Geilsland House

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The main entrance to Geilsland House.

Geilsland House lies in between the village of Gateside and the town of Beith in North Ayrshire, Scotland.

Geilsland was a half merk land, part of the 4 merk land of Marshalland, in the Barony of Braidstone. An earlier name is said to have been 'Neilsland'.[1] The name is pronounced 'Jillsland' locally. The origin of the name may refer to a gil or gyll, referring to a cleft or ravine as found at the 'Fairy Glen' where the Powgree Burn cuts through the fields.

Geilsland was sold in four lots and in 1867 two of these lots were purchased by Wiliam Fulton Love, writer and bank agent in Beith. He built a handsome villa and gatehouse, in the domestic gothic style,[2] and enclosed and planted 5 acres (20,000 m2) around the villa.[3] The Millport Chapel, situated within the grounds, was fitted out with items from an old church that once stood on the Isle of Cumbrae.

An internal view of the Millport Chapel

In on June 7, 1902 the local paper reported The purchaser of Geilsland is Mr Warren, wine and spirit merchant, Glasgow, who is a brother of Mr Warren, of the firm Warren and Stewart, engineers, who have had control of the various local schemes in connection with water and drainage for a number of years back.

Geilsland House may have been designed by Robert Samson Ingram (1841-1915)[4] of J & R S Ingram, Kilmarnock. A pair of late 19th-century Gothic semi-villas at 28 and 30 Portland Road, Kilmarnock are believed to be by Ingram and clearly possess architectural details comparable with Geilsland, in particular the entrance porch with its columned supports.[5]

The McCombe family were the last owners and being involved in the fruit trade they built greenhouses, a walled garden, and fruit packing sheds. A Summer House existed in the grounds at this time, extensively used by Mr McCombe who suffered from ill health.[6]

Geilsland School[edit]

The Church of Scotland established a Special School at Geilsand in 1964, the opening date being July 1 of that year. Sixty boys was set as the original intake maximum and the first major task was for the staff and pupils to convert or build the necessary buildings. The sports hall was also largely constructed by the staff and pupils.[7]

The first headteacher was Mr. A. L. 'Sandy' Munro.[8] To commemorate the millennium and the work of the school, the stained glass windows in the hall ceiling were commissioned from Gail Muir and depict the activities taught at the school. In 2002, work was undertaken to remove some of the unsympathetic 1960s additions to the building.[5]

Geilsland House is still (2010) part of Geilsland school, run by the Church of Scotland under its 'Crossreach' initiative.[9]

Lomond House within the grounds was built in a mock Gothic style in 1999 as a unit for young people with special needs.[6]

Geilsland House and School

The Millport Chapel[edit]

The Millport Chapel was opened and dedicated on September 25, 1976. It was built by the head teacher of wood craft and joiner William Jenkins help from staff and pupils as a conversion of a stable and barn with pews and pulpit coming from the East Church in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae. In March 1994 William Jenkins (Jenki) daughter Nicola was married in the Chapel to her husband Alastair Morrison, this was a very proud moment for Bill having built the chapel his daughter got married in. The hand made parquet flooring made use of recycled oak from pews taken out of East Church in Millport, Isle of Cumbrae.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reid, Donald (2001). In the valley of Garnock (Beith, Dalry & Kilbirnie). DoE : Beith. p. 38.
  2. ^ Davis, Michael (1991) The Castles and Mansions of Ayrshire. Pub. privately. P. 97.
  3. ^ Dobie, James (1876). Cuninghame topographised by Timothy Pont. Pub. J.Tweed. Edinburgh. P. 214.
  4. ^ Scottish Architects. Retrieved : 2010-09-20
  5. ^ a b [1] British Listed Buildings. Retrieved : 2010-09-20
  6. ^ a b Reid, Donald (2001). In the valley of Garnock (Beith, Dalry & Kilbirnie). DoE : Beith. p. 37
  7. ^ a b Reid, Donald (2001). In the valley of Garnock (Beith, Dalry & Kilbirnie). DoE : Beith. p. 40
  8. ^ Reid, Donald (2001). In the valley of Garnock (Beith, Dalry & Kilbirnie). DoE : Beith. p. 39
  9. ^ Geilsland school

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°44′50″N 4°37′25″W / 55.747244°N 4.623555°W / 55.747244; -4.623555