Ayr Mount is a Federal-era plantation house built in 1815 in Hillsborough, North Carolina by William Kirkland. Kirkland, named the house in honor of his birthplace, Ayr, Scotland. Unlike the other houses in the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust collection, Ayr Mount looks deceptively simple, even austere on the outside. There are no soaring columns proclaiming its classicism. On the other hand, Ayr Mount is far grander – especially in the interior – than one might expect from a first look at the exterior. The ceiling height of 14 feet is unusual for this period as is the elaborate Federal period woodwork and plasterwork found throughout the house. Ayr Mount also was the first major residence built of brick in this area of predominantly colonial era wood frame houses. At the time of its construction at the end of the War of 1812, Ayr Mount was considered one of the finest residential structures in Piedmont North Carolina. Visit this historic house.
Hillsborough itself is one of the oldest communities in North Carolina and was an important center of trade at the time of the American Revolution, serving briefly as the state capital when the then-capital of New Bern was held by the British. Hillsborough is full of charming historic houses, but Ayr Mount, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is the crown jewel and well worth a visit.
What’s Going On at Ayr Mount.
Hillsborough was listed as one of the 20 Best Small Towns in the Americas You’ve Never Heard Of (But Should) by the travel bloggers Alison Cornford-Matheson and her husband Andrew Matheson, and Ayr Mount was listed as the first spot to check-out!
Announcing a new footbridge spanning the Eno River at Ayr Mount – connecting downtown Hillsborough to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Click here for details of the ribbon-cutting event that was held on July 22, 2016.
A fun, informative, and hands-on workshop on Fakes Forgeries & Reproductions was offered on Saturday, July 23rd, 2016. Click here for details from the special day-long seminar.
In 2015, Ayr Mount celebrated its Bicentennial year! Click here to see photos from the 200th Anniversary Dinner, Music at Ayr, the Cèilidh and more!
Read about the archaeological digs that have uncovered new findings about native villages in the area.
We are also delighted to present a new downloadable brochure about Ayr Mount. Click here to access the PDF.