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Monkton, Monktonhead House, Including Well Building in Garden

A Category B Listed Building in Kyle, South Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.5255 / 55°31'31"N

Longitude: -4.6027 / 4°36'9"W

OS Eastings: 235802

OS Northings: 628831

OS Grid: NS358288

Mapcode National: GBR 3B.SYJF

Mapcode Global: WH3QN.8CGX

Entry Name: Monkton, Monktonhead House, Including Well Building in Garden

Listing Date: 9 October 2013

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 401797

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52092

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Monkton and Prestwick

County: South Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Kyle

Parish: Monkton And Prestwick

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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James Miller, 1910-11. 2-storey, roughly 6-bay, asymmetric, gabled Arts and Crafts villa with half-timbered, gabled entrance porch and prominent chimney stacks. Render to ground, hanging red tiles to upper storey. Deep bracketed eaves; bargeboards. Quadripartite, tripartite and bipartite window openings.

NW (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: asymmetrical. Off-centre, advanced, full-height, half-timbered gabled entrance porch; brick and timber to ground. Tudor-arched entrance opening; herringbone bond brick pattern set in timber panels to sides; panelled, part-glazed timber entrance door to interior. Small oriel window to gable above. Half-timbered bay to right; advanced gable to far right with exposed brick chimney breast and stack; small window to ground. Multi-pane stair window to left; projecting double-gabled bays to further left; advanced further bay to far left with lower outer bay.

SE (GARDEN) ELEVATION: largely symmetrical to 4 bays at right with advanced piended gables at outer bays. Covered recessed terrace at ground with square timber posts and moulded cornice; central 4-light window opening; part-glazed timber entrance doors to right and left. Outer bays with canted 4-light windows to ground. Recessed bay to far left with canted 5-light windows and lower outer bay.

Predominantly multi-pane timber casement windows; some non-traditional replacements. Piended roof; some gabled bays; red roof tiles. Cast-iron rainwater goods. Prominent, tall, wallhead, and mid-roof brick stacks with deep, funnelled chimney heads.

INTERIOR: (partially seen, 2012). Original layout to house largely extant. Fine decorative scheme with extensive timber panelling. Timber panelling to entrance and main hall. Open-well timber staircase with barley-sugar twist balusters and carved figurative newel. Some decorative plasterwork to ceilings; timber fire surrounds; one with surrounding timber panelling. 6-panel timber doors.

WELL BUILDING IN GARDEN: TO SW: Dated 1909. Cylindrical building with slated conical roof and rectangular entrance. Harled rubble with ashlar margins. Carved bee motif above entrance with motto NON SIBI. Circular window opening to rear.

Statement of Interest

This is a fine example of a domestic Arts and Crafts house designed by a major early 20th century Scottish architect and is prominently situated on a hillside within in its own grounds. The house has a number of fine Arts and Crafts details, including the red hanging tiles, prominent chimney stacks and half-timbering to its entrance elevation. The porch is a distinctive and finely detailed feature of the property and adds to its interest. Internally, the house has a number of fine decorative details including extensive timber panelling in the hall and stair well.

Monktonhead House has been influenced by the domestic work of Richard Norman Shaw, one of the pre-eminent architects of the early 20th century, whose use of vernacular details such as the hanging tiles and half-timbering influenced the building of many suburban houses. Internally, his houses often had good decorative detailing in natural materials and this is echoed here in the expanse of timber panelling and open-well staircase. A living-hall space was a particular feature of his houses of the period as they provided a welcoming space which could also be used for relaxing. The style was, however, less commonly used in Scotland, which adds to the interest of Monktonhead house.

The carved erect bee with the motto Non Sibi above is the motto of the Connell family, for who, the house was built. The motto on the translates as "not for self".

The house was designed for Kenneth Connal, a wealthy shipbuilder and is one of a number of large houses in the area, set within their own grounds which were built for wealthy businessmen, predominantly from Glasgow to provide them with a country retreat.

The former service area of the property formed a courtyard to the north east of the house. This no longer exists. A circular building with a conical roof lies to the west of the house and marks the site of a well. It is dated 1909 and is contemporary with the house.

James Miller (1860-1947) was born in Perthshire although most of his work was completed from his practice in Glasgow. He was one of Scotland's most accomplished and innovative early 20th century architects and his work was extensive. He was the architect for the Caledonian Railway Company and designed a number of railway stations throughout Scotland, including the one at Wemyss Bay (see separate listing). He also designed for a number of large Scottish companies and industries, as well as private, country house work and smaller projects.

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