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 structure 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 old colonial 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.
Join us for a year-long celebration of Ayr Mount’s Bicentennial.
Click here for more information and the calendar of events!
On Sunday, April 26, 2015 (1:00 – 4:00 PM) Ayr Mount will host Earth Day Fair at Ayr. Admission is free. Lots of activities to interest everyone! Including free kites for children, naturalist guides on site to answer questions, a vermicomposting display, hikes on the Poet’s Walk, tree planting, and information from partner groups. For more information, click here.
You are cordially invited to A Ball at Ayr Mount House on Saturday, May 23, 2015 (7:00 – 10:00 PM).
An English Country Dance on the Lawn, including period libations and Scottish music performances.
All are welcome! Click here for details and ticket.
To watch! UNC-TV’s featured Ayr Mount in Collecting Carolina. MESDA Associate Curator Daniel Ackermann joined Julia Carpenter to talk about the original home furnishings and special North Carolina collections to be seen on a tour of this 1815 house. Click here to view the full broadcast. And come experience this house for yourself – visit this NC jewel in person!
Don’t miss P. Gaye Tapp’s in-depth conversation with Richard Jenrette published in WALTER Magazine. Click here to download a copy of this exclusive interview.
We are also delighted to present a new downloadable brochure about Ayr Mount. Click here to access the PDF.