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Gatend, Byre

A Category B Listed Building in Beith, North Ayrshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 55.7211 / 55°43'15"N

Longitude: -4.6168 / 4°37'0"W

OS Eastings: 235737

OS Northings: 650621

OS Grid: NS357506

Mapcode National: GBR 3B.DMJJ

Mapcode Global: WH3PP.1GTH

Entry Name: Gatend, Byre

Listing Date: 31 March 2004

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 397336

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB49731

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Beith

County: North Ayrshire

Parish: Beith

Locality: Dalry and West Kilbride

Traditional County: Ayrshire

Description

Circa 1735. Single storey and attic byre at right angles to Gatend farmhouse, prominently sited at right angles to road S from Barrmill. Coursed sandstone rubble with dressed ashlar margins; ashlar eaves course, straight skews and scrolled skewputts. Cast-iron tie plates below wallhead. Cheese press stone in re-entrant angle.

NE ELEVATION: door to centre L; slit; cartshed opening (modern metal doors) with timber lintel to outer L.

SW ELEVATION: slit; partially blocked opening (brick infill) to centre, polished and droved ashlar lintel; smaller, lower blocked opening to R (old rubble infill) with roughly hewn lintel; slit.

NW GABLE: slit to attic; carved stones 'HK MW', '173?' (see Notes).

SE GABLE: large, tall opening (partially brick infilled) with timber lintel (may be later enlargement ?); blocked slit to attic.

INTERIOR: concrete byre divisions; rubble partition wall at NW end forming cartshed and hayloft.

Corrugated sheet metal roof, originally slated (some greyish-blue slates remain inside, 2003).

Statement of Interest

Dobie gives an account of the original owners, the Kerrs of Gatend: 'Hugh Kerr, designed portioner of Crummock, feud in 1663 from Hugh, Earl of Eglintoun, with consent of Alexander, Lord Montgomerie, his eldest son, a one-merk land of the lands of Drumbowie, part of the barony of Giffin, afterwards excambied, in 1665, for the adjoining one merk land of Drumbowie called the Gatend. Gatend continued with his family in direct descent down to Hugh Kerr above mentioned, whose death occurred 9th August, 1818. Followed by that of his wife on the 19th. They left a large family, and the property was sold in 1824 by his eldest son, the above mentioned William Kerr. Three of the sons 'William, Robert and Hugh emigrated to America and realised handsome fortunes. William Kerr purchased Cuninghamehead, where he afterward resided, and died in 1853, leaving an only child, Richard, who succeeded him.' (Cuninghame Topographized, p280)

Stone 'marriage' lintels set above two farmhouse doors indicate three probable phases of building at Gatend. The first, inscribed '16 WK EC 91', may be re-cut but relates to William Kerr and his wife (not known). The second inscribed 'HK MW 1740' relates to Hugh Kerr and his wife (not known). The third lintel is inscribed 'GATEND REBUILT 1934 AG IH', relating to a further change of ownership and signifies Andrew Gillies and his wife Isobel Howie. It was at this date that the farmhouse was considerably remodelled, most likely from a 3-bay single storey farmhouse with wings on either side, to its present state by raising the roof, adding the dormers and giving a pebbledash finish. The bipartite windows and the glazed porch also date from this period (the uPVC glazing detracts further from the original character but shows the pattern of upper small-pane glazing of the former 1930s timber sash and case windows). The original form of the farmhouse would have been more akin to Hessilhead for example, (separately listed) with its linear formation of single storey house and connecting byre and barn. A further carved stone is on the north west gable of the byre and again refers to William Kerr and his wife. The date is 173? and may refer to their marriage whereas the stone of 1740 may relate to their completion of the new farmhouse.

Gatend byre, with its smart straight skews, scrolled skewputts and originally slate rather than thatch roof, is an example of an early improved agricultural building. It would likely have replaced a more vernacular form, less structured in design and in lesser quality materials. The slated roof would have been far more expensive than a thatched one indicating increased productivity. Situated in the heart of dairy country, Gatend would have produced milk and cheese, hence the cheese press stone. The byre still contains its divisions to contain the cows, however these date from the mid 20th century; the slit 'windows' are for ventilation. The exterior of the byre was probably finished in lime harl but this has weathered away over time and the original lime mortar between the joints is exposed. Farm buildings are subject to change as agricultural methods develop or die out but Gatend byre remains relatively unaltered and its circa 1735 date makes it a rare survival. Evidence from the Ordnance Survey map of 1858 suggests a circular horse-engine house (containing a horse-powered mill) stood against the south west elevation.

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