Mid and late 19th century, with later alterations. Prominently sited 3-part group of interlinked two-storey properties running together on falling ground, serving first as golf club factory, latterly as mill shop and golf club facilities; block to rear was built as the wood drying shed. Converted to golf club facilities at first floor (2000-2002). Rendered/painted stone.
N (THE LINKS) ELEVATION: Remodelled to present form by Gillespie and Scott, 1925 to 1927. Two piend-roofed blocks to centre and left with 6-light and 4-light decorative windows respectively at first floor over modern shop door and windows under continuous fascia (added in 1999-2001) and built over former pavement. Section to right off-centre gablehead breaking eaves with tall round-arched window at first floor, flanked each side by small windows, further window to left breaking eaves in semicircular dormerhead pediment. Square headed and chamfered ashlar doorway to far left (reconstructed 2000-2002) in 1864 section of the golf hotel (formerly Allan Robertson's villa) now forming access to Royal and Ancient club facilities.
S (PILMOUR LINKS) ELEVATION: 1894: simpler, short entrance elevation leading through to rear linking blocks and to The Links. Also connected to west to 6 Pilmour Links (see separate listing – LB42671)
Band and hoop glazing pattern to decorative windows, timber mullions and transoms (1920s?). Grey slates, fishscale pattern to outer piended roof; cast-iron rooflights. Coped stacks. Coped skew. Flagpole.
CENTRAL LINKING BLOCKS: Wood drying shed (south): mid to late 19th century, now clapboarded, slated roof with dormers added 2018-2019. Former factory block (north): 1888, runs north-northeast to south-southwest. Brick built and rendered in early 2000s consisting of a factory at ground level with stanchion supports and a former finishing shop to the upper level.
INTERIOR (seen in 1998): retains essential spatial arrangement of golf club manufacturers.
Statement of Special Interest
The property is reportedly the last surviving golf club factory in Scotland (formerly Messrs R Forgan & Son), appropriately sited opposite the Royal and Ancient Clubhouse. It is listed largely for its historic interest but also for its picturesque form and crucial context. The building was reopened as a woollen mill outlet in 1966. The first floor was converted to club facilities for the Royal and Ancient. A new shopfront to the elevation at The Links was added in 2000-2002. The property is situated in what was once a run of golf manufacturers' buildings, with the neighbouring sites of renown figures in golfing and golf manufacturing history, Tom Morris, Allan Robertson and D and W Auchterlonie.
A shed to the rear of 5 Pilmour Links was rented by Robert Forgan in 1861. The house at 5 Pilmour links was later bought by Forgan in 1894 and reconstituted with a large entrance for the wood drying shed built in the rear garden. The first floor of the drying shed originally had open boarded sides and a separate roof. In 2000-2002, the building was reconstructed with boarded elevations at the first floor and the roof was unified with that of No. 5 Pilmour Links. Dormers were added to the drying shed in 20018-2019.
There were a number of separate houses/premises built in the 1860s facing The Links which were eventually remodelled to form a single shop in 1925. The section further west was a single storey shop and office built around 1860 and was occupied by Robert Forgan from 1861. This section was heightened with a loft lit by rooflights by 1875; the upper floor was rebuilt in 1925. Forgan acquired the remaining blocks during the 1870s.
Forgan was the largest of the St Andrews clubmakers. The business was originally that of Hugh Philp (1782-1856) cabinetmakers turned clubmakers who was appointed clubmaker to the Society of St Andrews Golfers in 1819. Robert Forgan (1824-1900) a relative by marriage, joined Philp in 1852 and when Philp died in 1856 he bought the business from Philp's widow. In 1863 the Royal and Ancient Golf Club – as the Society had become – commissioned Forgan to make a set of clubs for the Prince of Wales who had become captain in that year, giving him a national reputation as a clubmaker. It was to Richard Bartholomew Childs, father-in-law of the clubmaker George Daniel Brown that Mrs Philp sold the 6 Pilmour Links and 7, 8 The Links (now Tom Morris House) properties in 1866 (see LB46271 and LB46273) and Forgan had to rent 5 Pilmour Links to continue the business.
In 1876 Forgan succeeded in acquiring The Links premises of the clubmaker, James Wilson, who had died in 1866. By a series of purchases between that year and 1894 he was able to build up the largest golf manufactory in St Andrews. The central workshop being built in 1888, the Pilmour Links and The Links premises being supplemented by a clock-making factory at 110 Market Street.
After Forgan's death in 1900, the business was continued by his third son Thomas who died in 1906 and thereafter by Thomas's sons Lawrence and Robert. In 1962 the business was acquired by Spalding but in 1963 Spalding transferred the whole of their operations to Northern Ireland making Forgan's staff redundant. The museum collection, formalised from the family collections in 1960 was given to Dundee.
When Forgan's finally closed in 1966, the building became known as the St Andrews Woollen Mill. The conversion of the building in 2000-2002 to the House of Bruar was by Comprehensive Design, with Ron Moir as job architect.
Part of a B Group comprising Forgan House in The Links and Pilmour Links, the Rusack's Hotel in Pilmour Links, 2-4 Golf Place with 1 Pilmour Links, 12-24 Golf Place with 1 Pilmour Links, 12-24 Golf Place (Even Nos), 3, 6, 7, 16-18A, and 19 Pilmour Links and 7-8, 12, 13, 15-16, 18 The Links.
Statutory address, category of listing and listed building record revised in 2020. Previously listed as 'The Links, St Andrews Woollen Mill'. The building is also linked to 6 Pilmour Links (LB46271).
Canmore: http://canmore.org.uk/site/224977. CANMORE ID 224977.
Ordnance Survey (surveyed 1854, published 1855) Large scale town plan, St Andrews and St Leonards. 6 inches to the mile. 1st Edition. Southampton: Ordnance Survey.
Gifford, J. (1992) The Buildings of Scotland: Fife. London: Penguin Books Ltd., p. 396.
Lamont-Brown, R. (1989) The Life and Times of St Andrews, pp. 192-4.
Lyle, David W. (1989) Shadows of St Andrews Past.
Malcolm, David and Crabtree, Peter. (2008) Tom Morris of St Andrews. The Colossus of Golf 1821-1908.
McStravick, R. (2015) St Andrews in the Footsteps of Old Tom Morris.
Additional information courtesy of Prof. David M Walker and Mrs Sheila M Walker (2019).
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There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to Forgan House, The Links and 5 Pilmour Links, and The Old Course Shop, The Links, St Andrews
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Printed: 23/01/2022 16:10