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This article was written by a Scottish Newspaper (Click HERE for link to paper) in East Lanarkshire. I contacted the newspaper company and was able to get the full five week story with pictures and text since it was no longer completely available on their archives on the web. Click the above box to see the text and HERE to see all the pictures. (The complete article is posted here with the permission of the newspaper's editors.)

Calderwood Castle - East Kilbride Newspaper

Returning to Calderwood Castle and its secrets

The very first article in this series was on the theme of Calderwood Castle and this week I have returned to the castle to reflect on its last days. The castle provides a rich source of historical material and during the next year I intend to look at the history of Calderwood Estate and the Maxwell family whose roots can be traced to 1400AD. In my researches I have been greatly assisted by the private papers, maps and photographs prepared by Fred S. Mitchell on Maxwellton Village and Calderwood Estate. Fred was brought up in Maxwellton and, on marriage, moved to Maxwell Drive. Before settling in the Isle of Man with Gillian, his wife, he produced the excellent Bicentenary History of the West Kirk of East Kilbride 1791-1991, His painstaking researches and his eye for detail have provided me with a treasure trove of local history. The chronicle from 1845 of the Castle is fascinating, covering the sale of the whole estate to the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society in 1904, the use of the castle by Belgium refugees in 1914 and its requisition by the army in the Second World War. I will be describing these events in detail in a later article. Most of the buildings were demolished in 1948/49 but an attempt was made, by the East Kilbride Development Corporation, to retain the glory of the octagonal tower. This relic of former glories, however, began to list noticeably and became dangerous. The demise of the tower took place on October 28,1951, when the building was blown up by a detachment of the Royal Engineers. The last days of the castle

In 1587, when Mary Queen of Scots approached the scaffold, her last words are reputed to have been - "In my end is my beginning". And so, in a sense, is the fate of East Kilbride's most magnificent building - Calderwood Castle. In December, 1400, Sir John Maxwell, the fourth baron of Pollok, settled Calderwood and several other estates on his second son, Robert. The grant covered the estate of Calderwood and the lands of Dripps, Jackton, Allerton, Newlands and Greenhills, together with one quarter of what we know today as Thomtonhall. Over a period of 485 years, a succession of Maxwells, the lairds of Calderwood, lived on the estate. There were 20 of them, the last being Sir William Maxwell, the ninth baronet, who died without heirs in December 1885. It was to be the seventh baronet who was to be responsible for the grand addition to the castle, in 1845, of the Gothic extension. I have used the word Gothic to describe the style of architecture reintroduced in the 19th century which was directly related to the Gothic style of the Middle Ages. One of the main characteristics of Gothic buildings is the abundance of pointed arches. The photograph shows the splendid octagonal tower which was the focal point of Sir William's creation. Each succeeding building from 1400 was erected on this precipitous site, commanding, as it did, glorious views of the River Calder and the wooded glens. The Gothic extension of 1845 was a relatively small part of the two older sections which descended towards the River Calder. The cost o. the Gothic works was 50,000, a sum equivalent to 1,000,000 at today's prices, which represented e vast sum for a relatively small addition. The stone-was drawn by horse and cart from Greenock, some 35 miles away. The freestone was dense and hard, purplish-grey in colour, and was full of particles that scintillated in the light.

Section Two - Craigneith Castle and the Fountain:

This is the second article on the series on Calderwood Estate. Again I must pay homage to the work of Fred Mitchell whose love affair with Maxwellton and Calderwood have provided a wealth of informed data for myself. Across the river from Calderwood Castle and to the northeast, perched above a range of cliffs lay the building called Craigneith Castle. The style of masonry suggests erection between 1750 and 1850. The building fulfilled three functions. It provided accommodation for three of the Calderwood Castle servants. Secondly, the upper floor had a large window in each of the three main faces and a wheel stair gave access to a parapet walk. This suggests that the building was a vantage point from which the scenery of Calderwood Glen could be admired. Lastly it was a decorative adjunct to the whole Calderwood Estate and part of the Gothic philosophy underlying the layout of Calderwood Glen. The battlements visible in the photograph on the top of the round tower were possibly added by Sir John Maxwell to provide a romantic silhouette. The stone used was a local freestone, originally creamy-yellow but latterly weathered to a warm silvery grey. Over the years the building fell into disrepair. Although tolerably intact in 1951, nothing now remains.


