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Latitude: 55.8847 / 55°53'5"N
Longitude: -4.8909 / 4°53'27"W
OS Eastings: 219285
OS Northings: 669509
OS Grid: NS192695
Mapcode National: GBR GF95.2FL
Mapcode Global: WH2MM.VC51
Plus Code: 9C7QV4M5+VJ
Entry Name: Mansfield House, Wemyss Bay
Listing Name: Wemyss Bay Road, Dunloe and Mansfield, Including Boundary Walls and Gatepiers
Listing Date: 1 October 2002
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 396451
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48936
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Inverclyde South West
Traditional County: Renfrewshire
1862, with later remodelling and additions, John Honeyman, 1889-90. 2-storey Scots Baronial mansion house with extensive single and 3-storey Scots Jacobean additions to front and rear forming central courtyard. 3 bays plus engaged circular tower. Base course; string course between ground and 1st floors; crowstepped gables. Stone mullioned and transomed windows to later phase. Squared, stugged pink sandstone, cream sandstone to later phases; ashlar margins. Adjoining late 18th century 2-storey 3-bay villa (Mansfield). Squared red sandstone rubble with raised painted margins; pilaster quoins,
Corniced eaves course, blocking course and flat skews; later single bay at outer left, later 2 storey range to rear forming T-plan.
SW (WEMYSS BAY ROAD) ELEVATION: tower to outer right corbelled to octagonal copper ogee roof with ball finial; half columns with grotesque mask terminals flanking 3rd floor windows; strapwork frieze above with oval cartouche to each bay. Centre right gable with bracketed cill to 3rd floor bipartite window; scroll-carved pediment dated '1890'. Canted bay to centre left; 3rd floor verandah corbelled out with half columns terminating in stylised grotesque masks; slated piended roof supported by 4 timber posts with carved capitals; timber glazed 2-leaf door; door to garden at ground in quadripartite window. Bay to outer left (1862); canted ground floor tripartite; square panel in string course with monogram 'TCH'; corbelled and chamfered 1st floor bipartite; round-arched 3rd floor bipartite.
NW ELEVATION: 2-storey and attic (1862) with 2 gables; timber boarded door and shoulder-arched fanlight within decorative roll-moulded surround; fish-scale slated bartizan with weathervane corbelled out to right at 1st floor. Single storey block to left (1890) with central gable; tripartite stone mullioned and transomed window with timber glazed door to centre; pedimented tablet above with scrolled cartouche to centre, carved initials 'MA' 'S' 'NB' (see Notes) and flanking elaborate strapwork. Further piend-roofed range set back to outer left.
NE (REAR) ELEVATION: single storey and attic, 6 bay range; timber panelled door with letterbox fanlight to centre, further similar door to left; 5 pedimented windows breaking eaves above. Piended roof extending to ground floor height to right; gable to left with stack. Gabled single storey outbuilding with white glazed brick interior (possibly dairy).
connected to main house by coal cellars
Original timber sash and case glazing throughout; later phases with 9-pane upper sashes, plate glass lower; mutli-pane timber sash and case glazing to tower; plate glass sashes to earlier phase. Decorative geometric leaded glass and similarly glazed timber door to NW elevation. Grey slate roofs; terra cotta ridges to rear ranges; corniced stacks; some octagonal cans remaining. Cast-iron rainwater goods and decorative hoppers (earlier phase dated 1862).
INTERIOR: part seen 2002. Ground floor drawing room with white painted timber fire surround supported by paired columns; tiled slip; overmantel with fluted pilasters flanking small shelves, scrolled pediments; central fitted mirror. Similar timber glazed cupboard to right. Timber architraves; picture rail; ornate plaster cornice and ceiling rose. Dining room (part seen, see Notes) with timber geometric panelling to lower half of wall (unpainted); picture rail. MANSFIELD: symmetrical garden front with bowed tripartite bay to ground and 1st floors with piend roof, flanking single windows; later advanced pilastered, piend-roofed bay to outer left with pilastered tripartite window to ground, single window with cill course above; eaves course. Later single storey entrance bay set back to outer right.
Timber sash and case plate glass. Grey slate roofs; corniced gable stack; clay cans. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: to Dunloe: low coped, coursed and stugged cream sandstone walls. Chamfered gatepiers on plinths; foliate carved and corniced caps; orb finials. High, stepped red sandstone coped wall to W; stepped corniced red sandstone wall with openings dividing garden N/S (stables on N
side); to rear stugged red sandstone rubble wall with coping, plain ashlar gatepiers with centrally raised caps. To Mansfield: low coursed, stugged red sandstone walls; ashlar coping with regularly spaced ashlar obelisk posts to front/SW (railings removed); red sandstone gatepiers with corniced caps. Red sandstone coped rubble wall to rear.
Mansfield, although altered in the 19th century, remains recognisable as one of four late 18th century villas built at Wemyss Bay facing the sea. These are first shown on John Ainslie's map surveyed in 1796 and published in 1800 but are not marked on Andrew Armstrong's map of 1775, thus indicating their construction to be between 1775 and 1796. (They are also marked on Ainslie's map of 1821 and on John Thomson's map of 1826.) This group of four villas on the Wemyss Bay estate (one half of the divided Kelly estate) was greatly added to from 1855 onwards, the number of villas increasing to thirty-six. These villas were known collectively as 'Little Glasgow' or 'New Glasgow' as they were invariably occupied by wealthy Glasgow merchants. The Baronial villa of 1862, to which John Honeyman added and remodelled in 1889-90, is possibly by Robert W Billings and was built on the site of one of the four earlier villas. Billings spent 3 years in Wemyss Bay building Castle Wemyss, circa 1850 (demolished) and built other Baronial
villas in the area (Davis p22). Stylistically,villas in the area (Davis p22). Stylistically, this portion of Dunloe bears some similarities to Billings' work at Castle Wemyss and at the Ingram Street warehouses in Glasgow, 1854, and is in the style that Billings revived during the period.
The opening of the railway line from Glasgow to Wemyss Bay in 1865, and the operation of the steamer from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay beginning in 1870, facilitated travel and the spread of wealth from the city to the coastal resort towns. Thus the developments and alterations carried out
on this site in the late 19th century became increasingly large and elaborate with the effect that Dunloe very much dwarfs the villa of Mansfield.
The job book of John Honeyman's practice indicates that work was done to the 'old house', referring to the 1862 portion, as well as constructing additions. The interior was remodelled using skilled craftsmen and quality materials. The schemes for the dining room and the inner hall are illustrated in the British Architect 1891 and the Royal Scottish Academy exhibition catalogue, 1893, respectively. The work was carried out for N B Stewart Esq of Keil.
Stewart's initials with those presumably of his wife are carved on the NW elevation.
Today Mansfield survives as a marker of the beginnings of Wemyss Bay before the arrival of the railway and, together with Dunloe, serves to illustrate the contrast in building scale and style between, broadly speaking, 18th and 19th century merchant's villas.
Other nearby listed buildings