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Latitude: 55.5985 / 55°35'54"N
Longitude: -4.4185 / 4°25'6"W
OS Eastings: 247710
OS Northings: 636528
OS Grid: NS477365
Mapcode National: GBR 3K.NBNK
Mapcode Global: WH3QC.3J6Z
Plus Code: 9C7QHHXJ+9H
Entry Name: Holmes House Steading, Horse Engine House
Listing Date: 28 November 2003
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 397151
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49579
Building Class: Cultural
County: East Ayrshire
Electoral Ward: Irvine Valley
Traditional County: Ayrshire
Circa 1830. Circular horse-engine house adjacent to former (truncated) threshing barn; conical grey slated roof and lead finial; now in poor condition (2003). Large horse opening and 2 small window openings. Pink sandstone rubble with dressed margins.
INTERIOR: currently used as wood store; radiating timber roof supports and central timber pole to apex; some machinery survives.
The ruinous shell of Holmes House, circa 1830, was built for Lt Col Fairlie of Bellfield possibly by David Hamilton, William Burn, Wilkins or Thomas Hamilton in the Tudor-Gothic style (Davis p285). Similar to Blairquhan by Burn (1820-24) and Tour House (1840s) at Kilmaurs in its final form, it was built around an earlier 2-storey 3-bay house, the whole demolished in the 1930s. Only part of the former U-plan steading remains but this is significantly altered, the stables being converted to a dwelling approximately 20 years ago. A roofless pigsty, henhouse and byre remain near by as does a grotto in the form of a small ruined chapel (with stone slab dated 1735) in the grounds of the house. A walled garden (not seen, 2002), a small stone building dated 1808 (not seen, 2002) and the lodge (in separate ownership) with gatepiers also survive.
The circular horse-engine house is adjacent to the truncated former threshing barn, which in turn adjoins the stable and servants' block.
The condition of the building is poor and it is nearing collapse. One section of the roof is missing and the walls are badly cracked. The internal timber roof structure is largely intact though and remnants of the gears remain buried under logs. Designed to protect timber horse-powered threshing machines, superseded by oil-powered machines from the mid 19th century and electric motors in the late 19th and early 20th, the horse-engine house is a rare survival.
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