One touching story anent Craigneith - one of the servants who lived there was an old lady whose -duties included the lighting of 40 coal fires in Calderwood Castle. She arose at 4am in the morning and made her way down the serpentine paths over the footbridge to Calderwood Castle in summer and winter, rain, tempest or shine. Her disposition must have been of a most phlegmatic order! On the east side of Calderwood Glen, a small stream called Fiddler's Burn cascaded into the valley.


A sluice and sliding panel were formed to draw off water to a triple fountain on the flat ground below Craigneith Castle. The fountain was set in the middle of a shallow oval pool approximately 14 ft x 40 ft with a path all around. The fountain on its small rock mound is clearly visible as the center piece of the photograph. On the riverbank beside the fountain there was an artificial cave or grotto, 8 ft x 7 ft in dimension it was sunk into the hillside, being built of rough natural stone with a large slab roof. It must have been a cool refreshing retreat on a hot summer's day. The sparkling fountain, the rippling pool and the huge trees added to the murmur of the River Calder and were all part of the romantic Gothic fantasy created by the seventh baronet Sir William Alexander Maxwell.

Section Three - The Fairy Well and the Hermitage:

In this the third article of the Calderwood Chronicles I deal with two artifacts - the Fairy Well and the Hermitage - both a mile or so up river from Calderwood Castle. The provenance of much of the text is derived from the private papers of Fred Mitchell. From the path running along the top west edge of Calderwood Glen, a branch diverged down towards the River Calder descending by a flight of stone steps below a towering rock face from which emerged a spring called The Fairy Well. The slab can be observed in the accompanying photograph immediately to the left of the lady drinking from an enamel cup. The rock face was built up with masonry corbelled over the opening then closed across with a lintel above which was a slab with 10 lines of incised lettering. The text of the inscription is unknown The water flow escapes under the stone slabs spanning the path and beyond the rustic fence to the water's edge. The well had a considerable reputation locally for its curative powers and many folk came to drink the mineral impregnated waters. The path leading down to the Fairy Well shows evidence of much usage and the well was overhung with a protective rustic canopy. There was even an enamel drinking mug for the pilgrims! No trace now remains of the Fairy Well. During the 1960's a great deluge of grey shale was washed down and covers the site entirely. Just beyond the Fairy Well the path zigzags back on itself and leads down to the water's edge - about six feet above river level. In a direct line with this path, in the center of the riverbed, is a small island composed of a slab of flat rock fallen from the bank above. The rock bears the marks of a chisel and pieces of stone were built underneath to consolidate the rock against river action. In its present condition it is heavily overgrown with speedwell, pink champion and ragged robin. Until the 1920's the site was occupied by The Hermitage, otherwise known as The Grey Mare. Locally the building was called The Hermit's Hut or The Hermit's Cottage. The internal dimensions were five feet by six feet and the building was surmounted by a pyramidal thatched roof. The stone used was local and comprised squared freestone rubble. A footbridge from the west bank provided the means of access to The Hermitage whose door faced west and the window faced south and upstream. No trace now of the building remains. Set into the grassy bank above the path was a stone slab purporting to mark the hermit's grave. The inscription was headed "September 26th 1722 THE HERMITS CAVE" and the first two lines of a 12-line poem read: "The pangs of life - of death itself are o'er The Hermit's weary heart shall throb no more." The grave was enveloped by the landslide which destroyed the Fairy Well. The name of the building - The Hermitage - and the gravestone are probably fanciful. The structure was perhaps no more than a rustic belvedere or gazebo built in 1845 when the last Calderwood extension was completed. There is of course no conclusive proof that a hermit ever lived there and the whole setting may have been a whimsical hoax on the part of Sir William Maxwell. Such a feature was by no means rare where a wealthy Gothic revivalist, such as the seventh baronet, took his romanticism seriously. On the other hand, the building may have been occupied by a genuine recluse - a century and a half later we shall never know.

Section Four - Calderwood Castle (1400-1885):

During the early months of 1999 three articles were published in the Local History series on Calderwood Castle and Estate. They were entitled:

o Last Days of Calderwood Castle
o Craigneith Castle and the Fountain
o Fairy Well and the Hermitage

The fourth article in the Calderwood Chronicles series represents a more comprehensive and enlarged account of the splendid castle exterior which was demolished in 1948. I will attempt to piece together and give unity to the architectural, social and historical aspects. Part five next week will cover Calderwood Estate in depth - the castle interiors, the subsidiary buildings, both ornamental and utilitarian as well as the physical features of the Glen. The final article will also narrate the last days of the castle from the death of the Ninth Baronet in 1885 to the demolition of castle and tower between 1948 and 1951.

