History in Structure

Main Drive Wall Including Piers, Culzean Castle Estate

A Category C Listed Building in Kirkoswald, South Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.3552 / 55°21'18"N

Longitude: -4.776 / 4°46'33"W

OS Eastings: 224114

OS Northings: 610311

OS Grid: NS241103

Mapcode National: GBR 43.4QL5

Mapcode Global: WH2Q6.LNYG

Plus Code: 9C7Q964F+3J

Entry Name: Main Drive Wall Including Piers, Culzean Castle Estate

Listing Name: Culzean Castle Estate, Main Drive Wall Including Piers

Listing Date: 2 November 2011

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400777

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51826

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200400777

Location: Kirkoswald

County: South Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Girvan and South Carrick

Parish: Kirkoswald

Traditional County: Ayrshire

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Circa 1809. Rustic effect stone wall on E side of Main Drive, extending from the entrance to Culzean Country Park, at Glenside, to the junction of drives at Hoolity Ha'. Hungry-jointed boulder and pebble construction with boulder coping. Piers at N and S ends, with upright rubble stones forming coronet copes above cornice of pebbles. 2 further short sections of wall (no piers) on each side of drive (NS 23765 10276).

Statement of Interest

Part of an A-group at Culzean Castle Estate comprising: Culzean Castle; Castle Walls etc; Fountain Court etc; Ruined Arch and Viaduct; Stable Block etc; Camellia House; Cat Gates; Home Farm; Powder House; Ardlochan Lodge; Dolphin House; Hoolity Ha'; Swan Pond Complex; Swan Pond Ice House; Walled Garden; Bathing Complex; Water Works; Shore Boat House; Battery and Mast House; Main Drive Walls and Piers; Gas Works.

A unique and picturesque wall lining an important route to Culzean Castle, the Main Drive, formerly Glenside Road, was one of the carriage drives created for the 12th Earl of Cassillis, in 1809 as part of his audacious scenic landscaping project for the Culzean Estate, undertaken in the early 19th century. In practical terms, the wall would have prevented horses straying off the carriageway and into the Glenside Burn, however, the curious form of construction was clearly decorative, with the other side of the drive being lined with a belt of trees ' an earlier planting meant as a shelter belt. The designer of the wall is not known, but the 12th Earl is known to have consulted consulted the landscape designer Thomas White and his son, also Thomas, on the layout of the grounds, including the series of carriage drives. Most of this work was carried out between 1809 and about 1830. The architectural styles employed at Culzean reflect the Regency taste for the exotic, ranging from the Chinoiserie of the Pagoda to the neoclassicism of the Cat Gate, but the eccentric rusticity of this wall is closest to the ludic Bath House on the shore ' see separate listing. The 2 short sections of similar walling near Home Farm, appear fragmentary, suggesting that the wall was originally more extensive than today.

Together with the outstanding ornamental landscape of its estate, Culzean Castle is acknowledged as the epitome of the Picturesque movement in Scotland, in its own right and is a work of international importance. Culzean, at one time the largest estate in Ayrshire, has been associated with the Kennedy family since the Middle Ages. It was gifted by Gilbert the 4th Earl of Cassillis to his brother Thomas Kennedy, in 1569. In the 1660s, the barmekin around the tower house was breached to create the terraced gardens, orchards, and walled garden for which Culzean was notable, while the caves beneath the castle (a Scheduled Monument) were fortified to serve as secure stores. Culzean Castle became the principal family seat when Sir Thomas Kennedy (1726-75) became the 9th Earl of Cassillis, in 1759. A continuing programme of improvements was undertaken by Sir Thomas and his successors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The 10th Earl began rebuilding the Castle to designs by Robert Adam. This work was continued by Archibald (1770-1846), the 12th Earl, later the 1st Marquess of Ailsa. From about 1810 onwards he commissioned numerous structures, both practical and ornamental, and several important architects and landscape designers were engaged to embellish the gardens and grounds with ponds, gates, lodges and pavilions, resulting in several key works of the Picturesque era. The 3rd Marquess undertook the modernisation and enlargement of the Castle in the 1870s. In 1945, the 5th Marquess of Ailsa divided the property, making over the Castle, and the policies immediately surrounding it, to the National Trust for Scotland.

Thomas White (1736-1811) was a pupil of the landscape architect Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, the influential advocate of the naturalistic designed parkland. White started up in practice on his own account in County Durham, advising country gentlemen on estate improvement. He made frequent visits to Scotland from about 1770 and was involved with the landscape design of numerous estates there, including the grounds of Airthrey, now the University of Stirling campus, Buchanan Castle, Champfleurie and Scone Palace, as well as Culzean. His son Thomas (1764-1836) continued the practice after his father's death, including further work at Culzean.

Listed as as part of the Culzean Castle Estates Review 2010-11.

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