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
North Ayrshire
Planning Authority
North Ayrshire
NS 19557 67356
219557, 667356


H E Clifford, 1903. 2-storey, roughly U-plan gabled house with forecourt, decorative half-timbering, crenellated entrance bay, crenellated canted bay windows, small verandah to S, stone-mullioned windows, and plain bargeboards to gables. Bull-faced snecked red sandstone with ashlar dressings; some white-painted render to 1st floor. Flush long and short ashlar quoins; predominantly multi-light windows with chamfered openings.

N (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: open courtyard enclosed by advanced gabled bays to E and W. Slightly advanced 2-storey, crenellated entrance 'tower' to right-hand re-entrant angle: timber panelled front door with oval light and depressed-arch, stop-chamfered architrave in recessed porch; stop-chamfered, pointed arch to porch with hoodmould; shouldered, diagonal buttress at ground to left; 9-light transomed and mullioned window to right; 2 tripartite mullioned windows at 1st floor. Irregular fenestration to left of entrance. Narrow gable to left of courtyard with gablehead stack corbelled out at 1st floor. Wide, half-timbered gable to right with projecting shouldered stack and 3-light canted oriel window at 1st floor; transomed, mullioned windows to left return.

W (GARDEN) ELEVATION: 4 bays. 2-storey, 7-light canted bay window to right with crenellated parapet; 2-storey 6-light canted bay window to right; half timbered gablehead above with swept eaves; irregular fenestration to centre with 3-light round-arched window at ground to left.

S (REAR GARDEN) ELEVATION: 5 bays. 2-storey, 6-light bay window with crenellated parapet to left; similar 7-light window to centre with slightly advanced chimney stack adjoining to right; small verandah between bay windows with bracketed red-tiled roof. Half-timbered gable with projecting chimney breast (stack missing) advanced to right. Fairly regular fenestration to left of gable.

N (SIDE) ELEVATION: irregularly fenestrated, half-timbered elevation with gabled dormer at 1st floor to left. Link-bay at ground to centre, connecting with gabled, 2-storey, rendered 1960s extension.

Predominantly sash and case windows with plate-glass to lower sashes and small-pane glazing to upper sashes; some casement windows; some leaded lights to entrance elevation. Corniced stacks, some set diagonally, with red clay cans. Bell-cast, red-tiled roof with red ridge tiles.

INTERIOR: inner and outer entrance halls divided by panelled, glazed screen: panelling to picture rail with decorative plaster diamond to freize; beamed ceiling. Fairly plain timber staircase rising from inner hall. Dining room with wainscot panelling, beamed ceiling and timber chimneypiece. Drawing room with timber chimney piece recessed in arched inglenook supported on Doric columns; coved ceiling; small stained glass window depicting a sailing ship. Large timber chimneypiece to former billiard room slightly recessed in arch supported on Doric columns; adjoining library with corner timber chimneypiece; some panelling to picture rail; some built-in bookshelves; beamed ceiling. Coved ceilings to principal W- and S-facing bedrooms. Inglenook fireplace to principal bedroom in SW corner of house with timber settee and built-in wardrobes and display cupboard; tiled chimney pieces and built-in cupboards to some other bedrooms.

FORMER LAUNDRY AND WASH HOUSE: to E of house. Parapet wall with ball finial to N elevation; doors and bipartite windows with chamfered margins to W; piended roof with central stack.

FORMER STABLE AND COACH HOUSE: L-plan. Advanced 2-storey gabled bay to S with multi-light strip-windows; single-storey, piend-roofed section to N with former hayloft entrance to attic. Red-tiled roof. Non-traditional uPVC windows.

Statement of Special Interest

One of the larger houses in Skelmorlie, situated in a wooded garden that forms an important setting to the house. Balvonie was designed by the architect Henry E Clifford for a family called Blyth. It is one of two houses that he built in Skelmorlie, the other being Croftmohr (listed at category B), which was built about a year later in a very similar Arts and Crafts / Tudor style. Clifford was an architect of some note, but his work is little known outside architectural circles, probably because his practice was largely domestic, and therefore not in the public eye. The detailing of Balvonie is skilfully handled, with alternating sections of half-timbering, painted render and plain sandstone balancing each other in a pleasing manner that quietly draws attention to the different parts of the building. Most of the original fixtures appear to have survived inside, including all the principal fireplaces, and many of the built-in wardrobes in the bedrooms. A particularly unusual feature is the arched ceilings in principal bedrooms. The gabled wing between the house and laundry was built in the 1960s. The white-rendered building at the foot of the drive contained stables, offices and the coachman's house. It was also designed by Clifford, and although it has been somewhat altered, was originally of a very good design and still retains vestiges of its former self.



Academy Architecture, 1903. Ayrshire County Council Building By-law Committee Minutes 4.8.1904 (house) and 112.1904 (stable etc.), Ayrshire Archives CO3/12/4/4 (information courtesy of Rob Close). Mike Davis, CASTLES AND MANSIONS OF AYRSHIRE (1991), p106 and p167.

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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