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.


Group Category Details
100000019 - See Notes
Date Added
Local Authority
South Ayrshire
Planning Authority
South Ayrshire
NS 23150 10202
223150, 610202


Robertson Buchanan (engineer for Battery), 1815. Alexander Pollock (designer of Mast House), 1908. Double C-plan gun battery with ramparts breached by 11 gun ports. Octagonal-plan shelter, with pyramidal roof and veranda, on E side of battery.

BATTERY: grassed earthenwork ramparts, with embrasures, to NE. Random rubble retaining wall to SW. Vertically boarded timber shelter. Flagstone settings for cannon and shelter. 9 Cast iron cannon. Clifftop setting, oriented towards Firth of Clyde to the N.

MAST HOUSE: veranda carried on octagonal columns, with foliated iron brackets. Timber seats against outside walls. Vertically boarded timber door to SW. Slated roof, with timber skirting. 12-pane timber framed fixed casement window to SE. INTERIOR (seen 2010): single octagonal chamber with vertically boarded timber lined walls and ceiling. Timber floor. Timber window shutter. Base of truncated mast to centre.

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.

The ornamental battery at Culzean forms an important part of the landscaped surroundings of the A-listed Castle, which constitute a significant work of the Picturesque movement. It was commissioned by Archibald (1770-1846) the 12th Earl of Cassillis, later the 1st Marquess of Ailsa, a collector of military memorabilia. The idea for the battery arose in response to the suggestion that, despite its mock fortifications, the Castle appeared rather undefended. It was designed in 1812, but not completed until 1815 when it was furnished with 11 6-pounder naval cannon cast at the Clyde Ironworks. The battery originally featured a tall ship's mast, originally used for signalling yachts, at the east end around which the timber shelter was built in 1908. This necessitated moving 2 of the guns. The mast was truncated in the mid-20th century. A gunpowder magazine, the powder house, of circa 1815 (see separate listing) is located a short distance to the west. This is the only known coastal battery to be built primarily for ornamental purposes. It is believed that the cannon have occasionally been used for firing salutes.

Together with the outstanding 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 (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 Battery was formerly a scheduled monument (SM 7884) but was de-scheduled 14 December 2011. It was listed, together with the mast house, as part of the Culzean Castle Estate Review (2010-11).



1st Edition Ordnance Survey (1854-9). S Cooper (Ed.) An Inventory of Ornamental Garden Buildings in Scotland. Volume 8 Strathclyde (1996). Michael Moss, The Magnificent Castle of Culzean and the Kennedy Family (2002) pp117-119. Historic Scotland Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes. Drawing of Mast House and Design for Battery in Marquess of Ailsa Collection, copies in the RCAHMS (AYD/43/135, AYD 43/78). Additional information from Michael Moss, University of Glasgow and Kinlay Laidlaw, National Trust for Scotland Area Surveyor (2010).

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.

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Printed: 18/05/2024 23:04