Ayr Mount is a Federal-era plantation house built in 1815 in Hillsborough, North Carolina by William Kirkland, who 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 façade. The ceiling height of 14 feet is unusual for this period, as is the elaborate Federal-era 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 the Piedmont. Hillsborough 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, 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.