Annick Lodge and Greenville

Annick Lodge is an estate between Perceton and Cunninghamhead in North Ayrshire, Scotland.

History

Annick Lodge (previously Annack, Annoch or Annock) and estate was built by Captain Alexander Montgomery, the brother German of Hugh, Earl of Eglinton. The lodge stands on the site of the old mansion described by Pont as "a proper building, veill planted, the inheritance of Blaire, Laird of Adamtoune." The eleventh Earl had died without male issue so the Earldom had passed to Hugh, son of Alexander Montgomerie of Coilsfield (Robertson 1908). The Right Hon. David Boyle of Kelburn married Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Alexander at Annick Lodge in 1804. The second laird of Annick Lodge, who succeeded in 1802, was Lieutenant-Colonel of the Ayrshire Yeomanry Cavalry, a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant of Ayrshire. One of the sons of the family wrote a vocabulary of the American Indians of the Columbia River and Puget's Sound! (Robertson 1908). Major and Mrs Montgomerie attended the famous 1839 Eglinton Tournament in what is now Eglinton Country Park and were alloted a seat in the Grand Stand.Aikman, J & Gordon, W. (1839) An Account of the Tournament at Eglinton. Pub. Hugh Paton, Carver & Gilder. Edinburgh. M.DCCC.XXXIX. P. 8.]

In 1800 Annick Lodge was visited by John Stoddart on his return from his tour of Scotland. Stoddart calls the new house "a complete specimen of the English ferme ornee". Hussey states that this term describes a country estate laid out partly according to aesthetic principles and partly for farming. Ferme ornee were an expression in landscape gardening of the Romantic Movement of 18th. century Europe, i.e. a working farm, domestic animals, natural landscape joined with follies and grottoes, statuary and classical texts combined with avenued walks, flowing water, lakes, areas of light and shade, special plantings and inspirational views.

The house itself is decorated with a porch supported upon Corinthian pillars, and surmounted by a facade bearing sculptured urns at its three angles. The tympanum is filled in with a heraldic shield and scroll-work in high relief (Millar 1885). Annick Lodge estate is partly on the site of a previous small estate, called Greenvale, Greenville or Greenval. Aiton records that Annack-lodge had gardens with hot-houses, greenhouse, etc. as early as 1811. The estate had a common boundary march with the Cunninghamhead estate.

The river bed here at Annick Bridge contains animal fossils and some fine specimens were removed by members of the Kilmarnock Glenfield Ramblers. It is now very rural (2006) despite the previous mining and quarrying activity and the presence of the old railway and abandoned estate coal siding nearby. A fine three arched sandstone railway viaduct on the old Glasgow and South Western Railway, later the London, Midland and Scottish, is located just upstream from the Annick Bridge. It was restored to good order in 2005 / 2006, despite being redundant.The area beside the northern bank of the Annick Water is known as Friersmill Holm. The 'Reid Friers' were the Red Friars, better known as the Knights Templar and the mill in this vicinity would have been one of many belonging to the order in Scotland, however no indication of its exact site is found on the OS or any other old maps of the district. The Annick Lodge policies contain a number of fine specimen trees, especially some very large common oaks.

Greenville

The name of a property called Greenville is found on the 1775 Armstrong map and Aiton refers to this country seat as Greenvale in 1811. It is Greenval on Ainslie's 1821 map and Dobie (1876) states that the name was Greenvale. The estate was made up of all the mains lands of Over-Pearston, sometimes called Pearston-Blair, acquired by Alexander Montgomerie, second son of Alexander Montgomerie of Skelmorlie and Coilsfield, in 1790. His mother was Lillias Montgomerie, heiress of Skelmorlie and he was born in 1744. He also purchased the old estate of Braehead and the lands of Roddinghill (previously Redenhill in 1775 and Ruddinghill in 1832), giving the name Annick Lodge to the collective whole. Part of the old 'proper building' of Pont's day (17th. C.) was exposed during repair work on Annick Lodge in the 1870s.lodge had gardens with hot-houses, greenhouse, etc. as early as 1811. The estate had a common boundary march with the Cunninghamhead estate.

Annick Lodge's landscape components

The Components of the designed landscape are from the 18th and 19th centuries, superseding earlier landscape phases of which little is known. As regarding listed buildings, Annick Lodge is Category A; the Gateway (See photograph) is Category B and the Bridge near Annick Lodge (footbridge to the northwest of the Lodge) is Category C.

