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Boat Vennal, Loudoun Hall

A Category A Listed Building in Ayr, South Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.4648 / 55°27'53"N

Longitude: -4.6326 / 4°37'57"W

OS Eastings: 233661

OS Northings: 622149

OS Grid: NS336221

Mapcode National: GBR 39.XXL2

Mapcode Global: WH2PP.TW5Z

Entry Name: Boat Vennal, Loudoun Hall

Listing Date: 10 January 1980

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 357043

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB21656

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Ayr

County: South Ayrshire

Town: Ayr

Electoral Ward: Ayr West

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Description

Circa 1513, N wing added 1534, with later alterations; refurbished Robert Hurd, 1952-7; refurbished ARP, Lorimer and Associates, 1997/8. 2-storey and attic, L-plan house. Rubble built.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: square-headed entrance to timber door to right of N wing section; 2 pairs of stair windows to boarded bay to left. Single windows to left at 1st and attic floors to gablehead of original section.

NE (SIDE) ELEVATION: blank gablehead to N wing section; oak balcony frame to 1st and attic floors to outer left; 2 timber doors to both floors; relieving arches to 2 off-centre timber doors at ground floor; flanking single windows; relieving arches to 2 single windows at 1st floor to hall; relieving arch to right.

NW (SIDE) ELEVATION: single window at ground floor; 2 single windows at 1st floor; 2-light dormer at attic to N wing section. 2 single windows at ground floor; single window at 1st floor; 2 single windows at attic to original (higher) section.

Timber boarded and leaded windows; glass block openings. Grey slate roof; rooflights; stone skews; coped gablehead stacks; circular cans.

INTERIOR: barrel-vaulted storage rooms at ground floor; narrow stair from original section leads to the main hall on the 1st floor (Original main access stair, disappeared in subsequent alterations); new non-combustible metal staircase to entrance in North wing. Great fireplace to SE of main hall at 1st floor; moulded stone shafts; ogee-shaped aumbrie to NW elevation; high windows; timber panelled entrances; panel above the fireplace dated 1665, bears the arms of the Kings of Scotland, England, France and Ireland (formerly hung in the Newton-on-Ayr Town House, demolished 1967). Attic floor rooms, previously quarters for servants.

Statement of Interest

Built circa 1513 by James Tait, a wealthy burgess of Ayr. Between 1528 and 1539, ownership passed to Sir Hugh Campbell of Loudoun, Sheriff of Ayr, and subsequently sold to the Crown for 14,000 merks in 1622. Circa 1633, the office was granted to James Chalmers of Gadgirth, who represented Ayr in the Scottish Parliament from 1628-1633. Loudoun Hall was then sold by James Chalmers' son in 1666 to John Muir of Park, Provost of Ayr. Following 1700, there were numerous owners, in part due to increasing deterioration of the building. Finally, its owners ceased to inhabit it and it became a slum, rescued from slum clearance in the twentieth century by the Marquess of Bute, restored 1948 by the architect Robert Hurd, who gave his services for free. Hurd's alterations included the removal of an 18th century staircase tower, and the erection of a new staircase, made from the materials of an oak stair removed from Culzean Castle, and originally made from the timbers of the third Marquess of Ailsa's yacht, Marquesa (recently removed). An architectural model of the Hall stands to the entrance of Boat Vennal, off New Bridge Street. Loudoun Hall is not only the oldest house in Ayr, but provides an outstanding example of one of Scotland's few surviving examples of domestic burgh architecture of the 16th century. Re-landscaped Loudoun Hall boundary wall and forecourt, a collaboration between architects Reiach and Hall, and artists Gordon Young and Louice Lusby Taylor. Recent building restoration work by ARP, Lorimer and Associates.

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