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Ardgowan Square, Ardgowan Club Including Boundary Walls, Railings and Gatepiers

A Category C Listed Building in Greenock, Inverclyde

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Latitude: 55.9516 / 55°57'5"N

Longitude: -4.7679 / 4°46'4"W

OS Eastings: 227275

OS Northings: 676631

OS Grid: NS272766

Mapcode National: GBR 0C.Y2VL

Mapcode Global: WH2M9.QNST

Plus Code: 9C7QX62J+JR

Entry Name: Ardgowan Square, Ardgowan Club Including Boundary Walls, Railings and Gatepiers

Listing Date: 31 October 2013

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 401904

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52107

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Greenock

County: Inverclyde

Town: Greenock

Electoral Ward: Inverclyde North

Traditional County: Renfrewshire

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1926. Single storey, 8-bay, largely symmetrical, Arts and Crafts bowling and tennis pavilion with verandah and distinctive hexagonal corner bays. Concrete render; raised cills. Deep overhanging eaves with exposed rafters. Some tri- and bipartite window openings.

SE (FRONT) ELEVATION: raised, canted corniced central bay extending above wallhead with tripartite window opening; small clock above. Flanked by 3-bay segmental-arched verandahs, bays separated with timber columns. To right; off-centre, part-glazed timber 2-leaf entrance doors; 4-light fanlight above. Advanced, hexagonal corner bays with bell-cast, finialled roofs. Some decorative timber balustrading to right.

SW ELEVATION: asymmetrical. 5-bays. Steps lead to off-centre segmental-arched porch with recessed part-glazed timber entrance door.

All windows replaced: some 6-pane over plate glass sash and case windows; others non-traditional. Piended roof with grey slates; red ridge tiles. Corniced ridge stacks with red cans.

BOUNDARY WALLS, RAILINGS AND GATEPIERS: to N, S, E and W. Low coped boundary wall, surmounted by decorative iron railings; canted at each corner. Pairs of square-plan, capped gatepiers and each corner.

INTERIOR: (seen 2012). Original room layout largely extant. Large main room with raised segmental-arched central section. Some simple decorative cornicing.

Statement of Interest

This is a distinctive, little externally altered, Arts and Crafts bowling and tennis pavilion with prominent hexagonal corner bays. The pavilion is situated in a residential area of Greenock, overlooking its bowling greens and tennis courts and is a good example of an early 20th century pavilion. The internal hall is notable for its unusual ceiling.

The Ardgowan Club began in 1841, when a group of local men decided that a recreational site was required in Greenock and is one of the oldest clubs in Scotland. The current two acre site was donated to the club by local landowner Patrick Maxwell Stewart. Initially, the land was laid out with a bowling green, a curling pond and an area for playing quoits. Gardens with walks also surrounded the areas. Gradually, the layout of the square was altered and there are currently two bowling greens and four tennis courts.

The original brick clubhouse was built in 1860 and was replaced in 1906. The current clubhouse was built in 1926 and the committee decided that it should not have fitted lockers.

Tennis was introduced here in 1875, but the Tennis club itself not formed until 1891.

The balustrade in front of the clubhouse was gifted by Andrew Inglis in 1927.

Lawn bowls today is a hugely popular sport in Scotland, however, it has a long and distinguished history with the earliest reference to the game in Scotland appearing in 1469 when James IV played a variation of the game referred to as 'lang bowlis' at St Andrews in Fife. The first public bowling green in Scotland was laid out in 1669 at Haddington, near Edinburgh, however it was not until 1864 that the rules of the modern game were committed to writing by William Mitchell of Glasgow in his Manual of Bowls Playing. Machine manufactured standard bowls were invented by Thomas Taylor Ltd, also of Glasgow, in 1871 and the Scottish Bowling Association was formed in 1892. Today there are around 900 clubs in Scotland with an estimated 90,000 active lawn bowls players.

Modern lawn tennis was established in 1874 with Major Walter Wingfield who developed a new style of the game and a new type of court. Previous to this, real tennis had been played. The Wingfield version came to Scotland when James Pattern tested the new game outside at the Grange Cricket Ground in Edinburgh around 1874 and it soon became the version which was preferred by players.

Listed as part of the sporting buildings thematic study (2012-13).

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