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Ladies' Golf Clubhouse, Machrihanish Golf Club, Machrihanish

A Category B Listed Building in Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 55.423 / 55°25'22"N

Longitude: -5.7319 / 5°43'54"W

OS Eastings: 163944

OS Northings: 620681

OS Grid: NR639206

Mapcode National: IRL XD.4D61

Mapcode Global: GBR DG7C.THS

Entry Name: Ladies' Golf Clubhouse, Machrihanish Golf Club, Machrihanish

Listing Date: 31 July 2014

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 402479

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52262

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Campbeltown

County: Argyll and Bute

Town: Campbeltown

Electoral Ward: South Kintyre

Traditional County: Argyllshire

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Attributed to H.E. Clifford, circa 1893 - 1896 (with slightly lower piend-roof addition circa 1940 to rear). Single storey, 3-bay, rectangular-plan ladies' golf club house at coastal location on raised ground opposite the first tee of the Machrihanish golf course, Kintyre. Timber veranda with decorative turned timber posts and bracketed eaves to north (entrance) elevation with central pediment over quadripartite canted window and recessed entrance to left corner angle. Good Edwardian golf club timber interior scheme. Coursed sandstone rubble. Shallow piended roof with raised roof ridge and end finials.

12-pane glazing to upper section of timber framed windows to front. Timber windows to side and rear. Grey graded slates. Cast iron downpipes.

INTERIOR: 70 timber lockers line the walls, relocated from the men's clubhouse in 1965. Fitted timber fire surround. Timber panelling to dado-height, panelled doors and beaded door surrounds throughout. Wide segmental archway through to rear extension. Terracotta and black floor tiles to vestibule.

Statement of Interest

The Machrihanish Ladies' Golf Clubhouse is a rare, early Ladies' Golf Club House in Scotland and an excellent and remarkably unaltered example of golf clubhouse architecture of the 1890s. The distinctive shallow-pitch roof and decorative timber veranda demonstrate a particularly good level of detail and the connection with the notable Glasgow architect H E Clifford adds further to its interest.

The core building is small, reflecting the period of construction. The 1940s piended roof extension to the building is built from the same material as the 1896 building with an internal segmental arch between the two sections. Early clubhouses were typically enlarged in stages as the popularity of the game increased throughout the 19th and 20th century. The central chimney stack seen in early 20th century photographs of the building is no longer extant. Otherwise there appears to have been little change to the character of the building since 1893.

Machrihanish was a fishing settlement known as Salt Pans, but golf has been the village's centre of focus for more than a century. Machrihanish Golf Club was established in 1876, with the ladies' club formed from 1890. The ladies' clubhouse was completed by 1896. The ladies' club became so popular that rules were introduced to restrict the number of guests who could be accommodated at one time. A small piended roof extension was added to the rear in the early 20th century. In 1967 the Ladies' Club became fully independent of the Men's Club, managing their own title and competitions.

Other examples of ladies' golf clubhouses in Scotland of the late 19th century that continue to function independently are relatively few. The earliest known Ladies' Club in Scotland is the Ladies' Golf Club of St Andrews (founded in 1867) who were restricted to using the putting course only at St Andrews. Carnoustie Ladies' Golf Club, inaugurated in 1873, is understood to be the oldest Ladies' Golf Club (with separate course from the men) in Scotland. The ladies' clubhouse at Carnoustie was built in 1895. The Ladies' Golf Club at Royal Troon was established in 1882 with their clubhouse (also by H E Clifford) built in 1897. The Lundin Ladies' Golf Club was formally constituted in 1891. Their 1891 clubhouse was remodelled following its relocation to a new course 20 years later.

H E Clifford achieved national fame with a number of high profile commissions in Glasgow and a line of renowned Edwardian private houses in the manner of Norman Shaw after 1900. He had close connections with the golfing world and also designed the original Machrihanish men's clubhouse in 1887 (demolished 1965). The present men's clubhouse, relocated to its current building in 1965, is adjacent to the ladies' clubhouse on slightly lower ground to the east.

Scotland is the birthplace of the modern game of golf played over 18 holes. The 'Articles and Laws in Playing Golf', a set of rules whose principles still underpin the game's current regulations, were penned in 1744 by the Company of Gentlemen Golfers (now The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers). Accompanying the development of the sport during the second half of the 19th century, architects sought to give form to a new building type, the clubhouse or 'nineteenth hole'. Improved transport links and increased leisure time as well as a rise in the middle classes increased the popularity of the sport with a notable peak in the early 1900s.

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