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


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Group Category Details
100000019 - See Notes
Date Added
Local Authority
South Ayrshire
Planning Authority
South Ayrshire
NS 23307 10221
223307, 610221


Robert Adam, 1785, incorporating earlier structures; Wardrop & Reid, 1877. Semi-circular garden court beneath S side of the Castle. Terrace walls to N side, and bounded by Viaduct (see separate listing) to E side, Orangery to NW. Ornamental fountain in central position.

FOUNTAIN: Austin & Sealy (fountain) and Smith & Co. (base), 1877. Metal sculptoral group in Baroque style, with topmost water spout formed from a conch shell held aloft by Triton, supported on a pedestal of inverted dolphins spouting from nostrils. Group mounted on pink granite plinth within scalloped basin standing within a stone-lined cruciform pool.

TERRACE WALLS: Robert Adam, 1778, incorporating earlier structures and later remodelled castellated classical walls. Pair of parallel E-W walls, retaining two terrace levels, each terminated at both ends by square crenellated towers containing staircases descending to S. Crenellated walls with triangular coping. Square towers with battered bases, machicolated and crenellated parapets and open round-headed window and door apertures. Scale and platt staircases with solid balustrades, terminated by square besed newel posts with ball finials. Terrace walls in brick, extended in rubble and coped with ashlar. Towers of ashlar with painted timber gates. Ashlar balustrades. S Wall: low rubble retaining wall to S of court (remains of old garden wall).

ORANGERY: William Reid, circa 1837. Single storey, 7-bay, rectangular-plan, castellated classical glasshouse, in horticultural use. Polished ashlar. South facing, with N side attached to brick wall of former walled garden. Full-height windows. Machicolated cornice and crenellated parapet. Pilasters clasping corners. Entrance to E flanked by pair of windows. Timber sash and case windows, with lying panes, and half glazed timber door. Metal and timber-framed triple-pitched glazed roof supported on slender iron columns. INTERIOR (seen 2010): dwarf walls to N an S enclosing raised beds. Low blind arcading to N. Floored with red ceramic tiles.

SHELTER: 19th century. Flat-roofed timber shelter in classical style, set against viaduct. Open-fronted to W. Roof supported on 2 fluted timber columns standing on stone bases. Timber shingle side walls above lower courses of ashlar. Timber boarded roof on timber rafters.

Statement of Special Interest

Part of an A-gropu 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.

Fountain Court is an important element in the scenic surroundings of Culzean Castle and of considerable historic interest, having evolved to its present form over a 300 year period, with the last major intervention being 1877. Culzean was already notable for its terraced gardens at the beginning of the 18th century and the current terrace walls are a palimpsest of those gardens. The lower part of Fountain Court was a walled garden of which the brick wall to the north is a remnant. The terrace walls were embellished with stairs and mock fortifications to designs of Robert Adam in about 1779 and the garden laid out to designs of the landscape architect Thomas White in about 1816. In 1877 the 3rd Marquess of Ailsa extended the Castle and the architects, Wardop & Reid, were also involved in re-landscaping, removing the old wall on the south to create a formal garden with central fountain. A staircase that used to traverse the terraces from the Castle was buried during the remodelling. The fountain, which is based on Bernini's Triton Fountain in the Piazza Barberini, was obtained from Austin & Seeley, of London, while the granite base was supplied by Smith & Co, of Dalbeattie. The Orangery, built in about 1837, was a replacement for an earlier one, now known as the Camellia House, which had proved ineffective for growing citrus trees. It is believed to have been designed by William Reid (died 1849), who also designed the New Laundry, now known as Dolphin House at around the same time. See separate listings for Camellia House and Dolphin House.

The Orangery was restored by Geoffrey Jarvis in 1987, while the Fountain was restored in 1992.

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.

Robert Adam (1728-1792) was one of the most prominent architects of his generation and, for a time the most fashionable architect in Britain. He helped to usher in the neoclassical taste that superseded Palladianism and created a refined style of interior design that came to bear his name. His castellated mansions set in Romantic landscapes, such as Culzean and Seton, helped define the picturesque movement and strongly influenced the design of Scottish country houses in the first half of the 19th century. With his family firm he undertook most types of architectural work, although large public commissions, such as Register House and Edinburgh University, only came towards the end of his career.

Thomas White (1736-1811) was a pupil of the landscape architect Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, the influential advocate of the naturalistic designed parkland. White started up in practice on his own account in County Durham, advising country gentlemen on estate improvement. He made frequent visits to Scotland from about 1770 and was involved with the landscape design of numerous estates there, including the grounds of Airthrey, now the University of Stirling campus, Buchanan Castle, Champfleurie and Scone Palace, as well as Culzean. His son Thomas (1764-1836) continued the practice after his father's death, including further work at Culzean.

Wardrop & Reid was a continuation of the Brown & Wardrop partnership that came into existence when Thomas Brown died and chief draughtsman Charles Reid was assumed into partnership, in 1873. When Reid died in 1883 the practice merged with that of Rowand Anderson. James Maitland Wardrop (1824-82) had extensive contacts with the landed gentry that brought much work building, remodelling and extending country houses in a number of styles including French and Scots, as well as pioneering a Georgian revival. The firm also had a contract with the British Linen Bank and designed numerous county court buildings. Wardrop's sons Harry and Hew were involved with the practice during the 1870s and 1880s. Charles Reid was responsible for the new wing, porch and alterations to Culzean Castle.

The Fountain was previously included in the listing for Culzean Castle. Listing revised as part of the Culzean Castle Estate Review 2010 -11.



1st Edition Ordnance Survey (1854-9); 2nd Edition Ordnance Survey (1894-6). H Colvin A Biographical Dictionary of British Architects 1600-1840 (1978). Alistair Rowan, Designs for Castles and Country Villas by Robert and James Adam (1985). J & A Rykwert, The Brothers Adam. The Men and the Style (1985), p173. T Buxbaum, Scottish Garden Buildings: from Food to Folly (1989), p54. S Cooper (Ed), An Inventory of Ornamental Garden Buildings in Scotland. Volume 8 Strathclyde (1996). Historic Scotland Inventory of Gardens & Designed Landscapes. David King, The Complete Works of Robert and James Adam (2001), p332. Michael S Moss, The Magnificent Castle of Culzean & the Kennedy Family (2002). Dictionary of Scottish Architects (online) (consulted November 2010). 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

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.

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