Ancient Monuments

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Blacksyke, engine house

A Scheduled Monument in Kilmarnock South, East Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.5851 / 55°35'6"N

Longitude: -4.5151 / 4°30'54"W

OS Eastings: 241573

OS Northings: 635258

OS Grid: NS415352

Mapcode National: GBR 3G.P0NR

Mapcode Global: WH3Q9.MW57

Entry Name: Blacksyke, engine house

Scheduled Date: 22 March 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9871

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: coal

Location: Riccarton

County: East Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Kilmarnock South

Traditional County: Ayrshire


The monument comprises the remains of an engine house, a lime kiln and other associated structures. The monument represents the surviving components of Blacksyke Colliery and dates to the late 18th century.

The monument is situated within Caprington Golf Course at about 35m OD. This represents the remains of Blacksyke Colliery, depicted on the Ordnance Survey First Edition map (1860), within Caprington Estate. The steam winding engine house consists of a small rectangular tower, measuring c.6m by 8m, with walls c.0.7m thick.

It is constructed in the manner of a towerhouse, with rubble-built walls and dressed stone quoins. It is vaulted at its lowest level, with windows irregularly placed, some of which have been blocked. The building has a corbelled parapet on the S and E elevations, with the remains of a chimney turret at the NE and of crowstepped gables.

The building was probably disguised as a tower, to be seen from Caprington Castle. The engine house was built in 1781 and is believed to be one of the oldest of its kind in Great Britain. It housed an atmospheric engine, with a cylinder probably 33 inches in diameter, manufactured by the Carron Ironworks.

The lime kiln is present on the Ordnance Survey First Edition map (1860), but was disused by the time of the OS Second Edition map (1897).

The proposed scheduling comprises an area irregular in plan, containing the engine house and lime kiln, with a length of wagonway approaching the site from the NW, along with the surrounding area in which associated remains are likely to survive. The area measures c.260m WNW-ESE by c.73m N-S, as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it represents an important survival of two of the key industries, coal and lime, which transformed this area during the Industrial Revolution. This was an important site within the Ayrshire coalfields, one of the most productive parts of the Scottish coal industry in the 19th century.

The Gothicised form of the engine house is rare and unusual. The importance of the site is further enhanced by the possibility that the engine house is one of the oldest surviving examples of this type of structure in Great Britain. The buried archaeology of the site has considerable potential to inform an understanding of the development of these industries in Ayrshire.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NS 43 NW 24.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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