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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Group Category Details
Date Added
Local Authority
East Ayrshire
Planning Authority
East Ayrshire
NS 40489 49397
240489, 649397


1641 with mid-18th century repairs; 1924-5 addition and interior remodelled. 2-storey (see Notes), 2-bay rectangular-plan former schoolhouse with crowstepped gables and 1925 addition to N. Sandstone and whinstone rubble with sandstone ashlar dressings. Eaves Course. Long and short sandstone quoins; raised ashlar window margins; relieving arches over some ground-floor windows. 2-leaf timber panelled door in roll-moulded ashlar architrave with tablet above inscribed MAIN BUILDING ERECTED 1641. EXTENSION 1925. NEC TAMEN CONSUMEBATUR to 1925 extension. Main building to left with central doorway (filled in) and windows to both floors in flanking bays. Window to right of 1st floor at S gable; evidence of 3 other windows, filled in. Regularly fenestrated rear elevation with Hans Hamilton's Tomb adjoining to right (see separate list description). Classical gravestone of Agnes Cochrane built into side of 1925 addition.

Small-pane glazing (probably 1924) in timber hopper windows. Coped stack with thake-stone to S gablehead. Finial to N gable (see Notes) and 1925 addition. Graded grey Scottish slate.

INTERIOR: remodelled 1924. Large 2-storey room, timber panelled to 1st-floor level; roll-moulded cornice; vaulted ceiling with Jacobean-style plasterwork. Red tiles to extension; 2-leaf, half glazed timber panelled door to main room.

Statement of Special Interest

A-Group with Hans Hamilton's Tomb and Dunlop Parish Church. Founded in 1641 by James Hamilton, Viscount Clandeboye. The present building is generally believed to date from 1641. If this is the case, it is one of the oldest surviving school buildings in Scotland, and, according to the author of 'The Development of School Buildings in Scotland', the outstanding pre-18th century example of its size, ranking in importance with George Heriot's School in Edinburgh. However, JF Blayne notes from the Parish records that in 1747 'the schoolhouse at Dunlop continues yet in ruins', following a fire in about 1738, and that it was rebuilt some time after 1750. It is unknown how much of the original 17th century fabric survives. The building has been much-altered, and a number of doors and windows have been filled in. Judging from the stonework, it seems likely that the raised window margins probably date from the mid-18th restoration: the original windows probably had long and short quoins, like the filled-in doorway, and the 1st-floor window at the rear. The authors of the 'Statistical Account', and 'New Statistical Account' date the school to 1641 on the basis of an inscription over the door, which read: '1641 This school is erected and endowed by James, Viscount Clandeboyes, in love to his Parish, in which his father, Hans Hamilton, was pastor 45 years in King James the Sixt his raigne'. The original inscription no longer survives, but a copy of it, on a brass plaque, hangs inside the building. The author of the Statistical Account describes the school as a 'good substantial building' one of the best houses of the kind', while in the New Statistical Account, it is described as 'still in pretty good repair', although the teacher's accommodation is considered to be rather meagre. In 1837 a new school was built at 33 Main Street, and this building was sold. It was then used successively as a house, shoe-maker's shop and lodging house. In the late nineteenth century the upper flat was rented by the Kirk Session for use as a church hall, and they purchased the whole building in 1919. In 1924 it was renovated at a cost of £800. The interior was gutted to form a single room, and the extension was built. This replaced a very clumsy stone and brick addition that gave access to the upper flat.

James, Viscount Clandeboye was the eldest son of Hans Hamilton, who was the first protestant minister of Dunlop. He worked as a spy in Ireland for King James VI, and opened a protestant school in Dublin to cover his activities. He was elevated to the peerage in 1622.



Statistical Account of Scotland, Volume 9, pp546-9. The New Statistical Account, p292 and p305. JF Blayne, DUNLOP PARISH (1935), p120 and 122-3. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS IN SCOTLAND at (no author, probably John Hume and Marion Fry).

About Listed Buildings

Listing is the way that a building or structure of special architectural or historic interest is recognised by law through the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997.

We list buildings of special architectural or historic interest using the criteria published in the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement.

The information in the listed building record gives an indication of the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building(s). It is not a definitive historical account or a complete description of the building(s). 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 only legal part of the listing is the address/name of site. Addresses and building names may have changed since the date of listing and if a number or name is missing from a listing address it may still be listed. Listing covers both the exterior and the interior and any object or structure fixed to the building. Listing can also cover structures not physically attached but which are part of the curtilage of the building, such as boundary walls, gates, gatepiers, ancillary buildings etc. The planning authority is responsible for advising on what is covered by the listing including the curtilage of a listed building. Since 1 October 2015 we have been able to exclude items from a listing. 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 Historic Environment Scotland Act 2014. 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 current legislation.

If you want to alter, extend or demolish a listed building you need to contact your planning authority to see if you need listed building consent. The planning authority advises on the need for listed building consent and they also decide what a listing covers. The planning authority is the main point of contact for all applications for listed building consent.

Find out more about listing and our other designations at You can contact us on 0131 668 8716 or at


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Printed: 23/01/2019 14:03