Circa 1833, with alterations circa 1900. 3-bay elevated single storey, attic and basement classical villa with Grecian details; 2 storeys and sub-basement on steeply sloping site to rear. Set back from street with cast-iron railed flying stair; cast-iron railings to street. Base course; band course between basement and ground; bays flanked by pilasters supporting entablature; panelled parapet (possibly later) and later dormers. Stuccoed façade with channelled rustication to basement; harled gables and rear; painted angle margins.
SE (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: pair of Doric columns in antis at entrance; recessed 2-leaf timber panelled door to vestibule with margin-paned letterbox fanlight above; modern glazed inner door; moulded Grecian surround with rosettes. Moulded architraves and sills to ground floor windows; 3 large aediculed dormers with bipartite windows and slated cheeks; central dormer with scrolled brackets and segmental pediment.
NW (REAR) ELEVATION: small arched blocked openings at sub-basement level flanking central stone steps. Central 2-leaf panelled door with modern glazed inner door; flanking narrow windows and segmental-arched panel above; bracketed cornice over. Flanking single windows with raised cills and bracketed cornices. Central stair window above; single window to right; later projecting piend-roofed oriel bay supported on 2 square columns to left.
BOUNDARY WALLS: rendered retaining wall to street at L and R.
ANCILLARY BUILDINGS: piend-roofed single storey rendered laundry annex to NE gable. Brick-built former stable attached to laundry; interior with red glazed tiles and 2 stalls divided by boarded timber with curved iron railings; posts capped with ball and leaf finals. Later brick-built 2-storey former coach house to N.
Plate glass in timber sash and case windows to ground and basement at front; timber sash and case 8-pane windows to dormers,12-pane timber sash and case to SW gable and rear; later bay to rear with plate glass lower sashes, 12-pane coloured upper sashes; painted glass 3-pane stair window to rear. Grey slates; straight skews; stone ridge; corniced end stacks; 14 hexagonal clay cans (all original).
INTERIOR: good decorative scheme in place. Entrance hall: acanthus leaf ceiling rose and cornice; panelled doors with 8 fields to principal rooms with architraved surrounds (panelled pilasters and continuous entablature); skirting and dado rail; impressive cantilevered stair (rising from lower ground to 1st floor) with elaborate cast-iron balustrade and mahogany hand rail; stair window with 3 panels of painted glass with Glasgow Style rose motifs and landscape vignette; small stained glass window at front door with Glasgow Style rose. Drawing room: dado, picture rail and cornice; entablatured doorcase; grey marble chimneypiece with cast-iron grate; fitted glazed timber cupboard with round-arched door; oriel bay flanked by pilasters. Former dining room: cornice with ornate anthemion and palmette frieze; picture rail and dado rail; pilastered and entablatured doorcase, corniced windows; carved oak Edwardian chimneypiece with fluted Ionic columns and floral panels above; red tiled hearth; cast-iron grate and brass hood. Small, plain rooms to front each with chimneypiece, press and plain moulded cornice. 2 plain attic bedrooms with small eaves room off to rear; bathroom to centre with match-boarded panelling and Vitriolite bath panels.
Statement of Special Interest
Eglinton Street, once known as the Whang, is the grandest street in Beith and mainly consists of mid 18th century tenements and 2-storey 3-bay early 19th century villas and tenements. Certainly No 76 is one of the finest villas here with its confident Grecian exterior. The land on this plot was feud to William King, writer and agent for Beith's branch of the Commercial Bank of Scotland, from Lady Mary Montgomerie in 1830. King had the option either 'to build up the whole front with sufficient two storey slated houses'(title deeds), their frontages aligned with the existing houses on each side, or 'to build only one two storey house in the villa stile [sic] and to lay off the ground neatly in front of the house inclose [sic] it on the side next to the street either with a wall or with a low wall and railing''(title deeds). The deeds stipulate that the 'aforesaid is to be completed in course of the year 1833'. If this condition was not met, the land would revert to the possession of Lady Montgomerie. Clearly, King opted for the villa style by building Hillside. The house passed to King's daughter and her husband, Janet and Robert Glasgow Brown, in 1870 and then to Hugh Brown, presumably their son, in 1895. King's Road in Beith is named after William King who is buried in the grounds of the Auld Kirk (separately listed) that he actively sought to restore (Reid p23).
Internally, the house is arranged in the typical classical fashion with a symmetrical plan around a central hall and stair. The principal rooms on the ground floor face the rear and overlook the extensive garden and countryside beyond. Parts of the interior were remodelled circa 1900 when the oriel bay of the drawing room was probably added. Other remodelling from this period includes the glazing in the stair window and vestibule; the addition of picture rails; and the plate glass sashes to the front elevation. The well-detailed dormers are also later additions, probably from the same period. The hall and dining room in particular, with their original plasterwork and woodwork, remain good examples of fashionable interior design of the 1830s.