Listed Building

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Status: Designated


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Group Category Details
Date Added
Local Authority
East Ayrshire
Planning Authority
East Ayrshire
NS 40486 49398
240486, 649398


1641. Vaulted burial chamber abutting Clandeboye School with crowstepped gable, stone roof, roll-moulded doorway and monuments inside. Squared, coursed sandstone; flagstone roof. Eaves cornice, returning to form string course at gable. Central doorway to gable with roll-moulded architrave and cast-iron gate; roll-moulded window above; square panel above containing black marble slab (badly corroded, see Notes) below skull and cross bones relief and inscription MEMENTO MORI. Stone finial to gable apex.

INTERIOR: barrel-vaulted; arched recess to rear with grooved stonework to arch and inscription: DAN: 12 CH: VER.3. THEY THAT TURN MANY TO RIGHTEOUSNESS SHALL SHINE AS THE STARRES FOR EVER AND EVER. Central cartouche above arch and flame-like carved stonework. Sarcophagus inside arch with kneeling male and female figures on top, facing each other across faldstool (see Notes); very long inscription to tympanum (see Notes). Gravestones inserted in to walls (formerly on floor) of Janet Maxwell (North) and Hans Hamilton and Janet Dedholm (South).

Statement of Special Interest

A-Group with Clandeboye School and Dunlop Parish Church. This tomb was erected by James, Viscount Candeboye (who also commissioned the adjoining school) in honour of his parents Hans (Johannes) Hamilton and Janet Dedholm. Hans Hamilton was the first protestant minister of Dunlop. Although it has lost much of its former glory, the tomb is a remarkable piece of mid-17th century monumental architecture, of which there are very few surviving examples. The interior of the vault was originally plastered and heavily ornamented with painted decoration and gilding. Fragments of this decoration was still apparent in when the Statistical Account was written in 1792. The tomb has suffered much from a lack of maintenance over the years. This is principally due to a lack of funds, and the fact that no member of Hans Hamilton's family lived close enough to take an interest in the tomb. Dobie quotes a letter from William Mure of Caldwell, showing that even as early as 1699 there was a problem in gathering the necessary money for its repair. There is presently (2004) an on-going project to conserve the tomb: the statues have been mended, and some work has been done on the archway. Unfortunately the roof still leaks, and it has been decided to keep the statues elsewhere until it has been made watertight. It is understood that the statues are presently in the care of one of the partners of Howie and Son (Dunlop). There is a very similar pair of statues at Clonleigh Parish Church, Lifford, Ulster, which are illustrated in 'Buildings of Ireland: North West Ulster'. These statues date from 1619, and it is possible that Viscount Clandeboye had these copied, as he worked as a spy for James VI in Ireland.

Over the entrance to the vault, under the skull and cross-bones, is a black marble slab that has been severely corroded through contact with the surrounding sandstone. According to the Statistical Account it was inscribed COME LORD JESUS COME 1641, IcLV. The latter initials are believed to stand for 'James Lord Viscount Clandeboyes'. A very detailed description of the tomb, with illustrative drawings, and full transcriptions of all the inscriptions, which are too lengthy to reproduce here, is given in Dobie. There are also good descriptions in the Statistical Account and in Bayne.



Rev Thomas Brisbane, STATISTICAL ACCOUNT, Volume 9 (1792) pp545-7. Shown on 1st edition OS map (1858). J S Dobie, THE CHURCH OF DUNLOP in The Archaeological and Historical Collections of the Counties of Ayr and Wigtown, Volume IV (1883), pp40-45 and plates III and IV. J F Bayne, DUNLOP PARISH (1935), pp54-60.

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.

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