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Historic Building Details

HB Ref No:
HB20/12/018 B

Extent of Listing:

Date of Construction:
1780 - 1799

Address :
The Studio House No 1 The Adam Yard Castle Upton Templepatrick Co Antrim BT39 0BE


Survey 2:

Date of Listing:
29/11/1974 00:00:00

Date of De-listing:

Current Use:

Former Use

Conservation Area:

Industrial Archaeology:





OS Map No:

IG Ref:
J2279 8585

Owner Category


Exterior Description And Setting

The Studio House occupies the majority of the entrance clock tower and the south-east corner to the south yard including the south-east tower. Detached symmetrical quadrangular-plan range of two-storey multi-bay stone former stable buildings, built 1790 to the designs of Robert Adam with a main arched entrance clock tower to the south, a further arched rear entrance block to the north and a central range on an east/west axis to the centre having a further arched tower flanked by a pair of square-plan blocks. Six square-plan towers with chamfered corners define the corners of two yards. Renovated and converted to 12 dwellings between 1988-2000. Natural slate roofs with lead to the ridge rolls, pitched to the linear sections with several skylights, hipped to the towers and to the north and south arched entrance blocks. Octagonal-plan spire to the entrance clock tower with lead ridges, natural slate to the lower half, metal louvres to the upper half, surmounted by a lead globe and weather-vane. Square-plan lead spire to the central arched tower, added c.2008. The south and central arched towers and all six corner towers (except that to the northwest) have crenellated parapet walls with sandstone coping and resting on a redbrick corbelled course, this parapet is employed on the front (south) elevation of the two linear ranges with slender arched recesses with redbrick heads. The central arched tower has four bartizans to the corners formed in redbrick with sandstone corbelling and replacement sandstone capstones. Replacement cast-iron rainwater goods on iron drive-through brackets to projecting rubblestone eaves courses with some lead hoppers and redbrick chimneystacks with octagonal clay pots and lead flashing. Coursed and snecked rubblestone walling with lime pointing and a projecting rubblestone plinth course. The south entrance tower is flanked by a pair of full-height projecting stone piers to both elevations with a parapet wall and sandstone coping on a redbrick corbelled course. These piers have blind balistrariae to the upper stage and blind loop-holes to the lower stage on both elevations. The balistrariae also adorn the outward facing chamfered corners of the four outer towers, with a double-height round-headed recess to the south facing elevations of the front two corner towers only. The rear entrance block has a series of balistrariae to the ground floor of the south elevation, some glazed to the interior wall, while the north elevation has loop-hole openings to the ground floor, also glazed to the interior wall. Windows are generally square-headed with rendered reveals, concrete sills and timber sash windows with exposed sash boxes (c.2000). Between the paired piers flanking the arched entrance tower is a slender round-headed window opening to the ground floor with 4/4 timber sash windows, with slender 4/4 timber sash windows to the first floor. The window openings facing the two yards are 6/6 timber sash to the ground floor with oculi openings to the first floor formed in redbrick with circular timber casement windows. Some large round-headed window openings occupy former carriage arch openings to the central linear range with voussoired stone arches and multi-pane timber windows with integrated fanlights. The linear east and west ranges have a lucarne opening to the centre of each range facing into the yards with timber weather board to the gable and timber casement windows. Some tripartite sash windows have been inserted to the outward facing elevations with central 6/6 flanked by 4/4 timber sash windows. To the first floor of the outward facing elevations are 3/6 and 6/3 timber sash windows. The main south entrance clock tower has a large round-headed carriage arch with a sandstone architrave surround, plinth blocks and impost blocks. Above impost level is a timber panel with glazing, while a pair of 19th century vertically-sheeted timber doors on iron hinges give access to the yard. The walls and soffit within the arch are smooth lime rendered with a small square-headed door opening to either side having replacement timber panelled doors. Door openings are generally square-headed with multi-paned glazed timber doors (some double-leaf). To the corner towers of the front south elevation, within the double-height recess is a round-headed door opening formed in voussoired stone with double-leaf multi-paned timber glazed doors with Gothick tracery fanlights and an oculus to the upper stage with circular timber casement windows. Setting The two yards are surfaced in gravel while the rear (north) yard contains a flower-bed formed in stone setts taking the form of a Prussian iron cross with a carved stone pedestal and iron sun-dial on a moulded redbrick base. Stone flags surround the east, north and west elevations. The stable range, now known as the Adam Yard, is set to the east of Castle Upton and accessed by a long tree-lined avenue set perpendicular to the main street of Templepatrick (Belfast Road). To the north of the rear is a lawned area with a stone ha-ha and small stone bridge with a bitmac driveway giving vehicular access to the north yard. To the northeast is a seven-bay single-storey stone-clad garage, built c.2000, abutting the wall of the Upton graveyard.


