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
Argyll And Bute
Planning Authority
Argyll And Bute
Cove And Kilcreggan
NS 22213 81361
222213, 681361


Alexander Thomson, 1850. 2-storey, asymmetrical, rectangular-plan, gabled Lombardic villa. Whinstone and sandstone rubble with stugged, rusticated margins and dressings; colonnette mullions; deep striated base course, moulded string course; projecting bracketted eaves; round-arched windows.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: L-plan, 3 bays, gable to outer right with belvedere tower and porch in re-entrant angle to left. Piend-roofed porch to outer left, steps, rusticated die with lions; door framed by Doric pilasters, keystone, 2-leaf door, timber eaves band; round-arched arcade of 7 narrow lights on left return, colonette mullions. 3-stage tower slightly recessed to right, full-height round arched recess with narrow bipartite round-headed window at ground, large round-headed, border-glazed stair window above, whinstone relieving arch, hoodmould; moulded string course above. Stylised machicolated corbel course at upper stage, 3 small rectangular windows directly under eaves. Lower, gabled block slightly advanced to outer right right, large round arched bipartite window set into recessed rectangular panel, round-arched window in gablehead.

SW ELEVATION: L-plan with advanced gabled to left, porch and tower in re-entrant angle to right. Gable with bow on deep, battered, vertically-laid masonry base, projecting bracketted roof; round arched window at 1st floor. Left return of porch to outer right, tower rising behind.

NW ELEVATION: 3 bays. Single storey gabled scullery block to outer left, bipartite window; broad door immediately to right, rusticated margin. 3 bays symmetrically disposed at 1st floor, tripartite window at centre, flanking pair of diminutive blind arches.

NE ELEVATION: block with blank ground floor to outer left, 3 diminutive blind arches at 1st floor; gabled block slightly advanced to right, window at centre ground, 2 windows symmetrically disposed at 1st floor. Single storey scullery block to outer right, quadripartite window disposed to left of centre.

4-pane over 6-pane timber sash and case windows, plate glass over 2-lying-pane timber sash and case windows in round-headed windows. Grey slate roof, lead flashings, piended roof for porch, low pyramidal roof for tower; rusticated wallhead stack on ashlar base, single narrow octagonal can (others missing).

INTERIOR: narrow hall opening off vestibule, narrow stair to right, decorative cast-iron balusters; doors deeply-set in segmental-headed opening, roll-moulding, wreath and lyre moulding above door. Decorative plasterwork, egg and dart moulding, floral paterae in main downstairs rooms; segmental-headed recess in dining room at rear. Small webbed, leaded oculus lighting 1st floor landing, egg and dart plaster moulding around carved wooden octagonal opening. Belvedere reached by step ladder.

BALUSTRADES: small semicircular balustrade to S of house along avenue. Ashlar terminals with squat urn finials, ashlar base, die, slab coping, stocky, vase-like, sandstone balusters.

Longer balustrade to W of house, with central patio area with table sundial. Ashlar, arcade balusters, square ashlar die, squat urn finials, rusticated saddleback coping; paved patio viewing area at centre, sundial, ashlar die, that to left with freestanding figurative carving of the 4 winds.

BOUNDARY WALL, GATEPIERS, GATES: whinstone boundary wall with quartz coping, wall immediately bounding gates with sandstone, pierced oval panels on whinstone base. Main gatepiers of blocky, square rusticated piers, recessed arched panel infilled with quartz pebbles at lower level, upper panel jettied on stylised machicolation, mirroring the upper stage of belvedere tower, square panels with quartz pebble infill, low pyramidal cap with ashlar domed finial on deep dentilled cornice. Pedestrian gate to left, round gatepier of quartz pebbles, sandstone fluted neck with domed cap. Cast-iron gates of swirling lines and floral paterae motifs.

Statement of Special Interest

Craig Ailey was designed by Alexander Thomson for John McElroy who feued and developed much of the Cove and Kilcreggan area. The house was featured in Blackie?s VILLA AND COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE and while the villa was built as illustrated some of the finer detailing, such as the balustrade over the bow and treatment of chimneys and cans, differs from the design as featured in the book. The house is a fine example of Thomson?s villa work of this period. The former stables to the rear of the house are in a poor condition and are presently used for storage. The deep arch heads were picked up by Frederick Pilkington for designs like Egremont, 38 Dick Place, Edinburgh.



F A Walker and F Sinclair NORTH CLYDE ESTUARY (1992) p111. Blackie VILLA AND COTTAGE ARCHITECTURE (Glasgow 1868, 1871, 1878). R McFadzean THE LIFE AND WORK OF ALEXANDER THOMSON (1979) p24, 26-31.

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. 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.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8914 or at


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Printed: 21/05/2019 14:07