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Beith, 62 Eglinton Street

A Category B Listed Building in Beith, North Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.7498 / 55°44'59"N

Longitude: -4.6362 / 4°38'10"W

OS Eastings: 234639

OS Northings: 653866

OS Grid: NS346538

Mapcode National: GBR 39.BWMD

Mapcode Global: WH2NB.RQGZ

Entry Name: Beith, 62 Eglinton Street

Listing Date: 14 April 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 331336

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB892

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Beith

County: North Ayrshire

Parish: Beith

Locality: Kilbirnie and Beith

Traditional County: Ayrshire

Description

Circa 1830. Imposing 2-storey 3-bay classical villa with Grecian details; subdivided circa 1970. Base course; outer pilasters supporting entablature with mutuled cornice. Central timber panelled door in reeded architrave with rosettes to corner blocks; margin-paned letterbox fanlight; prominent doorpiece with consoled cornice surmounted by pediment and acroterian. Windows to ground floor corniced with reeded architraves and rosettes to corner blocks; 1st floor windows with moulded architraves. Painted ashlar.

N (REAR) ELEVATION: 2 storeys over basement; irregular fenestration. Central stone stair to ground floor, open string with 'S' brackets, plain cast-iron railings and handrail; 2-leaf timber outer door within corniced architrave; margin-paned letterbox fanlight. Random sandstone rubble with raised window margins.

Ill-fitting uPVC glazing throughout (photograph of 1979 shows original 12-pane timber sash and case windows). Grey slates; stone ridge; straight skews; coped ashlar end stacks (no original cans).

BOUNDARY WALLS AND GATEPIERS: low coped ashlar wall to front with square Gothic-panelled piers; fan motifs to caps.

RUINED CHAPEL: roofless single storey chapel with Gothic details; 5 bays to N, 2 to W; Gothic-arched doorway, similar window openings to W elevation. Stugged and snecked sandstone with polished, raised margins and eaves course. Steps to door with 'S' brackets.

INTERIOR: Hall: partition wall dividing symmetrical plan; distinctive timber panelled doors with 8 fields, those to front ground rooms within pilastered doorcases with entablatures; panelled recess to L and R in hall with similar entablatures; panelled doors to rear stair and stores; remnants of anthemion and palmette cornice; consoled depressed arch. Former dining room: chair rail; garland frieze; pilastered, entablatured doorcase and panelled door with bead-moulded fields; chimneypiece in greyish green stone; 2 further doors with matching doorcases and doors to N wall. Stair: timber Imperial stair rising from 2 parallel flights into 1 broad flight to 1st floor (now divided). Master bedroom (1st floor): chair rail; built-in wardrobe with pilastered, entablatured doorcase, 2 pairs of 2-leaf panelled doors (2 leaves now mirrored); upper panels carved with mythical scene; fitted drawers within. Small bedroom: chair rail; timber pilastered chimneypiece with cast-iron insert. Bedroom: grey marble chimneypiece (later hearth).

Statement of Interest

Eglinton Street was formerly known as the Whang or Whang Street and the ground to the rear was the Whang meadows. The plot of land at No 62 was feued in 1826 from Lady Mary Montgomerie by Robert Spier, solicitor in Beith. Spier owned Cuff estate and through his marriage to Margaret Gibson acquired the estate of Marshalland. Robert and Margaret Spier¿s son John predeceased them but his eventual legacy was the foundation through an endowment of Spier¿s School built 1888 (since demolished). In 1870 Margaret died and Whang House was purchased by by Thomas Miller.

The house is large in scale in comparison to many of the contemporary villas in the street. Set back from the pavement with the low wall and decorative gatepiers, the house is unusual in Eglinton Street for this reason where others abut the pavement. The house has clearly been fine in its heyday though not all of the internal features survive (the building suffered from dry rot). The remaining high quality woodwork and evidence of fashionable cornicing illustrate that the client and builder were aware of prevailing tastes. The two surviving chimneypieces in the house are plain but conform to the classical language more fully expressed in the rest of the house, in particular the façade and the doorcases. The small chapel in the grounds to the rear was apparently for the family¿s private use and may be contemporary with the house. 60 Eglinton Street (separately listed) is thought to have been used as the coachhouse for Whang House.

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