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Annick Lodge (also known as Over Peinstoun, Pearston Hall, Pewston)


The grounds at Annick Lodge are a relatively well-preserved example of a small 18th-century 'ferme ornee', designed to combine a working farm and ornamental features. Although encroached on by development, the estate still includes attractive 18th-century parkland with avenues along the river and drive, and an overgrown walled garden with 17th-century gate piers.

The following is from the Historic Environment Scotland Gardens and Designed Landscapes Inventory. For the most up-to-date Inventory entry, please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website:

Type of Site

A small arcadian landscape park within a riverside setting.

Location and Setting

Annick is situated off the A736 north-east of Irvine in North Ayrshire and is surrounded by gently undulating farmland. There are views into the parkland from the north and south front of the house. Housing development near Irvine can be seen from the drive but is just out of sight from the main house. The dense boundary planting of the Annick estate makes it difficult to see into the designed landscape from outside.

The extent of the designed landscape remains exactly as the 1885 estate survey, which is based on the earlier 1st edition OS 1:2500 (25'), 1854.

Landscape Components

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 18th 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 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.


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.


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.

Walled Garden

The walled garden is now 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 in a ruinous state.

Visitor Access, Directions & Contacts

The following is from the Historic Environment Scotland Gardens and Designed Landscapes Inventory. For the most up-to-date Inventory entry, please visit the Historic Environment Scotland website:

Reason for Inclusion

A diminutive and relatively complete example of an 18th-century ferme ornée. Although some features have become seriously degraded and new housing development has occurred nearby, the overall park landscape remains intact and very attractive.

Main Phases of Landscape Development

18th and 19th centuries, superseding earlier landscape phases of which little is known.

Site History

The early history of Annick Lodge is obscure. There is believed to have been a monastic connection, probably associated with the Tironensian monks of Kilwinning but this has not been substantiated. The existing house was built on the site of Pearston-hall, the manor house of the lairds of Over Pearston of the 15th century. Timothy Pont, c. 1604-8, described the house, then known as 'Ouer Pierstone' as 'a proper bulding veill planted'.

James Montgomery is recorded as laird of Over Pearston in 1717. The lands passed out of the possession of that family for some time before being acquired in 1790 by Alexander Montgomery, second son of Alexander Montgomery of Coilsfield, a brother of Hugh, 12th Earl of Eglinton. It was Alexander who completed the remodelling of the house two years later, changed the name to Annick Lodge, and who probably made the parkland more informal in character. His son, Lt. Col. William Eglinton Montgomerie, succeeded in 1802, but little is known of changes to the estate before his death in 1852. The Montgomerie family continued to live at Annick Lodge until 1885. It was purchased in 1895 by Robert Barclay Shaw and sold by his trustees to John Ronald Howie in 1935.


  • 18th Century (1701 to 1800)
  • Late 18th Century (1775 to 1799)
Features & Designations


  • Historic Environment Scotland An Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland


  • Sundial
  • Ornamental Bridge
  • Description: A Gothic traceried bridge
  • Avenue
  • River
  • Drive
  • Kitchen Garden
  • Description: An overgrown walled garden.
  • Gate Piers
  • Earliest Date:
  • Latest Date:
Key Information





Principal Building

Domestic / Residential


18th Century (1701 to 1800)


Part: standing remains

Open to the public


Electoral Ward





  • Historic Scotland