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


There are no additional online documents for this record.


Group Category Details
100000019 - See Notes
Date Added
Supplementary Information Updated
Local Authority
South Ayrshire
Planning Authority
South Ayrshire
NS 23013 10158
223013, 610158


1816. Classical bathing complex consisting of bath house, changing room (round house) and outdoor plunge pool, located on shore beneath cliffs.

BATH HOUSE (NS 23013 10158): single storey, 3-bay, rectangular-plan, rustic style former bath house. Walls of hungry-jointed random boulder rubble. Roof concealed behind irregular parapet. W ELEVATION: arched window apertures, bipartite to left and single to centre and right. E ELEVATION: 2 arched windows and 2 arched doorways. N ELEVATION: blind. S ELEVATION: abutting outcrop of natural rock. Window apertures fitted with timber louvers. Vertically boarded timber doors with fanlights. INTERIOR (seen 2010): single chamber with undressed rubble walls and concrete floor. Timber rafters. Apsidal niche to S gable, and stepped podium to N of chamber.

ROUND HOUSE (NS 23006 10167): single storey, circular-plan, astylar classical cylindrical structure (former changing room) with domed roof with ball finial, now disused. Doors to W and S, window to E. Rubble construction with ashlar dressings and ashlar dome. 2 doors of vertically boarded timber and 1 12-pane sash and case window. INTERIOR (seen 2010): limewashed ashlar to walls and ceiling. Flagstone floor.

PLUNGE POOL (NS 23001 10188): rectangular pool carved into natural rock. Ashlar lined and secured with metal cramps.

Statement of Special Interest

Part of an A-group at Culzean Castle Estate comprising: Culzean Castle; Castle Walls etc; Fountain Court etc; Ruined Arch and Viaduct; Stable Block etc; Camellia House; Cat Gates; Home Farm; Powder House; Ardlochan Lodge; Dolphin House; Hoolity Ha'; Swan Pond Complex; Swan Pond Ice House; Walled Garden; Bathing Complex; Water Works; Shore Boat House; Battery and Mast House; Main Drive Walls and Piers; Gas Works.

An important, complete and extremely rare survival, the bathing complex reflects both the Regency fashion for sea bathing and the Picturesque taste in architectural execution. The changing room emulates a Roman Mausoleum while the Bath House is like a rustic hermitage. The ensemble was one of the numerous works undertaken at Culzean by Archibald Kennedy (1770-1846), the 12th Earl of Cassillis, later 1st Marquess of Ailsa, and replaced an earlier bath house near the castle. The Bath House, which is currently used as a store for South Ayrshire Council's Outdoor Centre, retains little of its internal features although there is a niche that formerly housed the heating apparatus in the S wall, while the plinth at the N end contains the pool, now filled-in with concrete. Pipes discovered beneath the surface of the beach indicate that the outdoor plunge pool also benefitted from a heated water supply.

Together with the remarkable ornamental landscape of its estate, Culzean Castle is acknowledged as the epitome of the Picturesque movement in Scotland, in its own right and is a work of international importance. Culzean, at one time the largest estate in Ayrshire, has been associated with the Kennedy family since the Middle Ages. It was gifted by Gilbert the 4th Earl of Cassillis to his brother Thomas Kennedy, in 1569. In the 1660s, the barmekin around the tower house was breached to create the terraced gardens, orchards, and walled garden for which Culzean was notable, while the caves beneath the castle ' now a scheduled monument ' were fortified to serve as secure stores. Culzean Castle became the principal family seat when Sir Thomas Kennedy (1726-75) became the 9th Earl of Cassillis, in 1759. A continuing programme of improvements was undertaken by Sir Thomas and his successors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The 10th Earl began rebuilding the Castle to designs by Robert Adam. This work was continued by Archibald (1770-1846), the 12th Earl, later the 1st Marquess of Ailsa. From about 1810 onwards he commissioned numerous structures, both practical and ornamental, and several important architects and landscape designers were engaged to embellish the gardens and grounds with ponds, gates, lodges and pavilions, resulting in several key works of the Picturesque era. The 3rd Marquess undertook the modernisation and enlargement of the Castle in the 1870s. In 1945, the 5th Marquess of Ailsa divided the property, making over the Castle, and the policies immediately surrounding it, to the National Trust for Scotland.

The bath house and the round house (previously described as circular structure of uncertain purpose) were previously individually listed at Category B.

Category changed to A and listing revised as part of the Culzean Estate Review 2010-11.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey (1854-9). Michael S Moss, The Magnificent Castle of Culzean & the Kennedy Family (2002). Historic Scotland Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland (included 1987). National Trust for Scotland Archive. Additional information from Michael Moss, University of Glasgow and Kinlay Laidlaw, National Trust for Scotland Area Surveyor (2010).

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


There are no images available for this record, you may want to check Canmore for images relating to CULZEAN CASTLE ESTATE, BATHING COMPLEX, INCLUDING BATH HOUSE, ROUND HOUSE AND PLUNGE POOL

There are no images available for this record.

Search Canmore

Printed: 22/04/2019 03:39