Castles and Noble Homes of Kilbride Parish

There are five castles or noble homes within the parish of East Kilbride. Four of them lie on the banks of the River Calder:

o Crossbasket House - a tower house with Victorian extensions which has seen fewer alterations over the centuries than Torrance House or Calderwood Castle and now used as a base for commercial and religious enterprises.
o Calderwood Castle (demolished) - where the same site had been built over for centuries: originally a tower-house but latterly a splendid 1845 essay in Gothic Revivalism.
o Torrance House - an ancient L-shaped tower-house with wings added in 1879 in the Scottish Baronial style.
o Crutherland-House - an 18th century mansion built as a dower-house or dowry-house by the Stuarts of Torrance. The building is part of the new reconstructed Crutherland House Hotel.

Of these four buildings, only Torrance House has retained its primary domestic function. The fifth building is Mains Castle built circa 1450 and empty for some 300 years until Mike Rowan's splendid restoration to a dwelling house in 1976. Calderwood Castle, however, had the richest, most extensive and picturesque estates and the most cultured laird in the person of the Seventh Baronet, Sir William Alexander Maxwell, who spared no effort to beautify his buildings and lands.

The Maxwell Family

The founder of the Maxwell family is said to have been Maccus, the son of a Saxon noble, who at the Norman Conquest took refuge in Scotland. He received the grant of lands, near Kelso, from King David I to which the name Maccuswell was given. This name was abbreviated to Maxwell and became the designation of his descendants - one of whom Aymer de Maxwell around 1250 married the daughter of Roland de Mearns. As a dowry, he was granted the land and baronies of Mearns, Pollok, Dripps (near Thorn-tonhall and Calderwood. In December 1400, Sir John Maxwell settled Calderwood Estate on his second son Robert and his heirs. In addition Sir John granted Robert the lands of Dripps, Jackton, Ailerton, Newlands, Greenhills and Thornton. All these names are still in use in the East Kilbride of today as farms, districts or hamlets. For almost five centuries, a series of 20 Maxwells continued the family dynasty at Calderwood Castle and Estate. The Maxwell of Calderwood baronetcy which was established in 1667 by Charles II was extinguished when the Ninth Baronet, Sir William Maxwell, died without issue in December 1885. The baronetcy devolved on James Pierce Maxwell, ninth Baron Farnham. Sir William's widow, Lady Jane Maxwell survived her husband by an astonishing 56 years. She remarried and passed away in 1942.

The Construction of the Castle

There is no reliable evidence that a building existed on the site prior to 1450. It is likely that Robert Maxwell on the grant of the Calderwood Estate in 1400 would have required a defensive stronghold to protect and manage his exclusive landholdings against the warlike mediaeval barons who used brute force and violence to extend their possessions in the lawless Scotland of the 15th century. The Twin Towers: The earliest castle at Calderwood was probably built around 1450 in the form of a tower-house - the fortified house style that we can observe readily at Mains Castle three miles to the north. This fortified tower-house was given an additional tower possibly around 1550 and the engraving P Sandby (illustration 1) shows the composite buildings. The bell house represents the top of the wheel stair where it gives access to the parapet walk. The top of the castle lay 88 feet from the ground and there was a further 60 feet perpendicular drop to the River Calder. The basement storey was vaulted and used as stables. The external walls were seven feet thick proving the original defensive nature of the buildings. The 1750 Extension: The same Sandby engraving depicts the south and west wings of the addition to the castle-circa 1750. We observe a plain three-storied building with six windows on the upper floors and five windows and a door on the lower floor. The landscape is accurately depicted, the front drive is well away from the precipitous riverbank and the terrain is much less heavily wooded than in later times. The engraving shows clearly the admirable sitting of Calderwood Castle where it rests high above the Calder and giving perspective and access to the river on three sides. On January 23,1773, at 9.30 in the morning the whole north east of the castle together with the rast-end collapsed into the river. In the words of an rye-witness to the tragedy: "Not so much as a dog was hurt." Complete disaster was averted by the Rev Dr John Baillie who lived in a nearby villa (Dr Baillie was the brother-in-law of the famous East Kilbride doctors, John and Hunter, having married their mister Dorothy) and knew the Maxwell family intimately, having acted as tutor to the three brothers. At home one evening Dr Baillie advised his wife hat he had a premonition that there was an imminent disaster about to take place at Calderwood. He saddled his horse, put his woolen nightcap in his pocket and rode down to the castle arriving at 11pm when the Maxwell family were about to go to bed. Dr Baillie asked Lady Maxwell if all the family were well and was assured that this was indeed so. He then explained the nature of his untimely visit and requested that Sir William examine the east wall. This was done and a deep rent was observed. The servants were asked to get out of bed and join the family who resided in the three-storied building. At the top of the castle was a square tower in which were deposited the archives and records of the family. These were removed and the family and servants sat up all night to see the result. The ensuing crash at half past nine in the morning resulted in the range of stables being covered by debris. Providentially the arched nature of the stables saved the horses and they were dug out two days later. North Wing (1775-1780): Within a few years after 1773 the ruins were soon converted into a modern mansion house - so writes David Ure in 1793. This new construction was erected on the site of the demolished tower-houses, probably utilizing masonry salvaged from the ruins. It was a plain four square structure closely resembling the south wing, but of no architectural distinction and was probably singularly plain. The destruction of the stables required a new building to be built some distance to the northwest of the castle also in the period 1775-80. The stable block will be described in a more detailed fashion in next week's article as well as the formation of a new front drive to the General's Bridge.

