Basic Site Details

Name: Coodham
Town, district or village: Kilmarnock
City or county: Ayrshire
Country: Scotland
Status: A listed
Grid ref:
Notes: The original house was built 1826-1831 by the widow of William Fairlie and the 90 acre estate remained in the family until 1871 when it was sold to Sir William Henry Houldsworth (1834 -1917) first baronet, Manchester cotton industrialist and politician. In his later years Sir William lived almost exclusively at Coodham, from where he reorganized the affairs of his family's Scottish ironworks and collieries in the early 20th century.

Between 1872 and 1879 Houldsworth employed Alfred Waterhouse to carry out various improvements including a music room, conservatory, private chapel and garden design. In 1877 Frederic Shields, the pre-Rapaelite artist Waterhouse would later employ at Eaton Hall, Cheshire, was commissioned to design the stained glass for the Houldsworth chapel on the subject “The Triumph of Faith” Although his designs had been completed by April 1879, and approved by Houldsworth, the proposal to install the stained glass at Coodham was abandoned. Furnishings by Farmer & Brindlay, glass by Heaton Butler and Bayne to designs by Henry Holliday. Total cost for works at Coodham £13,365.

c2009-11 The house, chapel and west wing have been restored and converted by developers into several residences. Coodham is now a private residential estate with planning permission for over 40 executive homes in the grounds

Following his work at Coodham, Alfred Waterhouse was employed at Reddish near Manchester where Houldsworth had built two new spinning mills and workers’ housing on a green-field site. Here Waterhouse provided the designs for the Houldsworth schools, a rectory and the impressive St Elizabeth’s Church, built 1881-1883 and listed Grade I. Here Frederic Shield’s unused designs for Coodham were incorporated in the clerestory windows while his cartoons were eventually acquired by Manchester Art Gallery.

Contractors: General, William Scott; heating G N Haden, D O Bpyd; stonecarving Farmer & Brindley, M Muir; tiles W Godwin; stained glass Heaton Butler & Bayne; chimneypieces W H Burke; furnishing H Capel; decoration Best & Lea; ironwork Hart Son Beard & Co; decorative plasterwork G Jackson; murals Frederick Shields.

Cost £13,365. N.B. An organ case was designed for W H Houldsworth in 1869, location unknown.

Alternative Names

The following alternative names are associated with this building/design:
 NameCurrent name?Notes
Item 1 of 1Williamfield Original name

Building Type Classification

The building is classified under the following categories:
 ClassificationOriginal classification?Notes
Item 1 of 1Country HouseYes 


The following date-based events are associated with this building:
 FromToEvent typeNotes
Item 1 of 218721879 Chapel, music room, conservatory and design for garden
Item 2 of 220062009Alteration/conversionConverted to 6 apartments


Design and Construction

The following individuals or organisations have carried out design/construction work. Where architects or practices worked together, matching letters appear beside their names in the Partnership Group column.
 NameRolePartnership GroupFromToNotes
Item 1 of 3(Sir) Robert SmirkeArchitectAc. 1826 Attribution in 'Buildings of Scotland'
Item 2 of 3Alfred WaterhouseArchitect 18721879Chapel, music room, conservatory. Lodge, cottages and design for garden; farm buildings
Item 3 of 3CDP Architectural practiceC20062009Converted to 6 apartments after fire


The following individuals or organisations have commissioned work on this building/design:
Item 1 of 2Fairlie, Mrs WilliamWidow of a merchant and banker in Calcutta. Original client.
Item 2 of 2Houldsworth, William 

Related Buildings, Structures and Designs

Child Structures

This structure or site has the following component or child structures (click on an item to view details):
 Building NameNotes
Item 1 of 3Coodham, cottages 
Item 2 of 3Coodham, farm steading 
Item 3 of 3Coodham, lodge 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this building:
Item 1 of 2Close, Rob and Riches, Anne2012The Buildings of Scotland: Ayrshire & Arran New Haven and London: Yale University Pressp225-6
Item 2 of 2Cunningham, Colin and Waterhouse, Prudence Alfred Waterhouse 1830-1905: biography of a practice  Catalogue no 369, p242