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Latitude: 55.4668 / 55°28'0"N
Longitude: -4.6301 / 4°37'48"W
OS Eastings: 233831
OS Northings: 622366
OS Grid: NS338223
Mapcode National: GBR 39.XQHR
Mapcode Global: WH2PP.VVDF
Plus Code: 9C7QF989+PX
Entry Name: Newton Tower, Main Street, Ayr
Listing Name: Main Street, Newton Tower Including Gates
Listing Date: 5 February 1971
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 357046
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB21659
Building Class: Cultural
County: South Ayrshire
Electoral Ward: Ayr North
Traditional County: Ayrshire
1795. Single bay, 5-stage square-plan tower with octagonal spire. Painted render with painted margins. Band courses delineate 1st and 2nd stages to W elevation; string courses delineate remaining stages to all elevations; ball finials to angles at base of spire; louvred openings to principal spire faces; weather-vane finial.
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: elliptical-arched central pend; single windows aligned above to 2nd and 3rd stages (3rd stage window round-arched); octagonal opening at 4th stage; clock face at 5th stage;
E (KING STREET, REAR) ELEVATION: elliptical-arched central pend; single window aligned above at 2nd stage. Clock face at 5th stage.
N & S (KING STREET, SIDE) ELEVATIONS: clock faces to 5th stages.
Timber windows; stone spire.
INTERIOR: not seen 1998.
GATES: 2-leaf iron gate to W elevation.
The tower is the only remnant of Newton's Tolbooth (remainder demolished 1967). Newton Old Church (1777, demolished 1967) to the rear of the tower was accessed via the elliptical-arched pend. From the mediaeval period to the 19th century, the tolbooth was the centre of local administration, justice and ceremonial services. Newton had become a Burgh of Barony by 1446, with Main Street marking its core. The burgh was permitted to erect a tolbooth by royal charters of 1595 and 1600. The heavy restrictions of the adjacent Royal Burgh of Ayr, allowed growing industrial and commercial development in Newton in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the tower are two bells, 20? inches and 24? inches diameter, both inscribed "Tho. Mears of London Fecit 1795." In "The Church Bells of Ayrshire" both bells are described as being cast at the Whitechapel Foundry, London and hung in wooden frames. The lighter bell has a lever, but the other is fitted with a solid wooden wheel with no spokes, and with only a sector removed to clear the lip of the bell.
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