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Culzean Castle Estate,shore Boat House and Slipway

A Category C Listed Building in Kirkoswald, South Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.3545 / 55°21'16"N

Longitude: -4.7909 / 4°47'27"W

OS Eastings: 223164

OS Northings: 610262

OS Grid: NS231102

Mapcode National: GBR 43.4M59

Mapcode Global: WH2Q6.CPV2

Entry Name: Culzean Castle Estate,shore Boat House and Slipway

Listing Date: 2 November 2011

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 400779

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51828

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kirkoswald

County: South Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Girvan and South Carrick

Parish: Kirkoswald

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Description

3rd Marquess of Ailsa (attributed), 1871 (boat house) and 1882 (slipway). Single storey, rectangular-plan, boat house clad in vertically boarded timber, with concrete slipway, sited on shore beneath Culzean Castle.

BOAT HOUSE: N GABLE ELEVATION: timber double doors. Full-width fixed window, with 16 vertical panes above entrance. E, S, W ELEVATIONS: blind. Timber side door and short concrete lean-to buttresses on W. Timber-framed fixed-case window. Irregularly pitched roof covered with slates. INTERIOR (seen 2011): single chamber, raised platform to W and S. Timber columns on W. Exposed timber rafters and beams. Gracel floor.

SLIPWAY: flat concrete slipway extending from boat house to W.

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.

The Boat House was designed and erected as part of the last great phase of improvement at Culzean, undertaken by 3rd Marquess of Ailsa. A rare building type, its survival in unaltered form is remarkable, considering that it was mothballed in the 1880s. The 3rd Marquess was an enthusiastic yachtsman who was successful in numerous races. As well as designing his own boats, he is likely to have designed the boat house himself. He started a boat building and repair business in 1878, using this boat house, supplemented by engineering workshops installed in the new stables and within the Castle itself. As the business prospered it became the Culzean Shipbuilding and Engineering Company (1883), later the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company (1886). As orders for larger boats came in, the concrete slipway was built (1882). But with increasing demand a new shipbuilding yard was built at the more commodious harbour at Maidens.

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.

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

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