The Gothic Frontage of 1845

The Gothic Architecture of the 12th and 14th centuries proved to be the guiding influence behind the Gothic or Romantic Revival of the first half of the 19th century. This movement was much influenced by the historical novels of Sir Walter Scott- Ivanhoe, Kenilworth and Guy Mannering. Another major contribution was that of Humphrey Repton, the great romantic landscape gardener who defined Romantic or Gothic buildings as containing:

o irregularity of outline - towers, chimneys and elevations
o breaking horizontal lines with windows of different forms and light
o all placed on ground of different levels
o detached buildings spread locally to extend the importance of the principal building, one part of which should rise boldly above the mass.

Sir William, the Seventh Baronet, was fired most powerfully by the Romantic Movement. The grandeur of Calderwood Glen; the heavily wooded banks; the roaring waterfalls and sounding cascades all presented a Gothic background from which was to spring the glorious Gothic extension to Calderwood Castle of 1845.

The Construction of the Gothic Extension

Sir William Maxwell acceded to the Baronetcy of Calderwood in 1837 and it is probable that the planning and early construction of the estate began soon thereafter, culminating in the completion of the Gothic extension to the castle in 1845. The new frontage was a relatively small part of the whole structure. It comprised the outer vaulted porch, an entrance hall with a large room on either side, the hall leading beneath the octagonal tower and one further room facing up river. This new frontage cleverly concealed most of the old building from anyone approaching on the two driveways. This Gothic extension was the part that immediately came to mind when anyone speaks of Calderwood Castle. This new building had three stories but the two lower floors were built into the steep slope and the topmost level became the main entrance. Much under building took place including double wall built between the castle and the hillside with a space two feet wide forming a narrow and tortuous passage connecting various cellars. Fred Mitchell has exactly the same boyhood memories as myself of seeking in vain the legend of the tunnel to Mains Castle among those daring passages! The cost of this Gothic extension of 1845 was 50,000, a sum equivalent to above 1 million; today's prices - an astonishing expenditure for what was in effect no more than three large rooms, two halls including the octagonal tower and a high vaulted porch to accommodate the wheeled vehicles such as the coach and four or the phaeton. The stone was drawn by horse and cart from Greenock, a distance of at least 35 miles. The freestone was dense, grey and finely grained. The colour was purplish and the crystalline particles scintillated in the light. The mason's work was of a most accomplished finish and precision. The view shown on this page has been taken from a position some distance up the grass and behind the terrace. The two dominant features of the castle can be clearly observed - the projecting porch with its vaulted roof, octagonal angle-towers and arched entrance ways surmounted by heraldic devices - and the great octagonal tower with tall, pointed windows in each face, and a turret at each of the right angles supported by a larger than life human dead. Sir William Maxwell was a wealthy man. Calderwood Estate including the four farms comprised 1100 acres. He did not seek quantity in the Gothic extension. Instead he financed the quality that we might expect from a cultured individual. He created a work of art.

