniced fireplace and grate to east wall. First floor: debating room. Timber floor; whitewashed flat ceiling. Plain square-headed fireplaces to east and west walls.

Boundary Wall: whitewashed boundary wall to east of house.

Statement of Interest

Robert Burns formed a debating society for himself and six other young men in 1780. The first subject discussed was whether to marry for looks or fortune. It was here in 1781 that he was initiated into Freemasonry. Owned by John Richard, wright of Tarbolton in Burns' day, the property was acquired by the National Trust for Scotland in 1938 and formally opened in 1951 after restoring the two floors to their former uses.

It is among a relatively small number of traditional buildings with a surviving thatched roof found across Scotland. A Survey of Thatched Buildings in Scotland, published in 2016 by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), found there were only around 200 buildings of this type remaining, most of which are found in small rural communities. Thatched buildings are often traditionally built, showing distinctive local and regional building methods and materials. Those that survive are important in helping us understand these traditional skills and an earlier way of life.

Listed building record revised in 2021 as part of the Thatched Buildings Listing Review.

External Links

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