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Auchincruive, Oswald's Temple

Tea House (18th Century)

Site Name Auchincruive, Oswald's Temple

Classification Tea House (18th Century)

Alternative Name(s) Auchincruive Estate; Tea-house; West Of Scotland Agricultural College; Auchincruive Teahouse

Canmore ID 41726

Site Number NS32SE 6

NGR NS 38215 23702

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council South Ayrshire
  • Parish Ayr
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Kyle And Carrick
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS32SE 6 38215 23702

See also:

NS32SE 8.00 NS 38790 23453 Auchincruive

NS32SE 31 NS 38143 23484 Office Courtyard

(NS 3821 2370) Auchincruive Teahouse - known also as Oswald's Temple: a round, battlemented, folly built in 1778; Robert Adam, architect.

SDD List 1963

As described, Oswald's Temple being the accepted local name. Now within the grounds of West of Scotland Agricultural College. It is in a neglected condition; entry is barred.

Visited by OS (JRL) 5 November 1980.

Site Management (1 May 2003)

2-storey, circular-plan castellated tea house. Coursed sandstone ashlar. Ground floor bastion with 4 engaged towers terminating in crenellated parapets, parapets between missing in places, round-arched former doorways with radial voussoirs, now bricked up. Circular tea room set back from parapets to 1st floor, 12-bay round-arched arcade, predominantly blind with 4 small-pane timber-framed window and door openings above ground floor entrance openings, tooled stone grotesque paterae centred in each arch; corbelled machicolated cornice under crenellated parapet; conical slate roof with spherical finial.

The Auchincruive Estate was owned by the Wallace family in the 13th century. There were a variety of owners until the 18th century when James Murray of Broughton sold it to Richard Oswald, entrepreneur and merchant, in 1764. The estate remained in the Oswald family until 1925, when they sold it to a local farmer John M Hannah, who gifted it to the West of Scotland Agricultural College in 1927, under whose ownership it remains (1999). The original formal landscape at Auchincruive dates from the 18th century, however this is now vastly reduced and was remodelled circa 1830. The tea pavilion by Robert Adam is one of the few survivals from the 18th century landscape, although it has suffered from subsidence due to mining. Oswald's Temple, which was supposedly modelled on the mausoleum of the Emperor Theodoric at Ravenna (which Adam visited in 1755) is an exceptionally fine tea pavilion. The lower floor is a servants room, enclosed by a circular corridor which was originally entered from the four round arched doorways between the turrets, now bricked up. The upper floor was the tea room, with balcony over the circular corridor. Robert Adam's drawing shows a external double staircase leading to the balcony, however this does not appear to have been built, and instead there is a simple stair from within the corridor.(Historic Scotland)


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