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Gallowgate Street Largs

A walk along Greenock Road to Gallowgate Street

Well we hope you are enjoying your historical guided walk into Largs Town centre from the Greenock Road.

From now on we will be concentrating mainly on the buildings and features to the left as we walk into Largs. The buildings on the prom and on the pier head will appear in a new walking feature which we are currently researching..

Hutton Park

The old Hutton Park Hotel now a popular residential care home.

new hutton park
old hutton park

The Queens Hotel

Now we reach The Queens Hotel on the left.

the queens hotel largs
the old queens hotel largs
The Queens Hotel building was originally a private residence called South Kirklands and was in fact two semidetached houses. It was built sometime prior to 1855. One house had an entrance facing Greenock Road which is now the hotel entrance. The other house had an entrance on Brisbane Street which can still be seen today. It once had a curling pond.

The Queens Hotel has been based on Largs seafront since the 1940s. The hotel offered 14 rooms, of which 12 were en-suite, and two family rooms with private bathrooms. In the 1970s the Scotland football team would regularly stay at Hotel before matches. During one visit in 1974 Celtic legend Jimmy Johnstone went for a row on a boat at Largs seafront and ended up out at sea and had to be rescued by the local lifeboat. This story is well known and is famous in Scottish football folklore.

Until recently The Queens Hotel was a popular hotel bar and restaurant providing a lovely outdoor setting for a cold pint of on a summer's day.

Unfortunately in July 2018 the Hotel was suddenly closed. We believe the hotel is currently up for sale. Plans to demolish the building and build flats appeared to have stalled.

Millenium Court

millenium court photo
old springfield hotel
Millenium Court Flats
The Old Springfield Hotel
old springfield hotel
ols springfield hotel
The Springfield Bar with its Art Deco Fish themed bar
An 1957 Advert for the Springfield Hotel
On the left we now pass the Millenium Court Flats. Up to the late 1990s this was the site of the Springfield Hotel.

The original Springefield House dates back to 1848 when the Rev D Baxter was the owner. In 1900 a Major Macdonald lived there. The building became a hotel sometime prior to 1958 when a Mrs Ann Ewing was the resident manager. In 1992 it was extended.

Later the Springfield hotel was owned by the same Nuclear Power Group consortium that built the Hunterston B Power Station.

With its 35 bedrooms it was used to house workers and technical engineers visiting Hunterston along with holidaymakers.

The Springfield Hotel was very popular with Largs locals in its day. Local darts and pool teams played there. For a time in the early 1980s it was a popular place for local under age customers. Due to the large glass conservatory windows it provided a unresticted view in front of the hotel giving an early warning to any unwanted Police visits.

The Springfield Hotel was demolished in the late 1990s to make way for the Millenium Court flats.

Barrfields Pavilion Theatre

Largs Barrfield Theatre
Just next to the Millenium Court Flats we reach the Barrfields Pavilion Theatre which has be a place of entertainment for Largs folk for 70 years.

The Barrfields Theatre was built on the site of Mansfield House (image below) formally known as South Kirklands. In 1818 the resident was Thomson Honeyman. In 1834 Dr Hugh Lang lived there who made his fortune in the West Indies and who was one of the first people to order a purpose built yacht from Fifes of Fairle.

In 1894 it was home of Dewar Paton. In 1929 was demolished to make way for the new Barrfields Theatre.

old kirklands
mr barr

The Barrfields Theatre was officially opened by a Mrs Barr on 11th April 1930. Mr Robert Barr (image above) had previously purchased the house and grounds of Mansefield and gifted them to the town. He also donated £1,000 towards the new building. The name for the new theatre was appropriate officially changed to Barrfields.

The first show was held on the 11th April 1930 with 1,000 people present. Initial shows were performed by local Largs groups. The first lease of municipally owned Barrfield shows was in 1930 by a Mr J Mungo from Prestwick.

In 1931 Mr Harry Kemp , the cinema and amusements king of North Ayrshire began his run of 10 summer shows. In 1940s George Bowie began his long run of entertainment. In 1950 Mr Louis Freedman the Glasgow bandleader won the lease but he lost money. In 1952 Mr Bowie took over again and presented shows into the to 1960s.

Many of the Scottish great acts of the time performed at Barrfields, Rikki Fulton and Jack Milroy ,Andy Stewart, and The Alexander Brothers all entertained locals and visiting holiday makers alike. In the 70s popular acts like Billy Connelly and Gallagher played at the Barrfields.

In 1971 the swimming pool was built. In 1995 a new visitor centre was added the the theatre refurbished. This also included a winter garden, shop ,Café and the Vikingar historical attraction.. The theatre is now owned by North Ayrshire Council and can entertain an audience of 500. Today Barrfields is still very popular and mixes professional touring acts along side productions from the Largs Players , Largs Operatic and the Largs Youth Theatre.

old barrfields
Barrfields in the 1930's
old barrfiellds
Barrfields as it looked in the 70's and 80's
The new Vikingar complex

The Blethering Dyke

As we continue towards Largs we can now observe the Blethering Dyke on the right hand side.. This is the name of the wall running East and West between the prom and the Greenock road opposite Barrfields. Why its called this name and the year of its construction is unknown.
largs prom dyke
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