The Octagonal Tower

The octagonal tower was the final section of the castle to be demolished - blown up by the Royal Engineers in October 1951. The illustration on page 28 gives a good impression of the tower as seen from ground level. The detail is crisp and sharp, the projecting moldings creaking up the mass and making full use of the effects of light and shade. The octagonal tower was the most memorable Feature of the castle - it was a veritable Gothic romance and once seen was never forgotten. The eight human heads supporting the turrets can also be seen in the picture. After the demolition of the tower, Fred Mitchell was able to measure and photograph one of the large heads. This head had fallen some 60 feet but was surprisingly undamaged. The exigencies of space have denied me the opportunity to describe and illustrate the interior of the tower and the lounge. I will remedy this next week in the concluding article.

The Maxwells of Calderwood - genealogical table
Sir Robert Maxwell - 1st of Calderwood........................................... 1400-1421
Sir John Maxwell - 2nd of Calderwood ............................................ 1421-1476
Sir John Maxwell -3rd of Calderwood........................................... 1476-1481
Sir Gavin Maxwell - 4th of Calderwood............................................ 1481-1489
Sir Robert Maxwell - 5th of Calderwood....................................... 1489-1510
Robert Maxwell -6th of Calderwood.............................................. 1510-1540
Robert Maxwell - 7th of Calderwood......................................... 1540-1547
John Maxwell - 8th of Calderwood................................................ 1547-1572
Sir James Maxwell -9th of Calderwood..................................... 1572-1622
Edward Maxwell - 10th of Calderwood......................................... 1622-1648
Alexander Maxwell - 11th of Calderwood.................................... 1648-1667
Sir James Maxwell - 1st Baronet of Calderwood........................... 1667-1670
Sir William Maxwell - 2nd Baronet of Calderwood...................... 1670-1703
Sir William Maxwell - 3rd Baronet of Calderwood ...................... 1703-1750
Sir William Maxwell - 4th Baronet of Calderwood....................... 1750-1789
Sir William Maxwell - 5th Baronet of Calderwood....................... 1789-1829
Sir William Maxwell - 6th Baronet of Calderwood....................... 1829-1837
Sir William Alexander Maxwell - 7th Baronet of Calderwood .... 1837-1865
Sir Hugh Bates Maxwell - 8th Baronet of Calderwood................. 1865-1870
Sir William Maxwell - 9th Baronet of Calderwood....................... 1870-1885

Bill Niven writes:

I am deeply in the debt of Fred Mitchell for the privilege of drawing upon his private papers on Calderwood Castle and Estate. Fred was brought up in Maxwellton village; across the road lived his grandmother and aunt Phyllis Woodland who was his mentor in opening his eyes to the wonders and beauties of the countryside. The record prepared by Fred Mitchell is monumental and covers over 180 pages of typescript, 67 photographs and 35 plans, sketches and maps. It is an incomparable treasury of Maxwellton and Calderwood and it has been a rare delight for me to use this data in order to educate myself and the readers of the East Kilbride News in the enthralling history of Calderwood.

Section Four - Calderwood Castle and Estate:

This local history article on Calderwood Castle and Estate is the counterpart to part four which appeared in last week's East Kilbride News. The narrative covers Calderwood Estate - the castle interiors, the subsidiary buildings, both ornamental and utilitarian as well as the physical features of the Glen. Included also are the last days of the castle from the death of the ninth Baronet to the demolition of castle and tower between 1948 and 1951.

Main Entrance Hall

Illustration 1 displays the interior of the octagonal tower with the Gothic exterior faithfully reproduced in the internal decoration and furnishings. In front of the Gothic dado are Gothic chairs, and in the four sides of the octagon not occupied by doorways are niches with canopies containing arrangements of breastplates and helmets with various swords and pikes arranged to project outwards from either side. Above hang banners of a strange device. Above these stems a deep band of ornamental plasterwork, four shields on each face, painted with various insignia, and a gargoyle at each angle above which rises a slender attached column destined to branch into the ribs of the vault above the painted windows. In the center is a chair which appears to have the head of a bull including the horns for decorative effect. Beside the main door in the illustration are two three-headed gas torcheres. A gas castellated chandelier overhangs the hall fed from the Estate gas plant. Beyond the further arched opening in the hall behind the octagon is a stained glass window giving the whole a grand perspective in the best traditions of the Gothic revival.

