Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing – see ‘About Listed Buildings’ below for more information.

11 and 13 Main Street (The Old Smugglers Inn), excluding 20th century flat roof extension to rear of 13 Main Street, AuchencairnLB17109

Status: Designated


Where documents include maps, the use of this data is subject to terms and conditions (


Date Added
Last Date Amended
Local Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
Planning Authority
Dumfries And Galloway
NX 79907 51465
279907, 551465


Late 18th century pair of 2- and 3-storey, 3-bay, rectangular plan houses converted to use as an inn and public house in the 19th century, set along a principal road in Auchencairn village. In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following is excluded from the listing: 20th century flat roof extension to rear of 13 Main Street.

The front (south) elevation facing the road is 2 storeys and each house has a central door flanked by symmetrically arranged window openings. The west house is rendered stone, whilst the east is painted stone rubble. Both buildings have painted margins to the doors and projecting cills.

The rear elevation (north) of the east house is 3 storeys, with the land falling away to a basement storey with 3 access doors. The window openings to the rear elevation of both houses are irregularly arranged.

The building has predominantly 12-pane and plate glass in timber sash and case windows. The roof is grey slated, with two granite gable chimneystacks and a central ridge stack at the join of the two houses; all are mounted with circular cans.

The interior was seen in 2016 and has some features in keeping with its late 18th century date, including basement steps, window shutters, a dog-leg staircase in the west property, and moulded timber architraves and cornicing in the east property. The two properties are linked internally at ground and first floor.

Statement of Special Interest

11 and 13 Main Street dates to the late 18th century and is a relatively externally unaltered example of a pair of houses converted to an inn and public house during the 19th century. It is a prominent building in the Auchencairn streetscape and forms evidence for the growing prosperity of the village during the 19th century. The building retains many of its 18th century features, such as its window openings, roofline and chimneystacks and as such contributes to the overall historic character of the area.

In accordance with Section 1 (4A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 the following is excluded from the listing: 20th century flat roof extension to rear of 13 Main Street.

Age and Rarity

The pair of houses at 11 and 13 Main Street were constructed sometime between 1770 and 1800. The village of Auchencairn first appears on John Ainslie's map of 1789. The street known today as Main Street is depicted here, however buildings are not distinguishable due to the map scale. The buildings first appear on the six-inch 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1849 and published 1854), labelled as the Black Lion Inn.

Auchencairn is a village situated near the south shore of Dumfries and Galloway. It was established in the 17th century as an agricultural village, with associated fishery and small port at nearby Auchencairn Bay. The village grew around a corn mill and the oldest houses in Auchencairn are those nearest the now demolished corn mill site to the west of the village. The village is briefly mentioned in the first Statistical Account of Scotland 1791-99, however much more detail is provided in the second Statistical Account 1834-45: 'This is a thriving place, with much of an English character in its general aspect. The houses are of a superior description, - interspersed with trees, - built on no regular plan, - but exhibiting, as a whole, that cheerful and riant [looking bright or cheerful] appearance for which the villages of the south are so remarkable.'

From the mid 18th century onwards, there was a gradual improvement in the condition of Scotland's roads and of the general travel infrastructure. This meant that it was easier for people to move around, leading to an increase in the number of inns built to provide accommodation for travellers. At Auchencairn, both the increasing ease of travel and the proximity of the village to Auchencairn Bay meant there were more people travelling to the area.

Many inns around this time were recorded to have included a commercial room, a parlour, bedrooms and stabling. It is unclear whether the commercial room was a requirement for the inns of the time, however this feature was present in 'nearly all nineteenth and earlier twentieth century hotels, enabling coachmen and travelling servants to dine separately' (Walker 2003).

There was previously another inn in Auchencairn, The Commercial Inn (listed at category B – LB 17081). The building stands at 19 – 21 Main Street and was also built as a pair of houses that was converted to a hotel during the 19th century. It remained in use up until the 20th century. The building has since been converted back into one larger house, retaining its 19th century exterior.

