Listed Building

The only legal part of the listing under the Planning (Listing Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 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. The further details below the 'Address/Name of Site' are provided for information purposes only.

Address/Name of Site


Status: Designated


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
NR 71954 20430
171954, 620430


This building probably dates from the mid-18th century and incorporates earlier fabric. It comprises a symmetrical, 2-storey, 3-bay block fronting a small stone flagged central courtyard with additional ranges to the north, east and west. It was remodelled in 1852-3 for use as a court house and police offices with a jail. The principal elevation to Bolgam Street is rendered with raised margins at the openings and projecting window cills and a moulded eaves course. There is a central pend and the first floor windows are round-arched.

The east courtyard range is 3 bays. It has a stone forestair with a cast iron balustrade leading to pedimented doorpiece. This doorpiece has a stepped pyramid finial with a carved serpent. There is a 2-leaf timber door with an arched-pane fanlight. The west courtyard range is 3 bays with centre door and dormer windows breaking the eaves.

The windows on the Bolgam Street elevation are boarded up and in 2010 were described as predominantly 12-pane glazing in timber sash and case frames with 16-pane glazing pattern in the upper sashes of the round-arched windows. The ground floor windows have iron bars. The roof has grey slates and there are coped brick chimney stacks with those to the rear ranges being harled. The rainwater goods are cast iron..

The interior was seen in 2010. The first floor hall (former courtroom) has a fireplace with Tusan columns supporting a corniced shelf. There is an open timber roof structure with large timber corbels supporting A-frame trusses. The doors and windows have moulded architraves. Some simple moulded cornicing survives. The roof of south range has an early single rafter structure with ashlar posts, braced by sarking boards without further longitudinal supports.

Statement of Special Interest

5 Bolgam Street is an interesting complex of buildings dating in part to the mid 18th century. The surviving fabric evidences the various changes that have been made to the building, including its mid 19th century conversion to a public hall and courthouse. The timber pegged oak roof in the south range is particulalry remarkable as a rare and special survival of this early roof structure in the region. This roof dates back to at least the late 18th century but may well be earlier as its structure is similar to roofs as early as the 17th century. The roof is 'single' rafter, without longitudinal members such as purlins or ridge board. Racking is prevented by the sarking, to which the slates were pegged. Ashlar posts are also present, although they have been cut short at some point, probably to allow the insertion of a ceiling.

Campbeltown became a Royal Burgh in 1700 having flourished from a village to a prosperous trading town because of its natural harbour and location on the shipping route from Glasgow to the west coast of Britain and Ireland.

The land on which 5 Bolgam Street sits was first fued by the Duke of Argyll in 1738. It is not known if the three buildings at 5 Bolgam Street were built at the same time. A complex of buildings around a courtyard is first shown on the Town Plan of Campbelltown drawn by William Douglas around 1760.

The buildings were purchased by the town in 1841. It is referred to in the Burgh Minutes of 1848 as the 'front and back Ark' and are described as in a very poor state. In 1851 work commenced to convert the building for use as a public hall and during the conversion work (around 1852) friction between the Sheriff and the Town Council led to the proposal to convert the buildings to a court house. This is unusual as mid 19th century court houses tended to be purpose built. The conversion was completed by 22 February 1856 and the complex is shown as 'Campbeltown Court House and Police Offices' on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey Map (surveyed in 1868).

The extent of the repair and conversion work is not known. It is thought that the doorpiece and forestair were part of the work and the round-arched first floor windows may also have been added at this time. Its judicial and penal use is also evidenced by the iron bars in the ground floor windows.

It is understood that in 1868 disagreement between the Town Council and the Commissioners of Supply about the rent prompted the Commissioners to build a new court house on Castlehill, and this was completed by 1871. Remaining in the ownership of the Burgh, 5 Bolgam Street was subsequently used as a Miners' Welfare Institute and then as a Civil Defence Hall from 1940 to 1968. The building was sold by the Campbeltown Common Good Fund in 1992.

Listed building record revised in 2010. Listed building record revised in 2017 as part of the former as part of the Former Scottish Court Houses Listing Review (2014-17).



Canmore: CANMORE ID 98851


Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1868, published 1869) Argyll and Bute Sheet CCLVII.12 (Combined). 25 miles to 1 inch. 1st Edition. Southampton: Ordnance Survey

Printed Sources

Colville D. (2 October 1952) 'The Old Court House' in Campbeltown Courier.

Gifford J. (1992) The Buildings of Scotland: Argyll And Bute. London: Penguin Books. p.191.

Sproat, D. (2010) The Old Courthouse, 5 Bolgam Street, Campbeltown, Argyll and Bute (Campbeltown Parish), Standing Building Recording, Discovery Excav Scot, New, vol.11 Cathedral Communications Limited, Wiltshire, England. p.36.

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (1971) Argyll: An Inventory Of The Ancient Monuments, Volume 1: Kintyre, Edinburgh: RCAHMS p.185.

Online Sources

Strathclyde Building Preservation Trust (2010) The Old Courthouse Campbeltown: A Brief Summary of the Research into the Building's History at [accessed 26 January 2017].

About Listed Buildings

Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating sites and places at the national level. These designations are Scheduled monuments, Listed buildings, Inventory of gardens and designed landscapes and Inventory of historic battlefields.

We make recommendations to the Scottish Government about historic marine protected areas, and the Scottish Ministers decide whether to designate.

Listing is the process that identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for buildings of special architectural or historic interest as set out in the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings which are found to be of special architectural or historic interest using the selection guidance published in Designation Policy and Selection Guidance (2019)

Listed building records provide an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building which has been identified by its statutory address. The description and additional information provided are supplementary and have no legal weight.

These records are not definitive historical accounts or a complete description of the building(s). If part of a building is not described it does not mean it is not listed. 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 legal part of the listing is the address/name of site which is known as the statutory address. Other than the name or address of a listed building, further details are provided for information purposes only. Historic Environment Scotland does not accept any liability for any loss or damage suffered as a consequence of inaccuracies in the information provided. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing. Even if a number or name is missing from a listing address it will still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing also applies to buildings or structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage (or land) of the listed building as long as they were erected before 1 July 1948.

While Historic Environment Scotland is responsible for designating listed buildings, the planning authority is responsible for determining what is covered by the listing, including what is listed through curtilage. However, for listed buildings designated or for listings amended from 1 October 2015, legal exclusions to the listing may apply.

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 1997 Act. 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 subsequent legislation.

Listed building consent is required for changes to a listed building which affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The relevant planning authority is the point of contact for applications for listed building consent.

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Printed: 15/08/2022 23:19