The Drawing Room

The drawing room was a large rectangular chamber measuring 30 feet by 36 feet. In illustration 2 can be observed the folding doorway onto the adjacent bit of the picture. On the opposite wall was a vast marble fireplace surmounted by a mirror. The joinery, plasterwork and interior decoration owe nothing to the Gothic movement but are full-blooded mid-Victorian with much use of stenciled ornament. A grand piano sits beside the left hand window and two crystal gasoliers are suspended from the ornate ceiling. The overall effect is that of a cozy looking, richly furnished apartment where no attempt has been made to assemble furniture all of one style or period, but where all blends together harmoniously.

Calderwood Estate from 1885: Death of Sir William

Sir William Maxwell, the ninth Baronet, died without issue in 1885. It has not been possible to ascertain whether his widow, the Lady Jane, (who subsequently remarried) occupied the castle thereafter although the estate appears to have remained in the hands of the family until about 1900, and to have been carefully maintained, being let, on a yearly basis, to anyone who was prepared to pay the considerable maintenance costs. There seem to have been a number of industrialists and business people who came to the castle for a year and then retired to count the cost. Circa 1900 the estate was bought by D Borrie McNab for 30,000 and his first action was to inform the proprietor of that splendid mansion, Greenhall, situated just below Crossbasket Castle, that he intended to build houses in a certain field closely overlooking Greenhall. The upshot was that the owner of Greenhall purchased this field for 30,000. Immediately Borrie McNab sold the estate, less one field, to the Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society for 37,500 in 1904. From 1902 until this transaction in 1904, the castle was tenanted by the Simpson family, owners of Arnott-Simpsons, the drapers in Jamaica Street. The photographs taken by the elder brother, George, have provided some excellent external views of the castle - some of which were reproduced in article four.

The SOWS Years

The new owners purchased 1100 acres including the village of Maxwellton. They let out one half of the total and the remainder was devoted by the Society to the principal commodities in current demand - fruit, vegetables and oats. The slopes were adapted for the rearing of cereals, strawberries and raspberries. The cultivation of tomatoes was important and one and a half acres were under glass. Sadly, the SCWS were unable to make a commercial success of the estate. Of course it could not maintain the standards of Sir William, in whose time an army of young women marched out from Blantyre to the constant employment of hoeing and weeding by hand the seven miles of footpaths within the policies. Nevertheless in 1904 the Society spent 100,000 upon maintenance. Four foresters were employed in the castle and the grounds kept in good repair. The castle and policies were made available to the public for trips and excursions. So great was the demand that a station at Stone meadow called Calderglen Halt was built in 1907 and served as the terminus for the excursionists until 1914 when the rails were lifted. Calderglen was famous throughout Scotland and I can well remember presenting illustrated talks on Old East Kilbride to local groups some 25 or 30 years ago. When the Calderwood Castle slides came up on the screen there was always a lady in the audience who remembered going there on a Sunday school trip as a wee lassie. During the First World War of 1914-18 Belgian refugees were housed in the castle and created a strong favorable impression locally by the respect and care which they showed towards the buildings. The overoptimistic pipe dreams of the SCWS for marketing the garden produce, the First World War, and the depression of the 1930s all combined to make the upkeep of the estates a crippling burden. It is a source of amazement that so much was done until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. British troops were stationed in 1939-1940 and all manner of destruction was perpetrated - wholesale demolition of the interior fittings and one or two rooms were completely burned out. In due course, the Army moved out and the new owners set about demolishing the castle for the value of the land, slates and masonry. Due to the shortage of timber during World War II, all the trees lining the back drive were felled along with a great number on the other side of the Calder. The East Kilbride Development Corporation acquired Calderwood Estate in 1947 and the castle excluding the octagonal tower was razed to the ground for safety reasons. An attempt was made to preserve the tower but this remnant began to list noticeably without the support of the adjacent structure. - - Its final demise came on October 28, 1951 when the tower was blown up by a squad from the Royal Engineers.

