Early 16th century (see Notes), possibly on older foundations; probably 18th century alterations; E wing, James Chalmers, 1910. 2-storey (2-storey and basement to E) F-plan former manse on sloping site comprising L-plan original building with circular stair tower in re-entrant angle, and L-plan 1910 addition adjoining to E. Very steep crowstepped gabled roofs, gabled dormers, gablehead stacks, pedimented porch to S elevation of 1910 addition, 1910 2-storey gabled rectangular bay window to N elevation of original building. Random sandstone, and some whinstone rubble with sandstone ashlar dressings. Eaves course; long and short quoins; long and short margins to some (16th century?) windows; sandstone ashlar margins to other windows.
W (PRINCIPAL) ELEVATION: L-plan with advanced gable to left and round turret in re-entrant angle with wrought-iron weather cock. Timber panelled door with reeded edges, linen-fold lower panels, Vitruvian-scroll decoration and cast-iron handle. Window to right; dormers at 1st floor. 3 staircase windows to turret; 16th century stone death mask at eaves in re-entrant angle with stone gutter outshot above. Regular fenestration to right return of wing; late 20th century lean-to glass and timber conservatory to gable.
S (FRONT) ELEVATION: U-plan courtyard arrangement. Advanced gable of 16th-century house to left: single window at 1st floor of gable; blocked (earlier) window below; irregular fenestration to right (courtyard) return with gabled dormer at 1st floor. 3-bay section to centre: round-arched fully glazed 2-leaf door in advanced central pedimented porch with ball finials; flanking windows; dormer to left at 1st floor. Advanced gable to right; carved stone death mask under eaves in re-entrant angle; irregular fenestration.
N (GARDEN) ELEVATION: original house to right; circa 1910 advanced, 2-storey, 3-light, bay window with crowstepped gable and half-glazed timber panelled door to right return. Irregularly fenestrated 1910 extension on sloping ground to left: crowstepped gable to outer left; advanced circular turret with 8-sided pyramidal roof to right adjoining original house.
E (SIDE) ELEVATION: 3-storey and attic. Timber-boarded door at ground to centre; irregular fenestration; 2 gabled dormers breaking eaves at 2nd floor; central timber gabled dormer to attic with plain bargeboarding.
Predominantly 12-pane glazing in horned timber sash and case windows. Coped stone stacks (some rendered) with thackstanes and bulbous red clay cans. Graded grey slate. Cast-iron rainwater goods.
INTERIOR: mostly dating from circa 1910. 16th century (French?) carved panels with male and female profiles in rondels surrounded by foliage, inserted into inside of front door. Half-glazed timber panelled lobby door. Turnpike stone staircase with brass rail. Entrance Hall / Passage panelled in dark wood with bracketed plate-rack at picture rail; small chimneypiece with green tiles. Timber panelled dining room with plate rack; decorative timber chimneypiece with bracketed mantelshelf; overmantel with pointed arched and quatrefoil panels. Panelled sitting room with large stone chimney piece; corbelled mantelshelf below roll-moulded depressed arch recess; cast-iron grate with studded bronze hood; red tile insets and hearth; semicircular bronze fender. Timber panelled interior doors and plaster cornicing throughout.
FORMER COACH HOUSE AND STABLE: circa 1920. Single-storey U-plan range of outbuildings with enclosed courtyard, abutting boundary wall. Irregular fenestration to outer and courtyard elevations with timber boarded doors and predominantly 12-pane timber sash and case windows. Leaded skylights. 2 dormered pigeon-loft entrances, each with 3 holes to E elevation. Bell-cast piended roof with deep, bracketed eaves; metal flashings; graded grey slate. Some internal stalls.
BOUNDARY WALLS, GARDEN WALLS AND STEPS: coped random rubble boundary and garden walls. Stone steps to N and SE of 1910 addition. Arched gateway with long and short quoins to wall E of Coach house.
GATES AND GATEPIERS: 2-leaf spear-headed cast-iron gates with curved tops to principal entrance; pyramidal-capped painted stone gatepiers with ball finials. Later wrought-iron footgate to S; rectangular dressed rubble gatepiers. Similar 2-leaf gates on steps to SE corner of house. 2-leaf wrought-iron gates to SE side of front garden.
Statement of Special Interest
This was formerly the manse for Dunlop Parish, and is known to have been in use as such in 1566, when the reformation occurred. It is generally believed to have been built at some time between 1514 and 1524, and if it was built at this time, must be one of the oldest unfortified houses to survive in Scotland (the oldest continuously inhabited house in Scotland is Traquair House, built in about 1492). It was probably built for John Mair (also spelt Major or Mayor), who was vicar of Dunlop between 1518 and 1560, and was a very influential theologian, holding posts at the universities of Paris, Glasgow (where he was principal) and St Andrews. He was a leading opponent of Martin Luther, and among his more famous pupils were John Calvin, St Ignatius Loyola, and Francois Rabelais. His academic posts cannot have left him much time to spend in Dunlop, but his elevated status does explain why such a commodious and well-built presbytery was provided. Kirkland was taken on by the protestants at the Reformation, and remained the Church of Scotland manse until 1781, when a more fashionable manse was built on the other side of the road (73 Main St). Kirkland was sold to the farmer who owned the adjoining land.
The house now comprises two distinct parts: the original building, and the 1910 addition. As one would expect, the original building has been subject to numerous alterations. No original features seem to survive in the interior, although a heavy fireplace in the minister's study still existed in the 1880s (see Dobie). Almost all the original windows have been enlarged, probably in the 18th century, and the dormers have also been altered. A line drawing in Dobie shows how the house looked in 1883: both the dormers and turret had swept roofs and the front door was at the base of the tower, where there is now a window. The house was purchased in the late 19th century by William Clement, a cheese merchant, who renovated it in about 1900, adding the bay window to the N and remodelling the interior. In 1910 his son Robert commissioned James Chalmers to build the E wing; the turret on the N elevation was not part of Chalmers' original design. The coach house does not appear on the 3rd edition OS map (1911), and was probably built in about 1920.