The pair of houses at 11 and 13 Main Street were in use as a public house and hotel up until 2015, and was formerly called The Black Lion Inn and The Auchencairn Arms Hotel. While there has been alteration to the interior, the pair of houses are relatively unaltered to the exterior street elevation and largely retain their late 18th century form.

Late 18th and 19th century hotels or inns are not a rare building type and can be found across Scotland, however they are often among the more prominent buildings in villages and small towns due to their commercial use. Early examples that survive in a little altered form may be listed.

There is a flat roofed single storey rectangular-plan extension to the rear of 13 Main Street, dating from the mid-20th century. It was found not to meet the criteria for listing and it is excluded from the listing.

Architectural or Historic Interest


Internally, the property has been incrementally altered over the past two centuries, reflecting its continued use as an inn and public house until February 2015. Some standard late 18th and 19th century features have been retained, such as timber sash and case windows (which are thought to be 19th century replacements), window shutters, a basement barrel roll and steps, a staircase in the west property, moulded timber architraves and cornicing in the east property.

Plan form

The rectangular plan forms of the houses, as evident on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map (surveyed 1849), and which are still seen today, is typical for this building type.

The internal arrangement of the building at basement and first floor level is mainly late 18th century with 19th century modification when the houses were linked internally to form the inn and public house.

Technological excellence or innovation, material or design quality

The building is of coursed rubble stone, which is typical for the building's date. There are also some architectural features which are typical of the late 18th century, such as the location of the upper windows abutting the eaves and widely spaced, smaller window openings on the rear of the pair of houses. The late 18th century principal elevation is largely intact with minimal change from the 19th century conversion to an inn and public house.


The building is prominently positioned on a bend in the road at the entrance to Auchencairn. 11 and 13 Main Street is one of the larger buildings in the village, which was built up incrementally over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries. As such it contributes to an understanding of the development of Auchencairn and its prosperity during the 19th century.

Regional variations

There is no regional variation but there is local significance in the use of granite for the chimneystacks. Granite is found in some local areas throughout Dumfries and Galloway.

Close Historical Associations

There are no known close historical associations at present. Category changed from B to C, statutory address and listed building record revised in 2016. Previously listed as 'Auchencairn, the Smugglers Inn'



Canmore: CANMORE ID 208179


Ainslie, J. (1789) Scotland, drawn from a series of angles and astronomical observations. Edinburgh: J. & J. Ainslie & W Faden.

Ainslie, J. (1821) Map of the Southern Part of Scotland. Edinburgh: Macreadie Skelly & Co.

Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1849, published 1854) Kirkcudbrightshire, Sheet 51 (includes: Kircudbright; Rerrick). Six-inch. 1st Edition. London: Ordnance Survey.

Old Statistical Account (1791-99) Number III, Parish of Rerrick. Rev. Mr. James Thomson John Steven. Vol XI. p. 4

Printed Sources

Gifford, J., (1996) The Buildings of Scotland, Dumfries and Galloway. London, Penguin Books. p. 110.

Hume, J., R., (2000) Dumfries and Galloway, An Illustrated Architectural Guide. Edinburgh, Rutland Press. p. 133.

New Statistical Account (1834-45) Parish of Rerrick. Rev. James Thomson, Minister. Vol IV. p. 356.

Walker, D. (2003) Inns, Hotels and Related Building Types in Stell, G. Shaw, J., and Storrier, S., Scottish Life and Society: A compendium of Scottish Ethnology, Scotland's Buildings, Volume 3. Edinburgh: Birlinn. pp. 127-190.

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). The format of the listed building record has changed over time. Earlier records may be brief and some information will not have been recorded.

The only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. If part of a building is not listed, it will say that it is excluded in the statutory address and in the statement of special interest in the listed building record. The statement will use the word 'excluding' and quote the relevant section of the Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. Some earlier listed building records may use the word 'excluding', but if the Act is not quoted, the record has not been revised to reflect current legislation.

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11 and 13 Main Street, Auchencairn, principal elevation, during daytime on a wet day with grey sky, with black painted window and door openings.

Printed: 20/03/2019 20:09