History in Structure

Main Gates And Entrance Drive, Brodick Castle Estate

A Category B Listed Building in Ardrossan and Arran, North Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.5942 / 55°35'39"N

Longitude: -5.1459 / 5°8'45"W

OS Eastings: 201871

OS Northings: 637888

OS Grid: NS018378

Mapcode National: GBR FFNX.ZLC

Mapcode Global: WH1MQ.XNQ8

Plus Code: 9C7PHVV3+MJ

Entry Name: Main Gates And Entrance Drive, Brodick Castle Estate

Listing Name: Brodick Castle Estate, Main Gates and Entrance Drive

Listing Date: 22 July 2011

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400738

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51787

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200400738

Location: Kilbride

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Ardrossan and Arran

Parish: Kilbride

Traditional County: Buteshire

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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MAIN GATES AND ENTRANCE DRIVE (NS 01876 37887): William Andrews Nesfield, circa 1852. Pair of carriage gates flanked by pedestrian gates hung between two pairs of piers, with low quadrant walls to sides. Hammer-dressed, pink stone square gatepiers with shallow pyramidal copes. Cast iron gates with standards in the form of half-length and full-length spears. Rosette pattern friezes to top and bottom rails. Gilded armorial emblem with Hamilton legend and motto on each carriage gate. Curved quadrant walls of 3 courses with chamfered coping forming parapets of retaining walls, surmounted by horizontal fence with flat profile bars. Curved carriageway on raised causeway across hollow, with random rubble retaining walls. Low parapets with flat coping, terminated by dwarf piers to the W.

BOUNDARY WALL (E): Possibly 18th century. 1m tall, extending approximately 0.4 miles from Main Gate along coastal road to NE. Terminating with 1.5m tall ancient milestone. Drystane construction of granite and sandstone rubble. Coping of boulders, partially reinforced with mortar.

BOUNDARY WALL (W): W A Nesfield, circa 1852. 0.9m tall, with 0.76m railings extending approximately 0.5 miles to SW from the Main Gate to the West Gate. Squared rubble with chamfered coping. Wrought iron railings with flat standards and 3 flat rails. Inscribed commemorative panel of 3 raised courses of ashlar, with flat coping.

WEST GATES (NS 01414 37659): Arran Estate Office, 1911. Entrance to driveway at W end of coastal boundary wall. 2 pairs of rubble-built square piers with chamfered copes, linked by dwarf walls with plain iron railings. Iron gates of straight uprights and scrolled central floral motif.

Statement of Interest

Part of A Group at Brodick Castle Estate comprising: Brodick Castle; Bavarian Summerhouse; Cnocan Burn Road Bridge; Greenhyde and Castle Cottages; Ice House; Walled Garden; the Nursery; Main Gates, West Gates and Coastal Boundary Walls; South Gates; Sylvania and Brodick Kennels.

The Main Gates, are the principal point of entry to the Brodick Castle Estate. They mark the ceremonial entrance to the Castle as conceived by the 11th Duke of Hamilton in the mid-19th C, and their design was an assertion of ducal power. Formerly known as the East Gates, they are part of the only executed scheme out of several landscaping proposals drafted for the 11th Duke by the landscape designer, W A Nesfield (1793-1881), during the 1850s. Prominent in his field, Nesfield worked infrequently in Scotland, although he designed a similar curving drive at Inveraray Castle. The new eastern approach followed on from the extensions to Brodick Castle by James Gillespie Graham, in the 1840s, and it superseded the rather steep drive from Claddach, to the SW, which was the only approach to the castle of any significance at the beginning of the 19th century. The work involved substantial engineering works, including realignment and raising of the public coastal road, erecting sections of sea wall, cutting into rock and construction of the raised causeway at the gate itself. The earlier entrance at this point had been a service access only. The gate lodge proposed by Nesfield was never built. The designer of the gates themselves is not known, but it was likely a work of collaboration. Interestingly, the architect, William Burn, an occasional associate of Nesfield, was also engaged by the Arran estate around this time and may have had some involvment. The stretch of boundary wall extending from the entrance to the SW was also part of this development. A commemorative panel mounted on the wall opposite the quay celebrates the first Scottish landfall after their coronation King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1902.

The drystane dyke extending from the Main Gate to the NE is of earlier date, probably a surviving fragment of a much longer boundary wall that preceded Nesfield's scheme. It may be the dyke referred to in estate accounts of 1702-4.

The West Gates appear to deliberately echo the piers of the Main Gates, but on a smaller scale, while the ironwork has an Art Nouveau flavour, rather than the armorial style of its predecessor. The Ordnance Survey of 1864 appears to indicate an earlier structure on the site, though not conclusively. The design was produced by the estate surveyors - a drawing dated 1911 is in the archives of Arran Estates. The gates stand at the head of the road giving access to the Nursery that links to the network of garden paths, providing an alternative garden entrance to, or exit from, the Castle. This work was part of the general improvements and modernisation carried out for Lady Mary Douglas-Hamilton, who inherited the estate in 1895 and married the 6th Duke of Montrose in 1906. The South Gates are likely to also have been part of this work - see separate listing. In May 2010, the West Gates had been detached from their piers.

Brodick Castle Estate, now a discreet entity, was originally the nucleus of the Lands of Arran. Fought over during the Scottish War of Independence, it was transformed into an Earldom and granted to James Hamilton by his cousin, King James IV, in 1503. The Isle of Arran remained as one of the minor estates of the Dukes of Hamilton until the late 19th century. Agricultural improvements in the 18th century, culminating in the clearances of the early 19th century, eventually displaced the small scale and subsistence farming on the island. In the mid-19th, improved transportation made Brodick an attractive picturesque resort and hunting destination for the Hamiltons and the castle was substantially rebuilt with the area around it laid out as gardens and pleasure grounds. On the death of the 12th Duke, in 1895, Brodick passed to the future Duchess of Montrose. In 1957 the Castle and the policies immediately surrounding were conveyed to the National Trust for Scotland.

Listed as part of the National Trust for Scotland Estates Review, 2010-11.

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