Architectural features

Annick Lodge, ostensibly a small, late 18th-century classical house, contains an earlier core of which evidence survives on the north front. The two-storey house, dated 1790, is flanked by contemporary single-storey pavilions. A much altered Victorian conservatory stands to the rear of the east screen wall. To the north of the house and overlooking the Annick Water is a stone terrace with pyramid roofed pavilions at each end. One of these is referred to as the dairy and the other is known as the laundry. A free-standing pavilion, probably a game larder, is situated to the east of the house. These small buildings appear to pre-date the 1790 remodelling of the house. The Walled Garden, south-east of the house, occupies an elevated position on a south-west-facing site overlooking parkland. The walls are of rubble construction. A small compartment garden within the walled garden contains the remains of glass-houses and frames. There are large, round, 17th-century Gate Piers, decorated with fluted bands, in the centre of the south-facing wall. The remains of Chinoiserie type gates lie broken in the undergrowth, and are probably of 18 century origin. In the area around the house there are good 19th-century decorative iron Gates and Railings. Other details include iron tree-guards. The main Entrance Gateway consists of simple rusticated gate piers, topped with stone urns, with a pair of white-painted, 19th-century cast-iron gates. In the small enclosed garden attached to the west side of the house is a Sundial of unknown date. To the north-west of the house a Gothic style Footbridge, supported on stone piers is built out from the stone revetment channelling the Annick Water at this point. The bridge balustrading is timber with pointed-arch tracery. The bridge designer has not yet been established, but possible candidates could include John Paterson (responsible for Eglinton Castle) or Alexander Stevens who designed the New Bridge at Ayr.

Drives and Approaches

The main drive approaches the house from the east along a beech avenue. The first half of the drive is straight with a square park on either side surrounded by strips of mixed perimeter planting. The drive then curves gently northwards towards the house giving views of the parkland to the south. There are granite sett drainage channels along the edge of the drive as it gently descends to the gravel sweep in front of the house. Before reaching the south front there is a short branch north to the stables and south, by way of a track, to the walled garden.

Parkland

There are three distinct areas of parkland at Annick: the two parks on either side of the drive approach, which may be the remains of early enclosure; the main park to the south-west of the house overlooked by the walled garden; and Pear Brae (Priermill Park) to the north of the house and river. Tree clump planting took place in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when the house was remodelled. The dominant species is lime, concentrated to the west of the house on a bend in the river. An avenue of lime and beech forms a ride along the river bank and terminates in a small ha-ha. The largest lime specimen is situated on a grass verge which was fenced off from the park near the house in the late 19th century. The bank on the east side of the park is planted in the main with beech and Scots pine. Other species in the park include oak. Pear Brae (Priermill Park) to the north of the house and river is reached by the Gothic traceried Footbridge. The park area is long and narrow and runs alongside the river. The name Priermill is thought to be a variation on pear, of which there are two old trees surviving, possibly from an earlier orchard. The reference to mill may indicate some kind of processing which took place in the area. A natural terrace alongside the river is planted with limes, probably in the late 18th or early 19th centuries. The upper part of the park also includes specimen oak trees, and a strip of mainly beech deciduous perimeter planting forms the northern boundary of this park area.

Woodland

The woodland at Annick Lodge mostly consists of the planted banks to the west, south and north of the house which also form the perimeter belts to the estate. The predominant planting here is beech. These banks also provide walks and rides which give good views of the park and the house.

The Gardens

The garden around the house is restricted to small enclosed beds to the rear of the west wing. This garden was further enclosed in the late 19th or early 20th century with the building of the curved wing walls joining the two pavilions to the house. The garden consists of a small geometric rose garden, with climbing roses and other plants on the walls. The pavilions on the south front of the house have flower-beds in front containing climbing roses and grasses. There is a gnarled old pear tree trained against the north side of the house.

The Walled Garden

The walled garden is now (2008) derelict and overgrown. The wall and the gate piers may belong to the earlier house, although most of the planting is late 19th- or early 20th-century. The planting consists of a central avenue of Irish yews (Taxus baccata `Fastigiata') and clumps of shrubs and bamboos. The greenhouses and frames are now (2008) in a ruinous state.

See also

* Cunninghamhead
* Cunninghamhead, Perceton and Annick Lodge
* Cunninghamhead Estate
* Perceton
* Clan Montgomery
* [http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/A_Researcher's_Guide_to_Local_History_Terminology A Researcher's Guide to Local History terminology]

References

*Millar, A.H.(1885). The Castles and Mansions of Ayrshire. The Grimsay Press 2004. ISBN 1-84530-019-X
*Robertson. William (1908). Ayrshire. Its History and Historic Families. Vols. 1 & 2. Pub. Ayr.


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