Ancient Monuments

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Rowantree tollhouse and inn, 230m south of Laigh Rowantree Bridge

A Scheduled Monument in Girvan and South Carrick, South Ayrshire

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Latitude: 55.1804 / 55°10'49"N

Longitude: -4.5884 / 4°35'18"W

OS Eastings: 235280

OS Northings: 590399

OS Grid: NX352903

Mapcode National: GBR 4B.HRV2

Mapcode Global: WH3SD.H18Z

Entry Name: Rowantree tollhouse and inn, 230m S of Laigh Rowantree Bridge

Scheduled Date: 11 November 2003

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM10986

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Secular: toll house

Location: Barr

County: South Ayrshire

Electoral Ward: Girvan and South Carrick

Traditional County: Ayrshire


The monument comprises the upstanding remains of an early 19th century tollhouse

The monument lies on the unclassifies road from Ayr to Newton Stewart just at the point where the road forks - one road continuing to Newton Stewart and the other going to Girvan. The site consists of a small rectangular stone structure with one internal division. The structure has been built into a slope and is situated 2.5m back from the edge of the modern road.

It measures c.13m by 6m (externally) and has walls still standing to a height of 1.60m. There is one visible entrance in the south-east wall. The internal division radiates out from the north-west wall of the structure forming a partial compartment in the western sector.

Although there is no mention in documentary sources of the structure being used as a inn, cartographic evidence records that the structure was in fact a tollhouse and inn. The classic simple rectangular shape and location of the stone structure - flush to the roadside - indicate it was a typical type 1 tollhouse. Most type 1 tollhouses had a central door flanked by a window each side and were situated hard to the road. They also had a smaller window in each gable to allow a better view of approaching traffic.

The District Road Trustees minute book records that a toll-bar was 'erected at or near Rowantree in the year eighteen hundred and thirty one'. It was also noted in the same book that Lord Kennedy (on behalf of the Earl of Casillis) 'protested against the new Rowantree Toll being built otherways than an ordinary toll house'. There is no early record of who manned the toll but some rents were listed, in 1828, 1833, 1835 and 1844.

In the late 1860s the District Road Trustees minutes noted that it was becoming difficult to get anyone man Rowantree Toll. An act was passed in 1879 to abolish tolls, turnpikes and statue labour, this however, was not implemented in Ayrshire until 1883. In the Highways and Byways of Galloway the reverend Dick wrote that 'it is not known when exactly the inn and turnpike fell out of use but in 1919 in was noted that it had been derelict for a long time.

The 1881 census records that in this year there were still 4 people living at Rowantree (Lockhart) but by the 1901 census the property was empty. In 1937 when the council were re-making the road, they were allowed to use some of the walls of the tollhouse - because it had become unsafe - the last landlord (who still owned the structure) asked that the walls only be reduced to road level, which resulted in more or less the outline we see today.

The area proposed for scheduling comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to be found. It is rectangular in shape and measures 20m by 10m as marked in red on the accompanying map.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because of its potential to contribute to an understanding of the transport and communication system in the 19th century. Tollhouse and turnpike roads represent a very important phase in history, they provided a viable source of income to individuals in some very remote areas. Their demise was bought about by the introduction of the railway system. Its importance is increased by its close proximity to the remains of another tollhouse (NX 357 865) which is contemporary.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NX39SE 5.



Ayrshire Turnpike Trust Minute Book 1822 ' 1845.

Carrick (Maybole) District Road Trustees Minute Book 1825 ' 1853.

1881 British Census.

1901 British Census.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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