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
Local Authority
South Ayrshire
Planning Authority
South Ayrshire
NS 4310 2719
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.

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: 19/04/2019 21:22