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.


Group Category Details
100000019 - see notes
Date Added
Local Authority
East Ayrshire
Planning Authority
East Ayrshire
NS 43675 39438
243675, 639438


Mid 19th century with later additions. 2-storey, Jacobean-gothick L-plan dower house with square entrance tower. Coursed sandstone rubble with ashlar dressings. Plain skew gables with projecting blocked skewputts. Window margins with projecting sills.

SW (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: projecting square tower: arched entrance door with plaque and hoodmould surmounting; window to 1st floor, narrow window to ground floor of right return. Recessed wing to right formerly 2-storey, 2-bay; ground floor left bay now blind. Gable to left of tower: tripartite window to ground floor, central window to 1st floor with blind quatrefoil to gablehead, ornate wrought-iron finial surmounting. Further gable to left: central 2-storey canted bay with blind cruciform arrowslits to gablehead, square stone finial surmounting.

NW ELEVATION: 2-storey, 3-bay: later central entrance door, window to right, 2-storey 3 light canted bay to left, 2 regularly placed windows to centre and right bay on 1st floor; door leading from 1st floor fire escape to left return.

NE (REAR) ELEVATION: projecting gable to left with paired windows to both floors, alternating doors and windows to 4-bays on ground floor of right return with matching windows to 1st floor. 3 bays to ground floor of rear of main block, 3 regularly placed windows to 1st floor.

SE ELEVATION: stone lean-to to left, glazed lean-to to right concealing ground floor elevation; 4 asymmetrically placed bays to 1st floor, carved plaque to gablehead on left return. Recessed blind gable of main house to left, stepped wall adjoining leading to segmental arch and rear of single storey stone building with stepped wallhead stack.

2- and 4-pane timber sash and case window to all elevations. Piended grey slate roof with lead flashings and valleys; fish-scale slates to tower with ball finial and lightning conductor surmounting. Painted cast-iron rainwater goods. Stone gablehead stack with projecting stone neck cope and plain cans to rear elevation. Tall yellow brick stacks (gablehead to right, wallhead to left) to principal elevation with projecting ashlar neck copes and tall ornate 19th century cans.

INTERIOR: entrance leading to hall with fire surround and L-plan timber staircase; original doors, timber skirting boards, some cornicing.

Statement of Special Interest

Part of an A-Group with Dean Castle, Dean Bridge and Dean Castle Lodge. The "Dower House" was built adjacent to the castle, which had remained uninhabited since a fire in 1735. The Boyd family had moved to their town house, Kilmarnock House (sited adjacent to the former Sheriff's Court House). Lord William Boyd was executed in 1746 for supporting the Stewart cause and Dean Castle was forfeited to the state. His son (later the Earl of Errol), who had allied with the pro-Hanoverian Government forces, recovered the estate but sold it to the Glencairn family. The dower house, sometimes called Dean Cottage, was built and added to considerably during the 19th century (it is worth noting by 1896 a cottage on the main road took over the name "Dean Cottage"). It is believed to have started life as a small rectangular house, which grew as necessary. Lord Howard De Walden and his wife originally lived in this building whilst restoration and renovations took place in the early 20th century. They used the house as a residence, with the formal rooms of the castle used as an annexe for dinners and gatherings held by the family. After Lord Howard's death, Lady De Walden continued living there, and the estate eventually passed to their son. He in turn donated the castle and house to the town council in the 1970's. The council purchased the surrounding land and turned it into a country park. The house was used as a visitor centre, office and shop until a purpose built centre was created nearer the entrance to the park. It is used today as a conference centre, offices by the Council and the headquarters of the Park Rangers. The castle and grounds are open to the public.



Charles Reid, PLAN OF THE TOWN OF KILMARNOCK (1819) showing rectangular building on Dower House site. 1st Edition ORDNANCE SURVEY MAP (1857) showing Dean Cottage and castle. Michael C. Davis, THE CASTLES AND MANSIONS OF AYR (1991) p238. For further information on Dean Castle (including the dower house), visit:

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.

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


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