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Skelmorlie, 5 Eglinton Terrace, Wilmar, with Garden Steps, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

A Category C Listed Building in Largs, North Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.8647 / 55°51'53"N

Longitude: -4.8873 / 4°53'14"W

OS Eastings: 219418

OS Northings: 667274

OS Grid: NS194672

Mapcode National: GBR 30.3D0T

Mapcode Global: WH2MM.WVWD

Entry Name: Skelmorlie, 5 Eglinton Terrace, Wilmar, with Garden Steps, Boundary Walls and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 7 January 2005

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397877

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50037

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Largs

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: North Coast and Cumbraes

Parish: Largs

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Skelmorlie

Description

Detached house built 1907-8 by Honeyman, Keppie and Mackintosh; divided to form three flats, around 1978. Two-storey, U-plan villa with advanced gables to outer bays of front elevation, central verandah/porch, former single-storey and attic service wing to rear, deep eaves, bargeboarded gables. Squared, snecked, stugged red sandstone with ashlar dressings. Moulded string courses to bay windows. Irregular fenestration with very plain window margins.

West (principal) elevation: slightly off-centre round-arched, half-glazed timber panelled front door in roll-moulded architrave with alternating raised voussoirs; irregular fenestration to flanking bays, including triple hall window with leaded lights to right of door; raised timber verandah on stone base, with simple balustrade and red tile floor. Advanced coped gable advanced to right with two-storey, five-light canted bay window. Bargeboarded gable advanced to left with rectangular bay window at ground.

East (rear) elevation: open courtyard, irregularly fenestrated. Advanced gable to left. Recessed two-bay central section with catslide roof over three-light leaded staircase window. Long service wing advanced to right with some veluxes and box-dormer to attic

North and South (side) elevations: irregularly fenestrated. Half-glazed timber panelled door to south elevation.

Predominantly timber sash and case windows with six-pane glazing to upper sashes and plate glass to lower sashes; some non-traditional uPVC windows. Coped sandstone stacks with red clay cans. Graded grey slate.

Interior: (only interior of flat 1 seen, 2005). Timber panelling to entrance hall; small carved panels over doorways; red brick fireplace with semicircular brick fender and advanced panelled overmantle with decorative carving; carved initials to window mullions reading MR and WCR. Late-20th century staircase. Roll-moulded marble chimneypiece to former billiard room with Doric-pilastered timber overmantle and marble fender; timber picture rail; plain plaster cornice. Tudor-arched roll-moulded stone chimneypiece to drawing room with carved spandrels; compartmented ceiling. Built-in timber cupboards to bedroom. Timber panelled doors throughout with bronze latches and unusual roll-moulded doorframes.

Boundary wall, gatepiers and garden steps: coped red sandstone boundary wall; cylindrical gatepiers with flat caps. Sandstone garden steps to north of house.

Statement of Interest

Built for William Rankin, who was probably a ship owner, and his wife Margaret. The commission is mentioned in the Honeyman, Keppie and Mackintosh Job book, which includes details of all the tradesmen that worked on the building. John Keppie had designed a few houses in Skelmorlie, during the mid 1880s, and John Honeyman (with whom Keppie was in partnership between 1889 and 1904) was the most prolific architect in the village. On stylistic grounds it seems highly likely that this house was designed by John Keppie. Although the house is built along relatively standard lines for its date, it contains a wealth of good detailing, both inside and out. Some of this detailing is immediately apparent, for example the differently-styled gables on the principal elevation, and the use of bay windows to mark the principal rooms. However, it is the quirky attention to small details that really mark the quality of this house. Such details are too numerous to mention individually, but include the unusual treatment of the front door architrave, the way the corner brackets that support the roof of the verandah extend to meet each other across the entrance bay; the unusual treatment of the interior doorframes; and the use of slightly Art Nouveau door latches. The interior fixtures and fittings were supplied by Wylie and Lochhead, who were the leading firm of manufacturing house furnishers in Glasgow, and employed some of the best designers of the day. Only the interior of the south side of the house has been seen (2005): however, it is understood that the principal features of the north flat also remain substantially intact, and include the original staircase, and an imposing fireplace in the former dining room. The former service wing has been modernised.

Mackintosh Architecture notes that the Lounge for Wilmar was included on a list of Mackintosh s works compiled in the 1930s by an early student of his architecture, Ronald Harrison, who had access to the office records. It was also included on Harrison s list of a selection of drawings produced in the office during Mackintosh s time. However, at present (2019) there is no documentary evidence to support Mackintosh s involvement (Mackintosh Architecture).

Charles Rennie Mackintosh (1868-1928) was born in Glasgow and is regarded internationally as one of the leading architects and designers of the 20th century. He became known as a pioneer of Modernism, although his architecture took much inspiration from Scottish Baronial, and Scottish and English vernacular forms and their reinterpretation. The synthesis of modern and traditional forms led to a distinctive form of Scottish arts and crafts design, known as 'The Glasgow Style'. This was developed in collaboration with contemporaries Herbert McNair, and the sisters Francis and Margaret Macdonald (who would become his wife in 1900), who were known as 'The Four'. The Glasgow Style is now synonymous with Mackintosh and the City of Glasgow.

Mackintosh's work is wide-ranging and includes public, educational and religious buildings to private houses, interior decorative schemes and sculptures. He is associated with over 150 design projects, ranging from being the principal designer, to projects he was involved with as part of the firm of John Honeyman & Keppie (Honeyman, Keppie & Mackintosh from 1901). The most important work during this partnership was the Glasgow School of Art (LB33105), which was built in two phases from 1897 and culminated in the outstanding library of 1907.

Other key works include the Willow Tea Rooms (LB33173), the Glasgow Herald Building (now The Lighthouse) (LB33087) and Hill House (LB34761), which display the modern principles of the German concept of 'Gesamtkunstwerk', meaning the 'synthesis of the arts'. This is something that Mackintosh applied completely to all of his work, from the exterior to the internal decorative scheme and the furniture and fittings.

Mackintosh left Glasgow in 1914, setting up practice in London the following year. Later he and Margaret moved to France, where until his death, his artistic output largely turned to textile design and watercolours.

Listed building record revised in 2019.

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