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Latitude: 55.6801 / 55°40'48"N
Longitude: -4.5153 / 4°30'55"W
OS Eastings: 241942
OS Northings: 645823
OS Grid: NS419458
Mapcode National: GBR 3G.H0MP
Mapcode Global: WH3PX.MH1F
Entry Name: 2-6 (Even Nos) Lainshaw Street & 2-6 (Even Nos) Vennel Street
Listing Date: 4 March 2003
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 396669
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49114
Building Class: Cultural
County: East Ayrshire
Electoral Ward: Annick
Traditional County: Ayrshire
Circa 1840, altered 1867 (see Notes). 2 storey, 5- x 4-bay corner building at Stewarton Cross with canted corner bay with recessed 2-leaf part-glazed timber door and fanlight above. Base course to Vennel Street (NE); 2 moulded string courses between storeys; moulded eaves course. Regular fenestration with moulded surrounds, some scroll-bracketted. Lined and rendered surface; painted margins.
FURTHER DESCRIPTION: NW elevation (Lainshaw Street): pair of 2-leaf timber panelled doors to centre, that to left with prominent architrave with plinthed pilasters and consoles supporting cornice with guttae. Plate glass shop window to outer right. Cill course.
NE ELEVATION (VENNEL ST): symmetrical 3-bay section to right; central 2-leaf timber door with 4-pane fanlight above. Futher 2-bay section to left.
Predominantly timber plate glass windows to upper storey; some tilt and turn. Replacement 12-lying pane timber sash and case windows to ground. Grey slates; corniced ridge stack; flat skews; large corniced stack to SW gable (1 hexagonal can remaining).
INTERIOR: part seen, (2008). Stone stair to 1st floor with cast-iron barley twist balustrade and painted timber handrail. Some simple cornices.
Situated at this meeting of routes to and from Kilmaurs and Kilmarnock to the south; Irvine to the south-west; Dunlop to the north; Fenwick to the south-east and Mearns to the north-east, this building is in a prominent location at the Cross in Stewarton. In 1794 Stewarton was described as consisting of 'one long and broad street, with a cross one' and this buidling is an important surviving element of the historic townscape. Cochrane's Hotel (demolished) stood opposite at the corner of Lainshaw and Rigg Streets and the once- adjoining 2-storey building at 8-12 Lainshaw Street has more recently been demolished. The building is the surviving key component of the historic form of the Cross.
Together, this and the adjoining former granary at 8 Vennel Street (circa 1870, separately listed) were known as the Commercial Buildings and were owned by Thomas Young & Son, grain merchants. 8 Vennel Street would have been used for storing and distributing grain and bread. 2-6 Lainshaw Street served as a townhouse for Thomas Young (one time provost of Stewarton) and his family with shops, including the bakery, on the ground floor. This elevation is certainly the more formal, reflecting the importance of the street as 'one of Stewarton's most busy thoroughfares, crowded with small shops, cottages and tenements' (Milligan p2). There were apparently two large decorative pots on top of the entrance architrave but these have long since gone. A cast-iron hopper with the date 1867, removed from the building for safety, is understood to be in the possession of a former owner and it is likely that an existing building on this site was either extended or the facade and interior remodelled at this date. The corner building is marked as a public house on the Ordnance Survey map of 1856 and the Commercial Buildings continued to operate as an inn or hotel into the 20th century. In the 1920s however, the Temperance Movement put an end to alcohol consumption in the town until the 1960s.
Robert Boag, baker, owned the property prior to World War I and sold it to bakers Lydall and Gillies before World War II. The Gillies family became sole owners in 1947 and the buildings, including 8 Vennel Street, were still in Gillies ownership until 1999. Their bakers shop was on the corner. In the mid 20th century, the shop on Lainshaw Street followed in Stewarton's famous textile tradition accommodating Mrs Bowie's drapery and millinery, and the Misses Watt Browns' millinery and dressmaking business (see illustrations in Milligan).
List description updated as part of Stewarton Burgh resurvey, 2009.
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