Heywood, 13 Shore Road, Skelmorlie – Demolished

Source of photos: 1. Heywood Hotel circa 1945 – Facebook: Skelmorlie & Wemyss Bay in their Heyday.  2. 1910 Ordinance Survey 3. Postcard by Valentine showing Oakcraig and The Heywood with Stroove in the background. 4. Valentine postcard – Shore Road Skelmorlie circa 1945. 5. Heywood 2004 by John Wallace.


Unknown but possibly A A RankenCirca 1859 – 1860House Built
Andrew A Ranken1862 – 1894
Miss Ranken1903
Unknown1903 – 1931
House for Sale1931
M. & E. Macrae (Propreitors)1947Re-opening post WW2 requisition
Unknown1947 – 1988
Mr & Mrs H Monaghan1988 – 2004Refurbishment of hotel. Conservatory added and land sold for two-storey house.
McIntosh Homes2004 – 2005Hotel demolished and replaced with block of 16 flats

*  Source: Dictionary of Scottish Architects design report. www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/


  • The exact year that Heywood was built is not on public record but it most likely to have been circa 1859/1860.  Andrew A Ranken is listed as living at Heywood in the 1862 county directory and we know that his name first appears in the South Church records as far back as 1860. We also know there were no houses on Shore Road between Seabank (Strathclyde) and Halketburn Cottage (at the foot of the Halketburn beside the Hydro steps) in 1855.  Source: 1862 County Directory, The Book of the Parish Church of Skelmorlie by Rev. John Lamond and “Skelmorlie” p69 by Walter Smart
  • Andrew Archibald Ranken matriculated as an Arts student at the University of Glasgow in 1837. He was the third son of a Glasgow merchant and he himself was also a merchant working in Manchester, Trinidad, Shanghai, and London before moving to Skelmorlie. Source: Universitystory.gla.ac.uk/
  • Andrew Ranken lived at Heywood for more than 30 years. In 1881, he commissioned John Honeyman, to make “additions” to the house. Without referring to the actual (Honeyman and Keppie) job-book, we can only surmise what these might be, but with his six sisters also living at Heywood (see below), it was possibly an extension to the main house!
  • During his time in the village, Andrew Ranken was very involved with the South Church and was Secretary and Treasurer to the Board of Trustees during the erection of the New Skelmorlie Parish Church. Rev Lamond wrote in his book below “He was one of the most faithful workers in connection with the congregation and gave his energies and means freely that the scheme (church extension) might be perfected. He died on 14 August 1894. Source: The Book of The Parish Church of Skelmorlie, Rev John Lamond, B.D, 1895.
  • Whilst Heywood is listed in the 1901 county directory, there is no owner’s name but by 1903 Miss Ranken is listed at the Heywood. Source: 1901 County Directory and Slater’s Royal National Directory of Scotland, Skelmorlie ,1903.
  • It would appear that Miss Ranken and her sisters, like Andrew were also heavily involved with the church. “Electric light was installed in the South Church, in memory of Hannah Ranken and her five sisters who died at Heywood, Skelmorlie between the years 1894 and 1904 and to commemorate their long and active interest in the parish, by their grand-nieces and their grand-nephews.  Source: Skelmorlie & Wemyss Bay (South Church), 1856-1956, Wm Newton Macartney.
  • No record has been found of who lived at Heywood between 1904 and 1930 but in 1931, the house came on the market. Ayrshire – Heywood – Skelmorlie: This Commodious Residence occupies an exceptionally fine situation on the Shore Road and commands magnificent unobstructed views of the Firth. Contains 3 Reception Rooms, Billiard Room, 8 Bedrooms, 2 Dressing Rooms, 2 Bathrooms, Servants Hall and 4 Bedrooms, Cloakroom and complete Domestic Offices. Electric Light and Central Heating. Tennis Lawn. Gardener’s House. Excellent Double Garage. Chauffeur’s House. Ground extends to just under 5 acres and is well wooded and sheltered. Apply W. F. & S.” Source: The Scotsman (Pg3) January 1931.
  • Our next insight to the Heywood comes just after the second world war. By this time, Heywood is not only a hotel but it’s been requisitioned during the war. “Heywood Hotel (Licensed), Skelmorlie, Ayrshire – The Proprieters initmate that Heywood Hotel, Skelmorlie, has been derequisitioned and will reopen on 1st September 1947- Booking is now open, Phone Wemyss Bay 2258 M. & E. Macrae(Props.)” Source: The Scostman- Wednesday 31st August 1947 – Page 1.
  • In 1988 Harry and Cathy Monaghan became the proprietors of the Heywood Hotel. As other establishments in the area closed their doors, the Heywood became an extremely popular venue for food and drink amongst locals and passing trade. The public rooms were refurbished during their tenure and a conservatory was added at the entrance.  Source: Various. 
  • Planning permission was approved 18 June 1996 for the erection of a two-story detached house and garage in the grounds of the Heywood. Source: eplanning.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/
  • Sadly, the Heywood was not to survive. In early 2004, the following was reported in the Wemyss Bay Village news. “The Heywood hotel has been sold to a developer and is set to be converted into 16 luxury flats during the summer, provided planning permission is granted by North Ayrshire Council. Ownership of the hotel, which was built in the 19th century but which was not listed, will pass to a local developer. Harry Monaghan, who has owned the hotel for 16 years said, “My wife and I are really getting to a stage in life where we would like to have more time off. We have declined offers in the past but the time is right to move on. Unfortunately, the offer from a developer far supersedes that to one which is carrying it on as a going concern. It would be nice to sell it as a hotel but the difference is too great.” The hotel currently employs 5 full time staff and 15 -20 part-time staff throughout the year. Depending on the planning application the building could be knocked down or converted and refurbished”. Source: Wemyss Bay village news. Feb 2004.
  • Approval was given in Aug 2004, for the demolition of the Heywood hotel and the erection of 16 flats and 32 carparking spaces. Source: eplanning.north-ayrshire.gov.uk/

Location Map:

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