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St Columba's Junior School, Shallott, Knockbuckle Road

A Category B Listed Building in Kilmacolm, Inverclyde

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Latitude: 55.8924 / 55°53'32"N

Longitude: -4.6351 / 4°38'6"W

OS Eastings: 235313

OS Northings: 669728

OS Grid: NS353697

Mapcode National: GBR 39.1WXF

Mapcode Global: WH2MR.S503

Plus Code: 9C7QV9R7+XX

Entry Name: St Columba's Junior School, Shallott, Knockbuckle Road

Listing Name: Knockbuckle Road, Shallott, St Columba's Junior School with Terrace, Statue, Boundary Wall, Gatepiers and Gates

Listing Date: 2 December 2004

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397847

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50020

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kilmacolm

County: Inverclyde

Electoral Ward: Inverclyde East

Parish: Kilmacolm

Traditional County: Renfrewshire

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1884 with 2 early 20th century additions to NE (see Notes). 2-storey and basement with 3-storey sections, roughly rectangular-plan piend-roofed Italianate villa raised on balustraded terrace. 4-storey entrance tower with distyle Corinthian portico and consoled balcony; later single storey and basement section to N corner with depressed-arch opening at ground and balustraded roof. Squared, stugged, sneckedsandstone with polished ashlar dressings. Base course to NW and SW elevations only; 1st floor cill cornice to NE and part of SE elevations; string course to top floor of all elevations; eaves course; deep bracketed eaves. Fairly regular fenestration with shallow roll-moulded margins and sloping cills; most ground floor windows bipartite or tripartite with stone mullions; predominantly bipartite, arched top-floor windows with architraves and columnar mullions.

NW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: stepped frontage with 4 sections. 2-leaf timber panelled front door with rectangular fanlight in roll-moulded architrave; Corinthian portico with panelled side walls, steps and balustrade forming balcony to bipartite window above; arched window to 2nd floor and tripartite to top floor with balustraded balcony; similar fenestration to left return. Recessed 3-bay, 3-storey section to right; slightly advanced tripartite at ground; regular fenestration above with bipartite windows to centre. Advanced 2-bay, 2-storey section to outer right; 4-light bay window at ground to left; bipartite above; bipartite at ground to right; bipartite oriel supported on console brackets above. Later 2-bay, single storey and basement section to left of entrance: key-blocked arched entrance to right; 2-storey projecting window advanced to left with battered basement. Regularly-fenestrated block behind.

SW (SIDE) ELEVATION: 3-bay, 2-storey. Round-arched window to centre with balustraded balcony to window above supported on console brackets. 4-light canted bay windows at ground to outer bays with battered bases; bipartite windows above.

SE (REAR) ELEVATION: 5-bay, 3-storey and basement section to right: regular fenestration; steps to central timber-boarded back door; 2-storey oriel window to 2nd bay from left. Recessed section to left steps to timber-boarded door; large oriel window at 1st floor.

NE (SIDE) ELEVATION: 3-storey and basement section to left: fenestrated at 1st and 2nd floors; late 20th century link corridor at ground floor. Lower balustraded section to right.

Plate glass in timber sash and case windows; 3 or 4 non-traditional uPVC windows to upper floor of NE and SE elevations. Corniced stacks with short yellow clay cans. Graded grey slate. Cast-iron rainwater goods with some hoppers.

INTERIOR: outer lobby with cast-iron grating inscribed SHALLOTT; half-glazed timber panelled door. Inner lobby with carved panelling, parquet floor, decorative plasterwork ceiling and

built-in hall stand with bevelled-glass mirror in carved frame. 2-leaf, half-glazed timber panelled door to outer hall with carved panels and bevelled glass. Carved oak panelling and parquet floor with Greek-key border to inner and outer halls; decorative compartmented ceilings; decorative timber-panelled doors to rooms off outer hall with decorative frosted-glass fanlights; depressed arch separating inner and outer halls with carved tapered columns; 18th century Flemish tapestries set in panelling to inner hall; carved oak chimneypiece with copper inset and cast-iron grate and fender. Oak staircase with carved newel post and turned balusters; domed ceiling light above. Principal reception room with carved oak panelling to dado; carved chimneypiece with bevelled-glass

mirror in carved over-mantel; decorative stained glass depicting pre-Raphaelite style women; timber window shutters; carved over-doors; compartmented ceiling with plaster ceiling roses and coved cornice. Timber chimneypieces and panelling to dado in some other ground-floor rooms. Kitchen with early 20th century timber dressers and tiling. Cornicing and timber-panelled doors throughout.

TERRACE AND STEPS: random whinstone terrace with sandstone balustrade to NW and SW of house; circular bastion at W corner. Sandstone steps to entrance.

STATUE: recumbent lion on pedestal near entrance gates.

BOUNDARY WALL, GATEPIERS AND GATES: snecked sandstone boundary wall with moulded ashlar coping and alternating high and low sections; some sections of low wall with cast-iron railings. Free-standing gatepiers with diaper-rustication and corniced pyramidal caps. 2-leaf, cast-iron, spear-headed gates.

Statement of Interest

An impressive Italianate villa with a magnificent interior. The house was built for Adam Birkmyre in 1884. Adam Birkmyre was the younger brother of Henry and John Birkmyre who were partners of the Gourock Ropework company, which was founded in 1777 and had a world-wide reputation for the manufacture of ropes, canvas, tarpaulin and sailcloth. The Birkmyre family had a long- standing involvement with the company, and Adam was responsible for the foreign travel relating to the development of the company overseas. By the late 1880s the firm had offices throughout Britain and South America, agents in Europe and Australia, and mills in and India and Africa. After Adam's death the house passed to two of his nieces, and in 1930 it was purchased by St Columba's School, who first used it as a boarding house, and later as their Junior School. Judging from the OS maps, the house appears to have been extended twice since it was built. On the 2nd edition OS map the house does not appear to extend NE of the entrance tower; the 3rd edition OS map (revised 1911) shows that the rear part of the NE wing had been built, but not the lower front section. The first addition merges so well with the original house that it is almost certainly by the same architect. Unfortunately it has not been possible to trace the architect: Professor D Walker suggests John Burnet Senior or Boucher & Cousland. The interior decoration, which is of very high quality, is probably contemporary with the first addition. The land for Birkmyre Park (opposite Shallott) was donated to Kilmacolm by Adam Birkmyre.

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