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.


Status: Designated


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Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
East Ayrshire
Planning Authority
East Ayrshire
NS 36502 43575
236502, 643575


Circa 1828 with 1843 tower. Single storey and attic farm comprising range of outbuildings, in 2 L-plan sections forming loose courtyard and incorporating prominent landmark polygonal tower to principal (SE) elevation. Rubble with some ashlar margins. Segmental-arched pend to SE elevation leading to courtyard. Later box dormer to farmhouse, incorporated in SE range.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: tall polygonal tower within SE range to left of farmhouse. Coursed, squared and snecked sandstone rubble with ashlar margins. Deep, moulded cornice. 2 armorial shields, one with inscription (see Notes). Inset clocks to 4 faces with narrow round-arched louvred openings above. Tapered polygonal grey slated roof with skylights. Interior with cantilevered spiral staircase with metal balusters and handrail.

OUTBUILDINGS: L-plan byre to NE with part-glazed, sliding timber doors. Slated roof with regularly spaced skylights. Rubble SE range with piended roof to N end.

Predominantly replacement windows. Grey slates. Flat skews. Ridge stacks.

Statement of Special Interest

The distinctive and unusual tower incorporated into this farm forms a prominent landmark in the area. Reminiscent of an Italian campanile, it was built by John Cheape, a sea captain turned agricultural improver who bought this site in the 1820s. Cheape was particularly fond of Sicily and he may have taken the inspiration for the design of the tower from belltowers seen on his travels. The inscription to one of the armorial shields on the tower reads "designed and erected by Captain John Cheape, MDCCCXLIII".

When he bought the site, Cheape built a new house on it in 1828, in place of the previous Muirhead Farm. The house, called Girgenti after a town in Sicily, was described in the New Statistical Account as being "built in rather an uncommon style" and was demolished in the 1940s. Girgento is an older name for the current Sicilian town of Agrigento. The current Girgenti Farm is located in the former offices of this original Girgenti House which lay to the East.

Local knowledge suggests that he built the tower to enable him to look out to sea. Cheape died in 1850, leaving his house to the five principle Infirmaries of Scotland.

List description updated as part of Stewarton Parish resurvey, 2009.

Category changed from B to C(S), 2009.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map, 1854-8. New Statistical Account, Vol V 1845, p734. James Paterson, History of Ayrshire, Vol II, 1852 p463. Michael Davis, The Castles and Mansions of Ayrshire, 1991, p97 & 268.

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.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 23/04/2019 13:12