Corseyard Farm and Model Dairy, Castle Haven

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Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved. © Copyright and database right 2019.

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Corseyard Farm and Model Dairy
Other Name(s)
The Coo Palace; Castle Haven
Castle Haven
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NX 59101 48585
Location Type
HS Reference No


Model dairy steading built for James Brown of Knockbrex. Loosely gothic decorative details, including glazed tiling, Roman-style asbestos roof tiles, faience bricks internally. Steadings consisting of large milk parlour, stables, cartsheds and barn, laid out around square courtyard, with dominant square tower. Single and 2-storey buildings of tooled coursed masonry, depressed arch windows and segmental vehicle entrances, all with bold keystones. Corbelled eaves with double row of decorative salt-glazed pantiles set in mortar bedding, ball finials to angles, red asbestos roof tiles in diamond pattern, ceramic ridge cresting.

Corseyard farm model dairy is an outstanding example of a model dairy, built under the imaginative patronage of James Brown who also owned the nearby Knockbrex estate (see separate listing). The dairy exhibits fine architectural detailing, which is unusual for a predominantly functional building type. The style is predominantly Gothic revival, with prominent buttresses and deep hoodmouldings to the main, milking parlour, block. The complex also exhibits nave and aisle plan sections and use of architectural detailing such as arrowslits and battlemented turrets.

The use of highly decorative architectural detailing is characteristic of Brown´s patronage, and can also be seen at the nearby wash house at Ingleston and at Knockbrex itself (see separate listings). Both these buildings and the dairy illustrate a careful blend between ornamental design and practical function. In the case of the dairy the use of high quality glazed tiles to the interiors of the milking parlour both enhance the richness of the architecture and also provide a practical interior for the building.

James Brown was a wealthy Manchester merchant, chairman of the retail and wholesale drapery firm of Affleck and Brown. He retired to Knockbrex and began an extensive building programme on the house and estate from 1895 until his death in 1920. Apart from Knockbrex House itself which is comparatively sober in design, the other estate buildings are characterised by a stylistic individuality bordering on the idiosyncratic, and always a careful attention to detail using the highest quality materials. For other estate buildings see separate listings for, Kirkandrews Chapel, Kirkandrews Cottages, Chapelton Row, Knockbrex.

The architect for Brown's work at Knockbrex may have been G H Higginbottom who was based in Manchester. Higginbottom worked in the Arts and Crafts style and was associated with the craftsmen, cabinet maker Frank Hallows and coppersmith James Smithies who Brown used in other commissions.

(List description and statutory address updated 2011). (Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
Dated 1911-1914
Possibly G H Higginbottom

Category of Risk and Development History

Very Poor
Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
1990, November 1994, October 2000, 28/08/2008, 06/05/2011, 11/4/2014
Development History

January 1994: The owner of the complex contacts SCT with further information. The property is owned by a family trust and is being marketed for sale. In 1988 £11,000 was spent on remedial repairs, with a furthe £10,000 in 1992-3 to make the building wind and water tight. In 1988 a full survey of the property was carried out and discussions with local planning officer & Historic Scotland took place, followed by application for consent to convert to holiday accomodation.
November 1994: External inspection reveals that a large section of the Duth Barn roof is missing and pigeons are now roosting inside. Many original doors and fittings appear to have been removed and the condition of the buildings is deteriorating.
September 1995: SCT understands that the property has been sold to a restoring purchaser for use as a dwelling and wildlife film studio.
December 1996: Local planners reports that the owner has held discussions with the Council and a detailed planning application is anticipated.
February 1998: Listed Building Consent is sought for alterations and extensions to the former dairy and for a change of use to business and residential uses. SCT expresses broad support.
22 May 1998: The Galloway Gazette reports that the plans have been approved. The property will be converted into TV and film production facilities, studio space and an internet development centre.
November 1998: The application has now been called in for consideration by Historic Scotland, who are concerned with the re-roofing proposals and the construction of a porch on the front elevation.
October 2000: External inspection reveals the site to have been tidied up, though there are no major changes to the building fabric.
February 2001: The owner reiterates his commitment to seeing the property rehabilitated.
January 2003: A previous interested purchaser reports that the deterioration of the property is now rapid, with a large piece of the slate roof having recently collapsed.
13 May 2004: The Galloway News reports on the building's inclusion on the Buildings at Risk Register.
August 2005: Scottish Historic Builidings Trust have written to owner expressing an interest in the building.

August 2008: External inspection finds that the group of buildings remain unoccupied. The condition of the roof is deteriorating. There are numerous holes, areas which have lost their slates and areas which are mossy. The gutters are full of plants and the down pipes are often disconnected. The walls of the tower are stained in many places by a white residue leeching out of the pointing indicating that the walls are saturated.
August 2010: Galloway News reports on concern for the complex. The article notes the property is being marketed for sale, through the internet, by the current owner. Sale details added to the record.
May 2011: External inspection finds since our previous visit the complex has deteriorated. In particular the roofs are in worse condition. New holes have appeared, existing holes have grown larger and tile loss is more widespread.
16 April 2013: The site is being marketed for sale, as a whole, or in lots, through agent CKD Galbraith.
11 April 2014: External inspection finds the complex remains in much the same condition as seen previously.
23 July 2014: Listed Building Consent for alterations to form holiday accomodation is being sought ref: 14/P/2/0245.
21 October 2014: The complex does not appear to remain under marketing for sale and is thought to have sold to a new owner.
16 March 2015: Local planners note the restoration and conversion of the complex is understood to have commenced. Moved to Restoration in Progress.
7 December 2016: Restoration works were thought to have commenced at the site but this does not appear to be the case. Moved back to At Risk.
28 April 2017: Listed Buidling Consent for conversion of the complex into holiday apartments is being sought ref: 17/0533/LBC.
27 July 2018: The redevelopment of the former dairy is understood to be underway. Moved to Restoration in Progress.
31 January 2020: A member of the public notes conversion works are nearing completion. The completed holiday apartments are thought to be available from Spring 2020.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number
01387 260199


Current Availability
Not Available
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
BARR original text : Dairy to Farm/Steading, Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: Farm/Steading
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: Dairy
Name of Owners
Unverified see FAQ on ascertaining ownership
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Gifford (1996), p359; Hume (2000), pp168-169.
Online Resources
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit