James Gillespie Graham, 1844; incorporating 17th century and medieval parts, with 20th century range enclosing courtyard to N. 1- 5 storeys, 14-bays (to S garden elevation), long rectangular-plan country house largely in Scots Baronial idiom. 19th century tower at W end, incorporating 3-storey 17th century period house at centre, late medieval tower house to E, terminated by single-storey 17th artillery platform at extreme E; courtyard to N. Set on hilltop site overlooking terraced gardens traversed by stairs to S and W. Pink coursed rubble throughout. Harled brick to N courtyard range.
S (GARDEN) ELEVATION: 14 bays comprising different phases, arranged 2-1-4-4-1-1, corbelled, crenellated parapet and pre-17th century towerhouse to E end. 5-storey, 2-bay 19th century tower to far left; battered walls with deep embrasures at lower storey; caphouse with crowsteps, roofed and unroofed bartisans, parapet with crenellation, pseudo-machicolation and dummy cannon waterspouts. Transitional 4-storey crowstepped single bay. 4 further bays, of 3 storeys (garden door midway along); corbelled string course bisecting ground floor fenestration; segmental-headed windows to principal (1st) floor; corbelled string course; dummy bartizans. Central 17th century block of 4 and 3 storeys, with 2 windows in deep embrasures then 2 gunloops to ground floor. Set-back pre-17th century towerhouse to right with round-based tower corbelled out to the square at 2nd storey, short jamb link to crowstepped rectangular block, having small windows at upper storeys only. S elevation terminated with single-storey blind elevation of artillery platform. 2 square gun ports at parapet and stone steps up to doorway, with gunloop to right of door.
W (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: 3 to 5 storeys, 5 bays. Battered wall, with deep embrasures to lower storey. Principal entrance to left. Doorway within segmental-headed aperture with roll mouldings. Ground floor windows to right within deep segmental-headed aperture. Pair of empty niches above door. Irregular fenestration above 1st floor. Corbelled parapet with machicolation, crenellation and dummy cannon. Crowstepped gable to left, with sculpted armorial panel (family emblems, motto and date). Courtyard wall to the left.
N ELEVATION: blind wall of 3-storey W wing to right. Courtyard wall to centre, with entranceway on left. Followed, on left, by 2 blind gables, and small windowless lean-to structure. Terminated by blind wall of single-storey artillery platform, with 2 square gun ports at parapet.
COURTYARD: N ELEVATION: 1-3 storey lean-to structures of ad-hoc appearance, set against 3-storey wall of main building, including 4-bay single-storey pitched roof extension; irregular fenestration. Corbelled and crenellated parapet, with water spouts above. Stone steps up to service doorway in re-entrant angle to E. E COURTYARD: 3 storeys, with irregular fenestration and fragment of demolished part. N COURTYARD: single-storey harled 20th century range, with flat roof. Domestic doors and windows to left, and 3 pairs of timber garage doors to right.
Multi-paned timber sash and case windows, smaller in older parts of building. Slated timber roofs. Battery roofed in bitumen, probably with stone flags beneath. Numerous ridge and gable stacks.
INTERIOR (Seen 2010): Predominantly 19th century historicist decorative scheme. Major 20th century interventions to vaulted ground floor of 17th century central block. Pre-19th century features, including newel staircases, visible at E end within tower house and artillery battery. Piano nobile has private apartments to W, with mid-19th century Classical fittings and plain mouldings. Grand public rooms in revivalist modes, with Baronial ceilings, including re-use of earlier timber fixtures and fittings, to centre. Second floor has well-proportioned rooms with plain mouldings, 19th century marble fireplaces and 20th century bathroom and kitchen fittings. Upper floors and garrets, now converted to flats, have 19th century plain marble or timber fireplaces and simple mouldings, with 20th century kitchen and bathroom fixtures and fittings
W WING, GROUND FLOOR: entrance hall in Scots Renaissance style with carved hardwood fireplace surmounted by heraldic panel (1925), coffered plaster ceiling, glazed hardwood doors to vestibule. Sandstone principal scale and platt staircase with hardwood strapwork pattern balustrade and sculpted duocorn on newel. Library has carved marble Baroque fireplace with blue and white glazed tiles. Office has umbrella vaulted ceiling and hardwood fireplace with Solomonic columns. FIRST FLOOR: stone arcade with composite pilasters at landing. Suite of private apartments to W, with marble fireplace and carved timber fireplace in form of entablature on composite columns. 19th century bathroom fittings (non-original). Drawing room with Jacobean style heraldic bossed plaster ceiling and Italian Baroque marble fireplace, as first in suite of public rooms.
