About Ayr Mount

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.

Please explore the extensive scenic trails and grounds that are a part of the Ayr Mount Historic Site and read more about the history of the house.


Guided Tours

Thursday & Friday: 1:00pm & 2:30pm

Saturday: 11:00am, 1:00pm, & 2:30pm

Site Gates
The site gates for Ayr Mount’s grounds and the Poet’s Walk are open daily during the following times

Jan., Feb., Nov., Dec. 9 am – 5 pm
March and October 9 am – 6 pm
Apr., May., Aug., Sep. 9 am – 7pm
June and July 9 am – 8 pm


376 St Marys Rd
Hillsborough, NC 27278
Phone: 919-629-0150
Website: Visit Website
Email: Email


  • dog friendly
  • hiking
  • historic
  • historic structures
  • natural area
  • park bench
  • picnic
  • picnic tables
  • Tour
  • trails


Thursday and Friday
1:00PM - 2:30PM
11:30AM - 2:30PM