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Lainshaw House

Country House (Period Unassigned), Tower House (Medieval)(Possible)

Site Name Lainshaw House

Classification Country House (Period Unassigned), Tower House (Medieval)(Possible)

Alternative Name(s) Langschaw; Lainshaw Old People's Home

Canmore ID 42917

Site Number NS44NW 5

NGR NS 41017 45269

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council East Ayrshire
  • Parish Stewarton
  • Former Region Strathclyde
  • Former District Kilmarnock And Loudoun
  • Former County Ayrshire

Archaeology Notes

NS44NW 5.00 41017 45269

NS44NW 5.01 NS 40979 45370 Stables

(NS 4101 4526) Lainshaw (NAT)

OS 6" map (1970)

Lainshaw, formerly Langschaw, was the baronial castle of Stewarton, and was described by Pont in 1608 as 'a stronge old Dunijon'. Of the original building, only one large square tower remains.

A H Millar 1885

The remains of Lainshaw Castle are incorporated in the present mansion, which has the appearance of being of 18th century date. In the attic, behind a modern plaster and lath wall, can be seen a stone corbelled turret of the earlier building, and on the ground floor is a wall 7 1/2 ft thick. The exterior of the tower is now ashlar faced, and appears to have been extensively altered during the construction of the present house, which is now owned by Ayrshire County Council and is used as an old people's home.

Visited by OS (DS) 30 July 1956

Lainshaw dates from the early 19th century, and was added to in the later mid-19th century. The greater part of the mansion was built by Walter Cunninghame of Lainshaw, who died in 1849.

SDD List 1962

Only a detailed architectural inspection can determine if there are any early tower remains incorporated in the present house, which, externally, appears entirely of 19th century fabric. No inspection of the atated attic turret was possible (the present turrets on the central block are ornamental), and a brief investigation of the complex ground floor walling showed nothing conclusive.

Lainshaw remains an old people's home; no plan of the building was available.

Visited by OS (JRL) 25 October 1982

NS 410 452 A programme of targeted archaeological investigative works was undertaken between October 2005 and January 2006 on the grounds of Lainshaw House in respect to proposed development by Travis Homes Ltd. The evaluation consisted of 12 trenches targeting areas of interest within the grounds of Lainshaw House. A representative sample of all of the uncovered features with archaeological potential was investigated. A number of relatively recent or modern drainage features of no archaeological significance were recovered or identified. These features included tile and rubble drains and drainage ditch.

In addition, a programme of historic building recording was undertaken on the remains of a late medieval tower house within the fabric of Lainshaw House. The remaining fabric of the tower house includes most of the ground floor walls and the SE wall face to a height of over 11m. Various architectural features are still visible, especially two small ground floor windows and a larger third floor window with roll moulding.

The tower house had been extensively disturbed through various building works from the 17th to the 20th centuries. Several doorways have been forced through the surviving walls, providing access to later structural additions, with those that latterly became redundant being blocked off. Three different rooflines are also evident on the remaining SE wall face. There is little sound dating evidence for the origin of this structure, but it most probably dates from between the late 15th to early 16th century. The remains of the tower house will be preserved in situ within the remodelled Lainshaw House.

Report to WoSAS and archive to NMRS.

Sponsor: Travis Homes Ltd.

Douglas Gordon, 2006.

Architecture Notes


OWNER: Ayrshire County Council

BUILT: circa 1780.


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