Tarbolton Library

Tarbolton Library - Composed by John C Grant (https://johncgrant.com). Traditional composer from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.

Built in 1879 by the skilled hands of Gabriel Andrew, the Lorimer Library stands as a testament to architectural ingenuity. This single-storey structure showcases a roughly cruciform plan, its gabled form exuding an understated elegance that blends harmoniously with its surroundings. Crafted from red sandstone ashlar, the library’s craftsmanship is evident in every detail, from its meticulously sculpted details to the well-preserved features that endure to this day.

The library’s frontal facade presents a captivating canted gable bay, punctuated by round-arched windows that beckon curious gazes. A tapestry of Neo-Norman detailing adorns the exterior, weaving an intricate story of design. As the eyes ascend, a central gable captures attention, boasting a hoodmoulded tripartite window framed by pilaster mullions. Engraved in raised stone above the window, the dignified inscription “THE LORIMER LIBRARY” immortalizes the benefactor of this cultural haven, John Lorimer. Completing the composition, a semi-circular hood-mould, elegantly crowned with carved ball stops, adds a final flourish to the central gable.

The library’s western elevation displays an artful tripartite window, skillfully adorned with moulded details. A prominent feature, the gable apex hosts a roundel, which hints at a clock face that never found its place. This architectural gem is enriched by meticulous details throughout, from roll-moulded window and door margins to the presence of moulded skewputts gracing the central gable.

To the north and east, gabled features create a balanced aesthetic, while the M-gabled south adds a sense of distinction. A later addition emerges at the southeast corner, a testament to the library’s enduring relevance.

Impeccably designed windows illuminate the interior, framed by timber sash and case ensembles, reflecting a timeless grace. The edifice is punctuated by coped, shouldered stacks adorned with octagonal yellow clay cans, a harmonious marriage of form and function.

Lorimer Library occupies a venerated spot along Tarbolton’s primary thoroughfare, an architectural jewel that once housed a library, reading room, recreation space, and caretaker’s quarters. This cherished institution found its origin in the vision and generosity of John Lorimer, a prosperous local businessman. A historical photograph reveals the library’s original boundary wall with railings, while the roundel atop the gable points to a clock face that never graced its presence.

Gabriel Andrew, a prominent architect of his time (1851-1933), left an indelible mark on Kilmarnock with his designs. Mainly celebrated for his commercial creations, he was notably retained by the distinguished Johnnie Walker & Sons of Kilmarnock. The Lorimer Library stands as a testament to his artistry, serving as the earliest-known architectural masterpiece attributed to his name.

Tarbolton Library - Composed by John C Grant (https://johncgrant.com). Traditional composer from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Scotland.

A guide track for ‘Tarbolton Library’ is available below for listening: -

You can download a PDF of the sheet music here - or braille format here.

The track is additionally available within the following collections and sets: -

Associated Collections: -
2/4 Air Ayrshire Places The Tarbolton Collection The Three Six Five Collection