Blairquhan House

Country House

Site Name Blairquhan House

Classification Country House

Alternative Name(s) Blairquhan Castle

Canmore ID 41501

Site Number NS30NE 2

NGR NS 36531 05468

Datum OSGB36 - NGR

Ordnance Survey licence number 100020548. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council South Ayrshire
  • Parish Straiton (kyle And Carrick)
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Kyle And Carrick
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS30NE 2.00 36531 05468

(NS 3653 0546) Blairquhan (NAT)

OS 6" map (1910)

Blairquhan was rebuilt in 1824 almost on the site of the old Castle of Blairquhan, a considerable part of which was built about 1570, although McWhirter's Tower was some centuries older. Old windows and mouldings are preserved in the kitchen court of the modern mansion.

New Statistical Account (NSA) 1845; A H Millar 1885; R Bryden 1915

Blairquhan is a large modern mansion. As stated above, old windows and mouldings are visible in the kitchen courtyard (NS 3656 0547), but are no doubt insertions from the earlier castle, upon the site of which the present mansion stands.

Visited by OS (JD) 22 November 1955

No change to the previous field report.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 6 September 1968

No further information.

Visited by OS (MJF) 7 October 1980

Visible on aerial photographs taken by RCAHMS (1977) and CUCAP (1980).

Architecture Notes

NS30NE 2.00 36531 05468

NS30NE 2.01 35873 05257 Girvan Lodge

NS30NE 2.02 36733 05496 Ice-house

NS30NE 2.03 37387 05299 Near Lodge

NS30NE 2.04 36781 05333 Greenhouse

NS30NE 2.05 36908 05367 Garden Cottage

NS30NE 2.06 36616 05482 Stables

NS30NE 2.07 36951 05477 Kennels

NS30NE 2.08 35251 08033 Blairquhan/Ayr Lodge


Architect Robert Wallace - 1818 design for new house - not executed

James Gillespie Graham 1813 & 1814 - reconstruction of old house - not executed

William Burn 1824

Blairquhan Drawings

A collection of working drawings for Blairquhan House by William Burn 1824. Deposited on indefinate loan by Sir James Hunter Blair Bt.

William Burn design with strong Tudor-Gothic elements.

Photographed on behalf of the Buildings of Scotland series (2009).


Aerial Photography (1 May 2007)

Watching Brief (12 May 2014 - 14 May 2014)

Archaeological monitoring work was carried out at Blairquhan Castle during the digging of drains carried out in association with the laying of a new resin surface in the castle forecourt. A linear stone foundation was identified approximately 16m west of the south western corner of the main castle building (between NS 36498 05449 and NS 36493 05448) which was orientated in a north-south direction. The structure lay within a linear cut which measured 0.5m in length, 1.58m wide and 0.4m deep, extending further beyond the baulks to both the north and south. The structure itself measured 1.22m wide and 0.4m thick and rested on a lining of blue grey clay which had a thickness range of 0.06-0.2m. It consisted of 1-2 courses which were visible in section and partially in plan. The stones used in the construction were rounded and unworked measuring up to 0.4-0.5m in extent and laid with the flatter edges forming an almost straight edge on the southern side. The bonding material consisted of a mix of lumps of clay similar to the lining and a dark grey sandy material. This foundation may be part of the original medieval castle, a Kennedy stronghold which dates to 1346 and which is said to be located under the lawn sitting to the immediate south of the forecourt. Alternatively, it may represent the remains of a barmkin wall added to the castle in 1573. Walls in other medieval castle sites in the south of Scotland, such as at Buckholm in Selkirkshire, have been shown to have similar dimensions and composition as the foundation remains at Blairquhan so it seems more likely that the remains were from the later barmkin.

Information from OASIS ID: rathmell1-178011 (T Rees) 2014


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