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31 Head Street, Including Former Byre to Rear

A Category C Listed Building in Beith, North Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.7513 / 55°45'4"N

Longitude: -4.6289 / 4°37'44"W

OS Eastings: 235104

OS Northings: 654008

OS Grid: NS351540

Mapcode National: GBR 39.BQSR

Mapcode Global: WH2NB.VPYV

Entry Name: 31 Head Street, Including Former Byre to Rear

Listing Date: 31 March 2004

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397340

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49737

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Beith

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Kilbirnie and Beith

Parish: Beith

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Description

Circa 1800, with later alterations (see Notes). 2-storey and attic, 3-bay L-plan villa with round stair tower in re-entrant angle to rear; single storey rubble byre at right angles to rear. Base course; angle and window margins; eaves course and moulded eaves cornice; straight skews with scrolled skewputts. Painted render fa├žade; harled gables and rear with exposed ashlar margins.

SW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: central (modern) door recessed in pilastered key-block arched surround; flanking sets of bipartite windows to ground and 1st floors; central 1st floor window; 3 rooflights to attic.

NE (REAR) ELEVATION: small, modern single storey extension at base of stair tower; modern picture window to ground of return gable.

FORMER BYRE: long, low pitched-roofed random rubble byre with large later 20th century rooflights and blocked openings.

UPVC windows, 2 timber sash and case windows to rear (1 original 12-pane window to stair tower). Grey slates in diminishing courses; 2 remaining corniced ashlar gable stacks (no cans) and 1 replacement stack to gable. Some lead rain-water guttering to rear.

INTERIOR: altered, no surviving chimneypieces. Central stair with original cast-iron balustrade and mahogany handrail; plain cornice to upper hall. Turnpike stair to attic.

Statement of Interest

This is one of the few remaining original buildings in Head Street, a street once lined with tenements, inns and cottages (see photograph in Reid, p20). Adjoining, to the right of No 31, was Gibby Woods' Head Street Dairy. It is likely that the cows kept in the byre at No 31 served the dairy. Access to the rear of the dairy building and to the byre was through a pend between the two buildings. The cattle grazed in fields to the rear of these properties.

It is clear that No 31 was 'modernised' in the late 19th century when the decorative doorpiece was added and the fenestration altered from single to bipartite windows. The rear of the building, except for the modern addition, is unaltered and retains more of an 18th century feel. The building is listed for its historical value and as a marker of the character of old Head Street, one of the oldest streets in the town centre with plots of land to the rear adopting the mediaeval rig pattern. The L-plan form of the villa is one common to Beith but few, if any, survive with a round stair tower.

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