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North Offices (former Stables and Coach House) to North West of Kelburn Castle, Kelburn Castle Estate, Fairlie

A Category C Listed Building in Largs, North Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.7714 / 55°46'16"N

Longitude: -4.8462 / 4°50'46"W

OS Eastings: 221563

OS Northings: 656782

OS Grid: NS215567

Mapcode National: GBR 31.9HC5

Mapcode Global: WH2N7.J6JF

Entry Name: North Offices (former Stables and Coach House) to North West of Kelburn Castle, Kelburn Castle Estate, Fairlie

Listing Date: 29 August 1985

Last Amended: 17 November 2016

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 406524

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB7297

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Largs

County: North Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: North Coast and Cumbraes

Parish: Largs

Traditional County: Ayrshire

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Description

Mid to late 18th century. Single storey and attic, L-plan stable and coach house with later additions, around 1880, to northeast forming a U-plan around a small open court to the rear. The building is located to the northwest of Kelburn Castle on the north approach drive. It is predominantly harled with exposed, raised ashlar margins and projecting, rusticated quoins and eaves course. The south elevation is a broadly symmetrical 7 bays with segmental, keystoned archways to outer bays. The arch to right has two-leaf timber panel doors and the arch to the left is infilled with windows. There are 3 gabled dormers set within the pitch of the roof. There are pedimented loft doors to the north and west courtyard elevations. The building has piended slate roofs, slightly swept towards the eaves, and ridge stacks. There are some replacement windows in uPVC plastic.

The interior, seen in 2016, retains timber horse stalls divided by cast iron columns and a timber panelled tack room. There is a cast iron fire place in the central attic room.

Statement of Interest

This 18th century former coach house and stable block at Kelburn Castle estate is an important component of the estate landscape. Prominently visible on the north approach drive to the castle, it was likely specifically designed to complement the other offices for Kelburn Castle to the south approach drive, which is now the Kelburn Castle visitor centre.

The largely symmetrical U-plan arrangement in a simplified classical style, with framing eaves margins and quoins, slightly swept roofs and pedimented loft doors is consistent with the design of other improvements made to the estate during the mid to late 18th century and shows the contemporary taste for classical architecture. The 1880 additions include the use of mass concrete in their construction and are a relatively early use of this material in an estate context.

Age and Rarity

The building is shown on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map, surveyed in 1856, occupying an L-plan footprint and is labelled as Stables . An additional wing was added to the northwest end circa 1880 and this is depicted on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map, surveyed in 1906. Similar work can be seen at the recessed arch porch to the rear of the circa 1880 additions to Kelburn Castle and may be the work of the same hand, possibly William Little. While alteration to the building include internal remodelling and external reconfiguring of openings, it continues to convey its intended function as a country estate ancillary stables and offices.

Stables and coach houses are important ancillary buildings of large estates while also being relatively common buildings within that context. The Kelburn estate has two 18th century stable ranges, one set on each approach drive to the castle from the north and from the south. The mid to late 18th century date of this former stable and coach house building is related to the estate improvements carried out at Kelburn during that period. Many large estate-built stables and/or coach houses are situated in relative close proximity to the main house. This particular example retains its largely symmetrical arrangement and classical form, built on an L-plan layout with pedimented loft doorways to the inner courtyard elevations to north and west, and rusticated quoins. The ground floor of the west wing contains 8 timber horse stalls, some with feeders. The upper level has been converted to form accommodation, possibly around 1880, and may have formerly housed a groom or coachman. The pedimented loft doors to the rear and the piended roofs are similar to those at the Kelburn Castle visitor centre (former home farm and stables – see separate listing).

Kelburn is among the oldest ancestral country seats in Scotland to have been continuously inhabited by successive generations of one family, having been in possession of the Boyle family (formerly de Boyville ) since the 12th century. Kelburn has a prominent coastal setting to the south of the town of Largs, with views from the castle across the Firth of Clyde to the Isles of Cumbrae and Bute and southwest to the Isle of Arran. The Kel Burn runs through the estate, passing through a wooded ravine and over a 15 metre high waterfall into a naturally carved pool to the southwest of the castle.

Architectural or Historic Interest

Interior

Some internal fixtures and fittings survive within the outer ranges. There is some survival of fabric including eight timber horse stalls divided by cast iron columns to the ground floor, adding to the interest in listing terms.

Plan form

The internal plan-form is typical of its building type and date. The plan has been altered with the addition of a further cart or coach arch recess in 1880. The west arch was also been altered around this time to create additional accommodation to the ground floor.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

The north office stables at Kelburn Castle follows a simplified classical design with paired-back detailing to the principal (west) elevation including keystones, projecting quoins and moulded pediments to the loft doorways. It is consistent with the design of other improvements made to the estate during the mid to late 18th century which also show the contemporary taste for classical architecture.

The ashlar margins and basket-arch former carriage openings and slightly swept, piended roofs are stylistically characteristic of classically-influenced steading and stable buildings of mid- to late-18th date in Scotland. Examples on a larger scale can be found at early improvement home farms and steading across the country estates. Following additions to the building in around 1880 there has been a number of changes to openings. The 1880 addition includes the use of mass concrete construction, and is an early use of this material in an estate ancillary building context. Similar work can be seen at the recessed arch porch to the rear of the circa 1880 additions to Kelburn Castle and may be the work of the same hand, possibly William Little.

Setting

Prominently visible on the north approach drive to the castle, the classically detailed building was designed to impress as well as being practical. The broadly symmetrical frontage with keystoned arches and slightly swept, piended roofs provides a counterpoint to the similar but more architecturally elaborate former stables and offices (now the Kelburn Castle visitor centre) on the south approach drive to the castle.

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations.

Close Historical Associations

None known at present. Kelburn is among the oldest country seats in Scotland to have been continuously inhabited by successive generations of one family, the Boyles.

Statutory address, category of listing changed from B to C and listed building record revised in 2016. Previously listed as Kelburn Cottages and Former Cartshed to North West of Mansion House .

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