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Latitude: 55.5233 / 55°31'23"N
Longitude: -4.6255 / 4°37'31"W
OS Eastings: 234354
OS Northings: 628635
OS Grid: NS343286
Mapcode National: GBR 39.T5JX
Mapcode Global: WH2PH.XFJM
Entry Name: South Wood Road, Sandhill House Including Stable Building
Listing Date: 23 September 2005
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 398061
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50154
Building Class: Cultural
County: South Ayrshire
Electoral Ward: Troon
Traditional County: Ayrshire
Later 19th century with early 20th century additions. 2 storey and attic, 6-bay mansion house with service wing extending to NW; basic square plan with projecting bays on NE, SE and SW elevation; piended roof with deep eaves and tall, banded and stepped stacks in English neo-Tudor style. Red brick with sandstone dressings. String course, 1st floor cill course; long and short quoins. Fairly regular fenestration arranged in bays; predominantly bipartite and tripartite windows with sandstone mullions; transoms to some ground floor windows; cat-slide dormers to attic. Half-timbering to some gables. Later conservatory attached to left bay of SW elevation. SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 6-bay elevation divided into two halves. Timber-boarded front door in roll-moulded, depressed arch surround, slightly recessed to centre of right-hand section; 5 steps to door; carvings of leek and thistle at corners; Robertson family coat-of-arms above. Semicircular turret to left of door; bipartite windows above door and to right. 2-storey and attic left half: slightly later single storey, 4-light canted bay to left and centre with broad entablature; tripartite window with stone mullions and transoms in right bay at ground; bipartite windows to 1st floor; 3 dormers to attic.
SW ELEVATION: 3-bay elevation; central projecting half-hexagonal bay with bipartite windows at each floor on main face and single windows at each floor on outer faces; prominent half-timbered gable crowning; bipartite windows elsewhere; timber conservatory at ground to left.
NW (REAR) ELEVATION: projecting flue at right; flanking door; single windows to left at ground and 1st floor; Single storey and attic service wing attached at left.
NE (ELEVATION): 5-bay elevation composed of 4 separate blocks: advanced left bay with later 3-light window projecting at ground with broad entablature and 2 single windows above. Recessed single storey central section. Projecting section to right with canted window to ground and square window with chamfered corners above; half-timbered gable crowning; Single-storey and attic, 2-bay kitchen wing to outer right with gabled dormers to roof.
SERVICE WING: L-plan, single storey and attic multi-gabled service wing advanced from NW elevation with single storey piend-roofed outshot and coped walls enclosing service court to NW. Prominent brick chimney stacks and irregular fenestration.
INTERIOR: Timber panelled lobby with tiled floor; cloakroom and WC to right of entrance door with early 20th century lavatory. Timber staircase with turned balusters; tripartite stair window with stained glass leaded lights. Red brick fireplace to study. Large dining room with timber panelling, elaborate fireplace and serving hatch. Large carved oak chimneypiece by Robert Thompson in drawing room, with small carved mouse at the foot of base which was Thompson's craftsman signature. The original bath and shower remain in a 1st floor bathroom and the original plumbing system is in good working order. There is an observatory in the attic, but this cannot be seen from the exterior. Timber panelled doors and simple plaster cornicing throughout
Predominantly 2-pane glazing in timber sash and case windows. Red tiles on roof of main house; slate to kitchen wing; large stacks with chamfered shoulders and stepped heads; some red clay cans.
OUTBUILDINGS AND STABLES: 3 blocks of simple, gabled brick stables to NW of house. Long 4-door range to left with Carron Ironworks stable fittings; M-gabled range recessed to rear. Former tack room / grooms' room to right (partially destroyed by fire, 2004) with wallhead chimney stack and cast-iron fire place inside; detached stable block to rear.
Sandhill is believed to be the first house built in the Southwood suburb of Troon. This area soon became a millionaire's haven with mansions being constructed in the years leading up to the First World War, a consequence of the railway connection to Glasgow which made Troon a popular holiday destination, especially for golfers. Almost every house was designed by a different architect, enhancing the exclusive quality of each mansion and hence the area. Sandhill is roughly in the style of William Leiper, bearing a similarity to Piersland Lodge, in Troon, of 1898-9, which he designed for Sir Alexander Walker, the grandson of Johnny Walker of whisky fame. However, the present owner was told that the house was by a French architect. Sandhill is believed to have been built for the Duke of Portland, who owned Sandhill cottage, which previously stood on the site. The Duke of Portland built the railway line that originally connected Troon to Glasgow. It is rumoured that the house was intended to be the home for the Dowager Duchess, but the first occupier of Sandhill was William Alexander Robertson, a wine merchant from Glasgow; it is the Robertson family crest that sits above the entrance door. By 1905 the house was owned by the Robertson family, the name cited on the valuation roll at this date is Alexander Cockburn Robertson; it is possible that the crest was commissioned once the family had been elevated from tenant to owner. The 3rd edition OS map (circa 1911) indicates that several additions were made at about this time, including the bay windows on the SE and NE elevations and the conservatory. Sandhill remained in the Robertson family until 1955 when it was purchased by the Spencer-Nairn family and turned into a riding school.
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