James Brown bought the Knockbrex Estate in 1895 and set about a program of renovation and building a unique collection of impressive and often quirkily unusual buildings around the estate. He employed some well-known craftsmen of the time including the architect G.H. Higginbottom from Manchester, cabinet-maker Frank Hallows of Hulme, Cheshire, coppersmith James Smithies of Wilmslow, Cheshire, and pewterer W.J. Englefield of London.
Knockbrex House was extended and formal gardens created.
Knockbrex Castle was originally built as the garage for James Brown’s collection of motor vehicles. It is reputedly designed based on featured from Warwick Castle. More recently it has been used as holiday rental property and is popular with wedding and family celebration groups.
A substantial harbour construction in front of Knockbrex House with elegant navigation pillars and castellated boathouse.
The Bathing House
Situated at the edge of a sheltered, sandy bay opposite Barlocco Island, the bathing house has the distinctive battlement features. There was also a jetty leading out from the bathing house down onto the sandy beach. Over the years, storms have washed away much of the jetty and retaining wall and the bathing house itself is in danger of being undercut.
The Coo Palace (Corseyard Dairy)
The Coo Palace is situated on the coast road near Barlocco. It was built as a model dairy for a herd of prize Belted Galloway cattle. It has recently been acquired by Holiday Property Bond and has been converted into holiday apartments.
The ‘Wee Kirk’ at Kirkandrews was built in 1906 as a public hall for the village of Kirkandrews. It is now maintained by a charitable trust and still frequently used for weddings and other events.
James Brown is buried in the small plot in front of the kirk and there are also memorials to his family members.
Kirkandrews & Ingleston Laundries
The laundry building in Kirkandrews was originally a single storey structure with the characteristic battlements that decorate so many of James Brown’s buildings. It was later converted to a private residence with the addition of an upper storey. There is another laundry building from the same time at Ingleston farm.
A pair of semi-detached cottages were built in Kirkandrews village in the early 1900s using stone from the disused corn mill.