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 33831 22366
233831, 622366


1795. Single bay, 5-stage square-plan tower with octagonal spire. Painted render with painted margins. Band courses delineate 1st and 2nd stages to W elevation; string courses delineate remaining stages to all elevations; ball finials to angles at base of spire; louvred openings to principal spire faces; weather-vane finial.

W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: elliptical-arched central pend; single windows aligned above to 2nd and 3rd stages (3rd stage window round-arched); octagonal opening at 4th stage; clock face at 5th stage;

E (KING STREET, REAR) ELEVATION: elliptical-arched central pend; single window aligned above at 2nd stage. Clock face at 5th stage.

N & S (KING STREET, SIDE) ELEVATIONS: clock faces to 5th stages.

Timber windows; stone spire.

INTERIOR: not seen 1998.

GATES: 2-leaf iron gate to W elevation.

Statement of Special Interest

The tower is the only remnant of Newton's Tolbooth (remainder demolished 1967). Newton Old Church (1777, demolished 1967) to the rear of the tower was accessed via the elliptical-arched pend. From the mediaeval period to the 19th century, the tolbooth was the centre of local administration, justice and ceremonial services. Newton had become a Burgh of Barony by 1446, with Main Street marking its core. The burgh was permitted to erect a tolbooth by royal charters of 1595 and 1600. The heavy restrictions of the adjacent Royal Burgh of Ayr, allowed growing industrial and commercial development in Newton in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the tower are two bells, 20? inches and 24? inches diameter, both inscribed "Tho. Mears of London Fecit 1795." In "The Church Bells of Ayrshire" both bells are described as being cast at the Whitechapel Foundry, London and hung in wooden frames. The lighter bell has a lever, but the other is fitted with a solid wooden wheel with no spokes, and with only a sector removed to clear the lip of the bell.



Armstrong's Plan of the Town of Ayr, 1775 (not evident); John Wood's Plan of Ayr, 1818 (evident); Ranald Clouston "The Church Bells of Ayrshire" in AYRSHIRE ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND NATURAL HISTORY COLLECTIONS, Vol 1 (1947-1949), p207; George Hay THE ARCHITECTURE OF SCOTTISH POST-REFORMATION CHURCHES 1560-1843 (1957), p248; AYR, PRESTWICK AND DISTRICT HISTORICAL GUIDE (1967), p13; John Strawhorn and Ken Andrew DISCOVERING AYRSHIRE (1988), pp102-3; Rob Close AYRSHIRE AND ARRAN (1992), p30; R & J Kennedy OLD AYR (1992), p7; Dane Love PICTORIAL HISTORY OF AYR, (1995) pp15, 37, 43; TOLBOOTHS AND TOWN-HOUSES: CIVIC ARCHITECTURE IN SCOTLAND TO 1833 (1996), pp8, 12, 15, 159, 230; NMRS Photographic Archive (AY/1566/26).

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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