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Aiket Castle

A Category C Listed Building in Dunlop, East Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.7054 / 55°42'19"N

Longitude: -4.5672 / 4°34'1"W

OS Eastings: 238788

OS Northings: 648757

OS Grid: NS387487

Mapcode National: GBR 3D.FLT8

Mapcode Global: WH3PP.TVBK

Plus Code: 9C7QPC4M+54

Entry Name: Aiket Castle

Listing Name: Aiket Castle with Adjoining Cottage, Barmkin Wall, Aiket Mill, and Former Mill Lades

Listing Date: 3 March 2005

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397928

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50079

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Dunlop

County: East Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Annick

Parish: Dunlop

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Late 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th century fragments; rebuilt from ruin Robert Clow, 1976-79. 3-storey and attic, 3-bay (end bay to W 3-storey), rectangular-plan tower house with crowstepped gables, pedimented doorpiece, gabled dormers, bartizan to W corner, round stair turret corbelled out from 1st floor to SE; open courtyard to NW enclosed by single storey and attic cottage to NE, and barmkin wall with arched entrance. Sandstone and whinstone rubble to 1st floor; Kennet brick above (see Notes); white harling; sandstone ashlar dressings. Raised ashlar window margins. Timber-boarded, studded door in roll-moulded, pedimented 18th century doorpiece to centre of NW elevation; fairly regular fenestration to bays.

Predominantly 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Coped, gablehead stacks. Crowstepped gables. Graded grey Forfar sandstone roofing stones.

INTERIOR: stone staircase rising from entrance hall. Circa 1600 vaulted kitchen with bread oven and 17th century arched fireplace; 15th century vaulted dining room (former store) to E of hall. 15th century roll-moulded jambs with semi-octagonal capitals to former Great Hall fireplace on 1st floor. 18th century sandstone chimneypieces to 1st floor sitting room and 2nd floor bedroom; 17th or 18th century moulded stonework to windows and elsewhere in various rooms.

MILL LADES AND FORMER AIKET CORN MILL: 18th and 19th century mill lades and associated stonework. Probably 18th century lade channels to W of mill; 19th century terracotta pipeline to W of mill; channels with stone edging adjacent to mill building. L-plan random rubble former corn mill. Renovated and modernised 2003-4.

BRIDGE: elliptical-arched bridge over Glazert Burn. Sandstone rubble with dressed sandstone arch and parapet coping.

Statement of Interest

: Aiket Castle was probably built in about 1479, when a charter for the land was granted to Alexander Cuninghame: however, it is likely that there was a fortified building on the site prior to this. The original castle comprised the two most easterly bays of the present castle. The vault in the present dining room is believed to have been part of this building; the room that is now the entrance hall was also vaulted, but this vault collapsed in the mid-20th century (see below). The fireplace jambs in the former Great Hall (1st floor drawing room) are also believed to be 15th century. The original entrance was on the SE elevation, and the present doorway there has been modelled on one at Badenheath Castle near Stepps, which was roughly contemporary, and possibly built by the same masons. Aiket was largely destroyed in the late 1560s, and was rebuilt in about 1581, when the kitchen wing was added. The broad stone staircase to the 1st floor was inserted in the 17th century. In the mid-eighteenth century, the house was modernised externally to give it a Classical appearance: the top storey and fortifications were removed, a nepus gable put on the NE front, and the windows were enlarged. The pediment over the front door probably dates from this period, although the heavy moulding indicates that the dorrway itself is 16th or 17th Century in date. An illustration in MacGibbon and Ross shows how the house looked after these alterations had been made. During the 19th and early 20th century, the castle was occupied as a farmhouse. In 1957 it was ruined by fire; the NE gable later collapsed, bringing the central vault down with it.

In 1976 the ruined shell of Aiket was purchased by Robert and Katrina Clow. With the exception of the SW gable (which had been rebuilt at least twice since 1600), and the Western end of the SE elevation, the walls above ground floor ceiling height were found to be too unstable for repair, and were consequently taken down. The castle was then rebuilt in brick, and an attempt was made to recreate its sixteenth century appearance (although retaining the Georgian window sizes). As no pictures survive from before the 18th century alterations, the present elevations are conjectural, based on a mixture of a few brief documental descriptions and evidence from the ruined stonework. A very detailed account of the restoration work, including the names of the contractors involved, and an explanation of the decisions taken, is to be found in Robert Clow's article in 'Restoring Scotland's Castles'. The restoration received a Europa Nostra Award in 1987.

Aiket Castle was formerly listed at Category B, and was de-listed in 1978, during the course of the renovations. It is now listed at C(S) because of the importance of the surviving original fabric.

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