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.


Date Added
Local Authority
South Ayrshire
Planning Authority
South Ayrshire
NS 33715 21763
233715, 621763


J McHardy Young, 1902 with later work following fires in 1903 and 1955. 3-bay theatre with modern addition to outer left. Cream tile work and painted harl. Base course; cornice to tile work; cornice (to bay to left), cornice and parapet to central bay and bay to right.

SE (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: central projecting bay rises to stepped block-pediment; 2-pairs of glazed doors at ground floor; 2 single windows flanking illuminated oriel advertisement; cornice; stepped block-pediment rises through roofline. Bipartite windows to all floors to right of bay to left, additional windows to left at ground and 1st floor; large modern addition to outer left (see Notes). Small openings to left to bay to right at ground, 1st and 2nd floors, additional windows to right at 2nd and 3rd floors; fascias to right at ground and 1st floor.

Predominantly timber sash and case windows. Roof (unseen 1998).

INTERIOR: Rococo interior rebuilt by Alex Cullen, Lochhead and Brown in 1903-4 after fire; further alterations after 1955 fire. Pilastered bowed boxes; broken segmental pediments; cartouches within. Elaborate fascias; latticework; cartouches flanked by figures and foliage work.

Statement of Special Interest

The Gaiety Theatre replaced the Caledonian Theatre, which opened in a wooden building in Carrick Street in 1895. The Gaiety Theatre, as noted by The Builder, was partially burned on 4th August 1903 and the building reconstructed, including heightening by 11ft. The building was rebuilt again following another fire on 2 August 1955. The extensive modern addition to the left was opened in 1995. Alongside its distinctive 1930s exterior, (the cream tile work replaced the original brick exterior) the theatre is especially notable for its fine decorative Rococo interior.



Ordnance Survey map, 1896 (not evident), Ordnance Survey map, 1909 (evident); THE BUILDER 13/08/1904; THE THIRD STATISTICAL ACCOUNT OF SCOTLAND: AYRSHIRE (1951), p544; John Moore AYR GAIETY: THE THEATRE MADE FAMOUS BY THE POPPLEWELLS (1976); Rob Close AYRSHIRE AND ARRAN (1992), p18; R & J Kennedy OLD AYR (1992), p8; Dane Love PICTORIAL HISTORY OF AYR (1995), pp23, 94; NMRS Photographic Archive (A11342).

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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Printed: 08/12/2021 18:28