Wallace W.K

Historical Information

The Studio House is at the entrance to Adam Yard, built to designs by Robert Adam c.1790. According to Lady Kinahan, the former owner, the Stable Yard is an exact replica of the old Fish Market in Edinburgh, which was demolished in 1930. Plans for the Yard are held in the Soane Museum in London. When the Kinahan family purchased the estate in 1963, the Yard was in a state of advanced decay and housed a number of pigsties. The yard is part of the Castle Upton estate, which is thought to contain fragments of a 13th century fortified Priory of the Knights of St John. The late medieval castle, of which a significant portion remains today, was built by Sir Robert and Humphrey Norton in c.1610. The Plantation Commissioners in 1610 reported: “ we beheald materialles sufficient to finish a faire castle already built two stories high with two greate Towres of flankers the worke of Humfrey Northon Lieutenant of the Lo: Deputies foot companie, at a place called Tymple Patricke upon the said Sir Arthur Chichester’s lande by the River of Sixmylewater. He means to build a stonge bawne of lyme and stone about it towards w’ch said Sir Arthur gives 100 li ster and a lease of the lands for many yeares at a small rent”. The castle was sold in 1625 to Captain Henry Upton of Cornwall, later Viscount Templeton, in whose family it was to remain until the early-twentieth century. Clotworthy Upton, the first Lord Templeton and his son, later the first Viscount, commissioned Robert Adam in 1783 to remodel the house ‘with a castle air’. Original drawings are held in the Soane Museum in London. Adam never actually visited Ireland and many of his proposed works were not carried out, however, the asymmetrical castellations are notable; although the picturesque castellated style was only just becoming popular at this time, classical symmetry was still highly regarded. Works included the raising of the two round towers, which were finished with conical roofs; he also added a wing with an additional round tower. The stable complex is completely the work of Adam, and is rigidly symmetrical, as is the neo-classical mausoleum which boasts typical Adam detailing. The 1860 Griffiths Valuation valued the estate at £207. The Yard was converted to housing between 1998 and 2000, which involved remodelling and sympathetic renovation. References: Primary Sources 1. PRONI: T 811/3 -Plantation Commissioner’s Report, 1610 2. PRONI OS/6/1/51/1 -First Edition OS map (1834) 3. PRONI VAL/1/B/129A -Townland Valuation (1836) 4. PRONI VAL/2/A/1/51C -Griffith's Valuation Map (1860) 5. PRONI VAL/2/B/1/10 -Griffith's Valuation (1860) 6. OS Memoirs, History of County Antrim, 1838 Secondary Sources 1. Bence-Jones, M; Burke’s Guide to the Country Houses of Ireland, 1978, p.78 2. Brett, C.E.B, The Buildings of County Antrim, UAHS, Belfast, 1996 3. De Breffny, B & Ffolliot, R; The Houses of Ireland; T&H, London, 1975 (p160, 168) 4. Irish Architectural Archive. “Dictionary of Irish Architects” [Internet source] Accessed 08/05/09 5. Kinahan, Lady C.; Castle Upton booklet 6. Northern Ireland Environment Agency. NI Sites and Monuments Record SM7 file Ant 051:059. 7. Pierce, R., Coey, A. & Oram, R. “Taken for granted: a celebration of 10 years of historic buildings conservation.” Royal Society of Ulster Architects, 1984. 8. Evans, E.E., Ancient Monuments Advisory Council for Northern Ireland, Chart, D.A. “Preliminary Survey of the Ancient Monuments of Northern Ireland, 1940. 9. Girvan, W. D. & Rowan, R. J. “Ulster Architectural Heritage Society Second List of Historic Buildings, Groups of Buildings, Areas of Architectural Importance in West Antrim, Within the Designated Area of the Antrim and Ballymena Development Commission.” Belfast: Ulster Architectural Heritage Society, 1970.

Criteria for Listing

Architectural Interest

A. Style B. Proportion C. Ornamentation J. Setting K. Group value

Historic Interest

V. Authorship Z. Rarity W. Northern Ireland/International Interest


The Adam Yard is a fine example of Robert Adam’s work in a rural setting and demonstrates fine stonemasonry from the late 18th century. While the recent conversion of the complex to a series of private dwellings has resulted in a heavy remodelling of the stable interiors, the majority of the roof structure and some joinery have been retained. The conversion has also seen the insertion of new timber sash windows and an increase in the number of window and door openings, with concrete sills and historically correct fenestration. Overall, the yard retains its original format with many appropriate replacement features where necessary, such as the leaded spire to the central arch, and has resulted in the long-term sustainability of this architecturally significant 18th century complex.

General Comments

This record has been renumbered and was HB20/12/019.

Date of Survey

09 October 2008