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Bavarian Summer House, Brodick Castle, Arran

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

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Latitude: 55.5927 / 55°35'33"N

Longitude: -5.1488 / 5°8'55"W

OS Eastings: 201683

OS Northings: 637725

OS Grid: NS016377

Mapcode National: GBR FFNX.Y29

Mapcode Global: WH1MQ.WPCG

Plus Code: 9C7PHVV2+3F

Entry Name: Bavarian Summer House, Brodick Castle, Arran

Listing Name: Brodick Castle Estate, Bavarian Summerhouse

Listing Date: 14 April 1971

Category: A

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 394938

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB47599

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kilbride

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Ardrossan and Arran

Parish: Kilbride

Traditional County: Buteshire

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1845. Single storey, 12-sided rustic summerhouse, on rocks at edge of steeply falling ground to S. Timber post and panel construction. Externally decorated with intertwined rhododendron branches. Grey slate facetted roof with overhanging eaves and pointed finial. 6 pairs of opening casement windows below semi-circular arched deadlights, divided as pairs of lancets. Cast iron diagonal glazing bars and diamond-pane glazing. Double softwood doors, with applied pattern of rhododendron roots and octagonal brass door knob, within segmental arch doorway.

INTERIOR (Seen 2010): Half-height lining of split unplaned logs. Frieze consisting of panels with geometric patterns of applied fir cones. Ceiling decorated with fir cones and hazel poles in geometric pattern with multi-point star at centre. Painted timber benches fitted against walls. Timber boarded floor.

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 outstanding example of an elaborately decorated summerhouse, situated within a designed picturesque landscape. This summerhouse is the sole survivor of four shown on the 1864 OS map. Built for Princess Marie of Baden, who moved to Brodick shortly after her marriage (1843) and became Duchess of Hamilton in 1852. these were located at key scenic points along designed 'Romantic Walks', constructed between 1843 and 1863. The character of these walks has been eroded by subsequent softwood planting. Rustic summerhouses were fashionable features of landscaped gardens by the late 18th century and were generally sited at vantage points, such as this. This example, prominently sited on a rocky knoll, provides views to the Firth of Clyde and serves as an ornamental feature seen from the coastal road. The designer is unknown, however, William Burn (1789-1870) was engaged by the estate around this time and is known to have produced several unbuilt designs, including an octagonal 'Kiosque in the Wood', while James Gillespie Graham (1776-1855) designed extensions to the Castle and laid out terraces there during the 1840s.

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.

In poor condition by 1993, the summerhouse has subsequently been restored (circa 2000). Of the interior decoration, only the ceiling, reputed to be by Bavarian Craftsmen, is original, while the decorative wall panels are late 20th century reproductions.

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

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