At the time of its construction Ayr Mount was considered one of the finest residential structures in Piedmont North Carolina. This Federal-era house was built in 1815 in Hillsborough, North Carolina for William Kirkland. Kirkland named the house in honor of his birthplace, Ayr, Scotland. Ayr Mount looks deceptively simple, even austere on the outside. Yet, Ayr Mount is far grander – especially in the interior – than one might expect at first look. 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. 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.