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- Category: A
- Date Added: 03/07/1980
- Local Authority: East Ayrshire
- Planning Authority: East Ayrshire
- Burgh: Kilmarnock
National Grid Reference
- NGR: NS 42982 37941
- Coordinates: 242982, 637941
James Ingram, 1862-3; Robert Ingram, 1886; Gabriel Steel, 1947; KLDC Architects, 1980s. 2-storey Italianate former Corn Exchange Building; 13-bay elevation to Green Street; 9-bay elevation with later extension to London Road; highly decorative, tall Albert Tower at angle. Banded rustication to ground floor; band course at 1st floor; regular fenestration of round-arched windows with keystones at 1st floor; bracketed cornice; panelled balustrade; urns surmounting central sections. Red sandstone.
NW (GREEN STREET) ELEVATION: 13-bay elevation with shallow central 5-bay projection, crowned with urns. Recessed segmental arches at ground floor. Regular, round-arched fenestration at 1st floor; windows divided by panelled pilasters with anthemion decorated capitals; recessed architraves; foliate keystones.
ALBERT TOWER: octagonal, 4-stage tower at junction of Green Street and London Road elevations. Banded rustication to ground with large round-headed arched windows; balustraded balcony supported by large consoles above; round-headed windows at 2nd stage with mask keystones - Prince Albert in centre, Lord Clyde to left and Sir James Shaw to right; blind 3rd stage decorated with Burgh Arms on front face and garlands to all 8 faces; bracketed cornice above with carved motto "the Earth is the Lords and the Fullness Thereof"; small clocks on front face and side faces rest on cornice; tall 4th stage with 8 engaged Corinthian columns supporting dome.
NE (LONDON ROAD) ELEVATION: 9-bay elevation with shallow central 3-bay projection, crowned with urns. Recessed segmental arches at ground floor: those at 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th bays blocked; doors at 2nd, 3rd and 8th; windows at 7th and 9th. Regular, round-arched fenestration at 1st floor; windows divided by panelled pilasters with anthemion decorated capitals; recessed architraves; foliate keystones. 1880s 8-bay addition to left by RS Ingram. Banded rustication at ground floor with recessed ventilation. At 1st floor, 1st 6 bays follow pattern of: projecting bay with arched niche with panelled pilasters; recessed blind, panelled bay. 7th bay has segmental doorway at ground; central round-arched niche flanked by round-headed windows with oculi above at 1st floor. 8th bay has segmental doorway at ground and blind panelling above at 1st floor. Plain cornice and balustrading above recessed bays; bracketed cornice and blocking course above projecting bays. Recessed centre to left return with central architraved window above broad band course; oculi with cartouche mouldings flanking at projecting ends.
INTERIOR: much altered.
Statement of Special Interest
This site was once part of a public bleaching green, hence the street name 'Green Street', and subsequently was a fish market before the decision was made to build a Corn Exchange. The Corn Exchange cost a total of ?6,600 to construct; ?6,000 came from a joint-stock company and the additional ?600 was raised by public subscription and was earmarked for the erection of the Albert Tower in memory of the recently deceased Prince Consort. The building is one James Ingram's finest designs in Kilmarnock. The addition, designed by his son Robert Ingram, continues the original Italianate style but is more subdued. As designed, the upper storey contained 2 large halls. One housed the Kilmarnock Library and the other was the Athenaeum Reading Room. During the late 1940s extensive alterations were carried out to create the Grand Hall. Further work was carried out in the 1980s to form the Palace Theatre.
2nd Edition OS Map, 1896; Dean of Guild Drawings 400-500/421; Kilmarnock Standard OBITUARY OF JAMES INGRAM, ARCHITECT, 2nd August 1879; Groome ORDNANCE GAZETTEER OF SCOTLAND VOL IV, 1883, p373; R Close AYRSHIRE & ARRAN - ILLUSTRATED GUIDE, 1992, p111; A Marshall EXPLORING OLD KILMARNOCK in 'Kilmarnock: Aspects of Local History 2', 1999, p19.
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