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Home Farm Dairy, Cawdor Estate, Cawdor

A Category C Listed Building in Cawdor, Highland

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Latitude: 57.524 / 57°31'26"N

Longitude: -3.9227 / 3°55'21"W

OS Eastings: 284950

OS Northings: 849839

OS Grid: NH849498

Mapcode National: GBR J8PV.1VJ

Mapcode Global: WH4GF.Q47T

Entry Name: Home Farm Dairy, Cawdor Estate, Cawdor

Listing Date: 6 December 2016

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 406552

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB52414

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Cawdor

County: Highland

Local Authority Ward: Nairn and Cawdor

Parish: Cawdor

Traditional County: Nairnshire

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Late 19th century, single storey, 3-bay, symmetrical purpose-built estate dairy building located to the east of Cawdor Home Farm. It is built in sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings. It has a jerkin-head roof with exposed timber eaves and ornamental ironwork finials at each end of the roof ridge. The roof is slated with a timber louvered ventilator at the centre with a pyramidal cap and a further ornamental finial. There are paired windows in the gable ends.

Statement of Interest

The Cawdor Home Farm Dairy is a small and architecturally distinguished example of a later 19th century dairy associated with a large country estate home farm. The exterior of the building has not been significantly altered and its design, with a jerkin headed roof and ornamental ironwork indicates its original function.

Age and Rarity

The dairy building at the Cawdor Home Farm is shown on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map (revised 1904) and the footprint of the building remains the same as that shown on this map. The building is not depicted on the 1st Edition 6 inch Ordnance Survey map, surveyed in 1870, so it is likely to have built between 1870 and 1900. The 1st Earl of Cawdor and his son oversaw a series of works at the castle and estate between 1827 and 1884. The building remains part of the Cawdor estate and is currently no longer in use as a dairy.

The mid-18th century saw the beginning of widespread changes in farming methods leading to new approaches in the layout of farm buildings on an ordered plan. Regardless of estate size, the drive towards agricultural improvement led to wholesale change in the design of stables, cattle courts and dairies, for both practical and aesthetic reasons. The second half of the 19th century increasingly saw the construction of separate dairies (Glendinning et al, p.90) with vents in the wall and roof to promote air circulation and where possible, surfaces were kept cold and hygienic with the use of marble, decorated wall tiles and flagstones floors. A water fountain was sometimes used as a centrepiece to help keep the room cool. Dairies tended to be more architecturally ornamental than the rest of the farm, particularly those associated with larger country estates, and often had a distinct architectural style.

Good, little-altered examples of purpose-built dairies or creameries associated with estate home farms are rare. The Cawdor Home Farm Dairy is a small but notable, purpose-built estate dairy building associated with the Cawdor Home Farm. Its location, external detailing and jerkin headed roof all serve to convey its former function as a dairy.

Architectural or Historic Interest


The interior was not seen (2016). Highland Council's Historic Environment Record indicates that the building retains original internal features relating to its former use as a dairy, which would add to the interest. The building is currently unused (2016).

Plan form

The compact, square plan form is not uncommon for small home farm dairies associated with country estates, although listed examples of this building type are circular, hexagonal or octagonal in plan. Most have a single room, as is understood to be the case at Cawdor.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

The design of the building with its jerkin-headed roof and ventilator cap and ornamental ironwork finials identifies this building as a former estate dairy and the exterior of the building appears to survive largely unaltered. The dairy tended to be among the most decorative or ornamentally embellished buildings within later 19th century home farms or improvement farms, particularly those associated with aristocratic estates. The timberwork is painted red, a colour used on many buildings across the Cawdor Estate.


The dairy is a detached building located to the east of the home farm complex at Cawdor beside the former granary range (LB1732) and is an important component of this complex, which is situated to the west of Cawdor Castle. The setting has altered little since the dairy was constructed during the latter 19th century and shown on the on the 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey map (revised 1904).

Regional variations

There are no known regional variations.

Close Historical Associations

There are no known associations with a person or event of national importance at present (2016).

Other nearby listed buildings

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