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43 Titchfield Street, Kilmarnock

A Category C Listed Building in Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.6061 / 55°36'22"N

Longitude: -4.4975 / 4°29'50"W

OS Eastings: 242767

OS Northings: 637555

OS Grid: NS427375

Mapcode National: GBR 3G.MYGN

Mapcode Global: WH3Q9.WCJ3

Plus Code: 9C7QJG43+F2

Entry Name: 43 Titchfield Street, Kilmarnock

Listing Name: 43 Titchfield Street (former headquarters of the 4th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers), Kilmarnock

Listing Date: 1 August 2002

Last Amended: 25 May 2016

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 405995

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB48786

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Kilmarnock

County: East Ayrshire

Town: Kilmarnock

Electoral Ward: Kilmarnock West and Crosshouse

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Description

43 Titchfield Street was designed by Gabriel Andrew & Son in 1914 and is a 3-storey, 3-bay, L-plan, castellated former Battalion headquarters with crow-stepped gables and a squared, battlemented tower at the northeast corner. It is situated on a corner site at the north end of a row of tenement buildings. The front section is constructed of bull-faced red Ballochmyle sandstone with ashlar dressings and with red brick construction for the rear section. There is a deep, battered base course. The second and third storeys of the east (front) elevation outer bays have projecting, battlemented, squared bays with tripartite windows.

The Titchfield Street (east) elevation has a central architraved doorway with a part-glazed timber panelled door and a fanlight above and there are flanking wide, round-arched window openings with moulded architraves.

The windows are predominantly non-traditional replacement and there is a piended, grey slate roof and cast iron rainwater goods.

The interior of the ground floor was partially seen in 2015. This is currently a restaurant and there are no apparent features of special architectural interest.

Statement of Interest

43 Titchfield Street dates from 1914 and was designed by the Kilmarnock architect Gabriel Andrew & Son as the Headquarters of the 4th Battalion of Royal Scots Fusiliers. The building has a distinctive battlemented tower on the northeast corner. This, the crow stepped gables and battlemented window bays gives the building a military appearance which relates to its original function and distinguishes it from the other surrounding red sandstone tenements. The building has some decorative detailing to the front elevation in the moulded architraves around the ground floor windows.

The building was commissioned by Colonel Barnett, the commander at the time and was built as offices and recreation facilities. The plans for the site also included a caretaker's house to the northwest and a single storey drill hall at the rear of the building, running adjacent to the riverbank. Local information suggests that this drill hall was not built, but there is a possible drill hall marked on the 1940 Ordnance Survey map.

The 4th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers was a territorial battalion, formed of volunteers, based at Kilmarnock. The battalion saw a substantial amount of action in the First World War, including at Gallipoli. Territorial battalions were formed of volunteers from the area in which they were based, in this case Kilmarnock.

Gabriel Andrew (1851-1933) was the architect of many commercial buildings in Kilmarnock and was the retained architect of Johnnie Walker & Sons, a whisky distiller and prominent business in Kilmarnock in the late 19th and early 20th century. Andrew had practised in Kilmarnock for many years, being based originally in East George Street before moving into a building he designed for Walker & Sons in Croft Street. He then moved to Portland Street, with his then partner William Newlands. By 1910, however, he was based in Walker's Bank Street office building but in partnership with his son.

In the late 1850s there was concern in the British Government about the Army's ability to defend both the home nation as well as the Empire. Britain's military defences were stretched and resources to defend Britain needed to be found. One solution was to create 'Volunteer Forces', a reserve of men who volunteered for part-time military training similar to that of the regular army and who could therefore help to defend Britain if the need arose.

In 1859 the Rifle Volunteer Corps was formed and the Volunteer Act of 1863 provided more regulation on how the volunteer forces were run and it set out the standards for drills and a requirement for annual inspections. Most purpose-built drill halls constructed at this time were paid for by a major local landowner, the subscriptions of volunteers, local fundraising efforts or a combination of all three. The Regulations of the Force Act 1871 (known as the Cardwell Reforms after the Secretary of State for War, Edward Cardwell) gave forces the legal right to acquire land to build a drill hall and more purpose-built drill halls began to be constructed after this date. The largest period of drill hall construction, aided by government grants, took place between 1880 and 1910. The Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907 (known as the Haldane Reforms after the Secretary of State for War, Richard Haldane) came into force in 1908 and the various Volunteer Units were consolidated to form the Territorial Force. The construction of drill halls largely ceased during the First World War and in 1920 the Territorial Force became the Territorial Army.

In the 20th century changes in warfare and weaponry made many of the earlier drill halls redundant and subject to demolition or change to a new use. Around 344 drill halls are believed to have been built in Scotland of which 182 are thought to survive today, although few remain in their original use. Drill halls are an important part of our social and military history. They tell us much about the development of warfare and the defending of our country. They also, unusually for a nationwide building programme, were not standardised and were often designed by local architects in a variety of styles and they also have a part to play in the history of our communities.

The requirements for drill halls were basic – a large covered open space to train and drill as well as a place for the secure storage of weapons. The vast majority of drill halls were modest utilitarian structures. Most drill halls conformed to the pattern of an administrative block containing offices and the armoury to store weapons along with a caretaker or drill instructors accommodation, usually facing the street. To the rear would be the drill hall itself. Occasionally more extensive accommodation was required, such as for battalion headquarters where interior rifle ranges, libraries, billiards rooms, lecture theatres and bars could all be included.

Statutory address and listed building record revised in 2016 as part of the Drill Halls Listing Review 2015-16. Previously listed as '43 Titchfield Street, Former Headquarters of the 4th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers'.

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