CENTRAL BLOCK, GROUND FLOOR: service corridor, with flagstones, plain plaster walls, and service rooms on N. Barrel vaulted hall (now the restaurant) to S, with deep embrasures and enlarged by slappings to rooms on W. 2 transverse vaulted windowless chambers (former wine and beer cellars, currently display rooms) to E. FIRST FLOOR: Barrel vaulted corridor to N and panelled hardwood doors to principal rooms. Suite of 19th century public rooms continues with the Library to W. Strapwork pattern bossed plaster ceiling. Ornately carved black marble fireplace, with glazed tiles bearing Hamilton motto in ingoes. Dining Room with salvaged Jacobean oak panelling, including doors. Stone Gothic Revival style fireplace (1925), and bossed floral and foliate pattern ceiling.
EAST END: stone flagged corridor with double-height kitchen retaining Victorian Carron cooking range, roasting spit and bread oven, to NE. 2 newel stairs leading to flats above. Vaulted sentry room to E. Passage to external oak door on S. Stone lined Bruce's Room, with double skinned studded oak doors, accessed by separate stair on S of corridor.
Statement of Special Interest
Part of A Group at Brodick Castle Estate comprising: Brodick Castle, Bavarian Summerhouse, Cnocan Burn Road Bridge, Greenhyde and Castle Cottages, Ice House, Walled Garden, the Nursery, Main Gates, West Gates and Coastal Boundary Walls, South Gates, Sylvania and Brodick Kennels.
An outstanding and early example of a fortified country house, with important remains of medieval and Renaissance phases of building, recast in Scots Baronial style. The significance of Brodick Castle is due to its embodiment of 600 years of Scottish social and architectural history. Its origins are obscure but Late Medieval, Renaissance, Civil War and Victorian periods are all evident, while fragments, possibly as early as the 13th century have been identified within the fabric at the E end. Its turbulent history saw it besieged, destroyed, rebuilt and extended many times over the centuries. It was the 11th Duke of Hamilton and his wife, Princess Marie of Baden, however, who made it a family home commissioning James Gillespie Graham, to remodel and extend the building (1844). Apart from the Victorian work, most of what can be seen externally seems to date from the early 16th to mid-17th centuries, although certainly altered during the 1840s. At this time the garden was also landscaped and terraced. The single-storey range on the N of the courtyard, known as Bobbie's Building, was built in 1921, while the lean-to buildings on the S side of the courtyard originate from the early to mid-19th century, with subsequent alterations.
Gillespie Graham's extension, on the site of a walled enclosure, provided a new entrance with a hall and 2 other significant rooms on the ground floor ' now library and office. On the 1st floor, his new drawing room provides the link to the older building in which he created the library and the dining room, now furnished with antique panelling from Letheringham Abbey, which was only installed in 1921. Additional ancillary rooms were formed in the courtyard, and a double-height kitchen constructed within earlier walls on the E of the courtyard. Bruce's Room was created, as such, in 1935 in memory of Robert Bruce's connection with Arran. In 1958, a partition wall was removed and an aperture slapped through from the 19th century wing to the 17th century vaulted chamber to create a restaurant and other facilities.
Brodick Castle Estate, now a discreet entity, was originally the nucleus of the Lands of Arran. Fought over during the Scottish War of Independence, it was transformed into an Earldom and granted to James Hamilton by James IV, in 1503. The Isle of Arran remained as one of the minor estates of the Dukes of Hamilton until the late 19th century. Agricultural improvements in the 18th century, culminating in the clearances of the early 19th century, eventually displaced the small scale and subsistence farming on the island. In the mid-19th century, improved transportation made Brodick an attractive picturesque resort and hunting destination for the Hamiltons and the castle was substantially rebuilt with the area around it laid out as gardens and pleasure grounds. On the death of the 12th Duke, in 1895, Brodick passed to the future Duchess of Montrose.
James Gillespie Graham (1776-1855) was a prominent and extremely prolific Scottish architect, known particularly for his churches in neo-Gothic style, and for numerous country houses. While many of his country house designs could be described as castellated, or picturesque, it was with Brodick, and Ayton Castle, that he made the transition to the fully-fledged Scots Baronial style pioneered by William Burn and David Bryce. Gillespie Graham's full scheme of proposed extensions for Brodick was more grandiose than that built, and provision for further additions was allowed on the NW. His SW tower had to be redesigned in a stronger manner after it collapsed in 1844, allegedly due to the quality of the mortar used. Subsequent schemes for extension by William Burn, of 1854-60, and by W J Green, of 1875-6, for the 12th Duke, came to naught, while further proposals of 1918-19, by Reginald Blomfield, were only partially realised in the ancillary buildings of the N courtyard range.
Brodick Castle has been a property of the National Trust for Scotland since 1957 and much of the contents, including an important collection of furniture and artefacts once owned by William Beckford, have been preserved in-situ.
List description revised as part of the National Trust for Scotland Estates Review, 2010-11.