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- Category: A
- Date Added: 14/04/1971
- Local Authority: South Ayrshire
- Planning Authority: South Ayrshire
- Parish: Tarbolton
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 4310 2719
- Coordinates: 243100, 627190
17th century with later alterations. 2-storey, 3-bay, rectangular-plan thatched house. Whitewashed rubble. Modillion eaves course.
N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: central square-headed entrance; panelled timber door; single window to left (with timber shutter), additional entrance (panelled timber door to right); 2 single windows at 1st floor; Bachelors' Club plaque between.
E (SIDE) ELEVATION: single window to left at ground floor; single window to right at 1st floor (timber shutter to ground floor window). Recessed stair to outer left provides access to 1st floor; timber handrail.
S (REAR) ELEVATION: external stair provides access to 1st floor; flanking single windows at 1st floor; infilled opening to left at ground floor. Single windows at ground and 1st floor to outer left.
Small-paned timber windows (some sash and case). Reed-roofed; painted brick gablehead stacks; circular cans (to left only).
INTERIOR: reconstruction of use from Burns' day (see Notes). Ground floor: divided into byre and kitchen use. Stone floor; timber dado ceiling; dado panelling to bed to S wall; byre to W wall; plain corniced fireplace and grate to E wall. 1st floor: debating room. Timber floor; whitewashed flat ceiling. Plain square-headed fireplaces to E and W walls.
BOUNDARY WALL: whitewashed boundary wall to E of house.
Statement of Special Interest
Robert Burns formed a debating society for himself and six other young men in 1780. The first subject discussed was whether to marry for looks or fortune. It was here in 1781 that he was initiated into Freemasonry. Owned by John Richard, wright of Tarbolton in Burns' day, the property was acquired by the National Trust in 1938 and formally opened in 1951, restoring the two floors to their former uses. House was renovated and re-thatched in 1971.
Andrew Armstrong's A New Map of Ayrshire, 1775 (evident); FH Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND, Vol 6 (1892), pp428; Robin Prentice (Ed) THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR SCOTLAND GUIDE (1976), pp225-6, 232-5; Rob Close AYRSHIRE AND ARRAN (1992), p144.
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