Auchincruive Teahouse, Auchincruive Estate Policies, St Quivox

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

General Details and Location

Name of Building
Auchincruive Teahouse
Other Name(s)
Oswald's Temple
Auchincruive Estate Policies, St Quivox
Planning Authority
Divisional Area
Reference No
Listing Category
OS Grid Ref
NS 38215 23702
Location Type
HS Reference No


2-storey, circular-plan castellated tea house. Coursed sandstone ashlar. Ground floor bastion with 4 engaged towers terminating in crenellated parapets, parapets between missing in places, round-arched former doorways with radial voussoirs, now bricked up. Circular tea room set back from parapets to 1st floor, 12-bay round-arched arcade, predominantly blind with 4 small-pane timber-framed window and door openings above ground floor entrance openings, tooled stone grotesque paterae centred in each arch; corbelled machicolated cornice under crenellated parapet; conical slate roof with spherical finial.

The Auchincruive Estate was owned by the Wallace family in the 13th century. There were a variety of owners until the 18th century when James Murray of Broughton sold it to Richard Oswald, entrepreneur and merchant, in 1764. The estate remained in the Oswald family until 1925, when they sold it to a local farmer John M Hannah, who gifted it to the West of Scotland Agricultural College in 1927, under whose ownership it remains (1999). The original formal landscape at Auchincruive dates from the 18th century, however this is now vastly reduced and was remodelled circa 1830. The tea pavilion by Robert Adam is one of the few survivals from the 18th century landscape, although it has suffered from subsidence due to mining. Oswald's Temple, which was supposedly modelled on the mausoleum of the Emperor Theodoric at Ravenna (which Adam visited in 1755) is an exceptionally fine tea pavilion. The lower floor is a servants room, enclosed by a circular corridor which was originally entered from the four round arched doorways between the turrets, now bricked up. The upper floor was the tea room, with balcony over the circular corridor. Robert Adam's drawing shows a external double staircase leading to the balcony, however this does not appear to have been built, and instead there is a simple stair from within the corridor.(Historic Scotland)
Building Dates
Robert Adam

Category of Risk and Development History

Very Poor
Category of Risk
Exemptions to State of Risk
Field Visits
May 2003, 13/07/2008, 16/5/2012, 16/09/2014
Development History
14 March 2003: The Herald reports that the Scottish Agricultural College has voted to wind down the Auchintruive campus. May 2003: External inspection reveals the building to be vacant and neglected within the grounds of the Scottish Agricultural College. It is in poor condition, with entrances bricked up, windows broken and vegetation growth. The parapet above one of the entrances has now fallen away and the underlying stone blocks are disturbed. 5 July 2003: The Herald reports on the building's inclusion in the Buildings at Risk Bulletin.
July 2008: External inspection reveals that large sections of the lower parapet have been lost and sections of the wall appear to be unstable which could be a threat to public safety. Aside from this, the structure appears to be reasonably wind and watertight, and secure.
August 2009: The Ayrshire Advertiser reports on a community engagement event has been held to showcase a revised masterplan which has just been submitted to South Ayrshire Council. The article goes on to note the proposals include leisure facilities, an equestrian centre with stabling facilities, hotel, research and business accomodation with residential development.
September 2009: Local planners report the building is included within a current development proposal for the estate, which should lead to its restoration.
January 2011: Farming UK reports planning permission in principle has been approved by South Ayrshire Council, for a mixed use redevelopment of the Auchincruive estate. The article goes on to note that all the listed buildings on the site will be retained, the Tea House/ Oswold's Temple will be restored and converted to accomodation.
March 2012: Local planners report the building remains at risk.
16 May 2012: External inspection finds no significant change from the previous site visit.
16 September 2014: Limited external inspection possible. From what could be viewed, the building remains in much the same condition as seen previously.

Guides to Development

Conservation Area
Planning Authority Contact
PAC Telephone Number


Current Availability
Appointed Agents
Occupancy Type
Present/Former Uses
Building Uses Information:
Present Use 1: N/A Former Use 1: Folly
Present Use 2: N/A Former Use 2: N/A
Name of Owners
Scottish Agricultural College
Type of Ownership

Information Services

Additional Contacts/Information Source
Online Resources
Ancillary Buildings
Original Entry Date
Date of Last Edit