The Stables

Approaching Calderwood Castle from the north, along the front drive, a few hundred yards distant a secondary road looped westwards to the castle stables - an extensive two-storied square covering an area as large as the castle itself. This complex comprised coach houses, stables and hayloft, a range of two storey cottages and two barns. The central section of 3500 square feet was originally an open courtyard and the SCWS roofed and floored the area to form a vast hall. Here were held many happy events - estate-workers' dances to which the fanning community came from miles around; stables and farms were provided for Sunday school outings and trips of the largest size were readily accommodated. The original stables lay underneath the castle itself and were destroyed when a section ol' the castle fell into the river in 1773 - providentially without loss of life, human or equine. This successor was built between 1775 and 1780 from local sandstone, brown rather than white due to the staining of the sandstone strata in Calderwood by seams of cross stone. The shell of the building (illustration 3) remained until 1970 when it was demolished. Adjacent to the stables were a bowling green and quoiting area for the use of the estate-workers, and laid out in 1845.1 can well remember proposing the centenary toast to the East Kilbride Bowling Club in 1972 and saying that although they were the oldest bowling club in the town still operating, there was an estate bowling club at Calderwood Castle from 1845 until 1914.

The Gardens

Apart from certain climbing roses trained on the wall, there was no garden surrounding Calderwood Castle in any formal sense, but in an informal sense the whole of Calderwood Glen was one vast garden. The rich natural flora carefully conserved and enhanced, swept up to the castle from the promontory and magnificent trees, amongst which were beech, chestnut and Lawson's cypress, graced the lawns behind the terrace. Sir William's scholarly naturalism prevented the introduction of alien species. Garden plants were given a place in the extensive court - flower, vegetable and soft fruit I gardens with their attendant greenhouses and I hothouses. There was also a fine old vine trained | on a stone wall and glassed in. The SCWS extended the gardens and green-j houses and spent heavily on maintaining the whole market garden facility to a very high standard indeed.

Front Lodge House and Gateposts

The front lodge housesat at the end of the main east tower adjacent to the General's Bridge on the East Kilbride to Blantyre highway. This lodge house was constructed after the turnpike road was built in the 1790s and is Romantic in style rather than Gothic. The photograph (illustration 4) shows the cottage in all its glory with elaborate chimneys and corbelled arches. The cottage still stands to this day west of the General's Bridge but chimneys, arches and latticed windows have all been replaced and the building painted white. The gateposts to the drive still stand in Classical splendor. They are grouped two and two, having a central opening 12 feet wide for carriages, closed by a double gate, flanked by four feet wide ' openings on either side for persons on foot, each, closed by a single gate. No details are available of the missing gates. The rear lodge house stood at the junction of the >ck drive to Urankumhall Road. It was built 'fore 1800 and was a simple cottage of a classical ivory and bore a marked resemblance to the stables building. This lodge house was demolished circa 1940.

The General's Bridge

The General's Bridge (illustration 5) marks the northern boundary of Calderwood Glen - a soaring painted arch with Gothic moldings and bat-cemented parapet. The bridge was built in 1790 by General Peters of Crossbasket Castle nearby. In the center of the parapet on either side above the keystone of the arch is a slab of stone having a heraldic shield worked on its face and projecting one-inch there on. Each is perfectly smooth and gives the impression that it was intended to receive carving. In the center of the inner face of the downstream parapet is cut an Ordnance Survey benchmark for 12 feet 8 inches. The stone is local freestone, ream colored when new, but soon weathering to warm silvery grey.

The Tomb House

The tomb house lies a couple of hundred yards to le west of Calderwood Castle adjacent to the Great Falls. The building was built in the 1780-790 period and is golden brown in colour and apparently hewn from local outcrops. The tomb was 20 feet square and 10 feet high with walls 2 feet 3 inches thick. In the north face can be observed the arched doorway. The doors were commonplace and opposite the door were two ventilators. There was no carving or decoration to the stonework - not so much as a mason's mark. The roof was slated and was intact in 1939 but gradually fell in piece by piece. The building was in tolerable shape in the early 1960s when I paid several visits to the Glen but is now completely demolished. The coffins were removed before the SOWS acquisition of the Estate probably after the last laird died in 1885 and his widow sold out in 1900. Where the remains were interred have proved an insoluble problem.

Hermitage or Hermit's Hut

About a mile of river from Calderwood Castle, on le west side, lay the Hermitage or Hermit's Hut built on a small island in the River Calder connected by a wooden footbridge to the riverbank. This was the Hermitage. The dimensions were five feet by six feet and the building was surmounted by a pyramidal thatched roof. No trace of the building now remains. The structure was a rustic belvedere or gazebo built in 1845 when the last Calderwood extension was completed. It is likely that the whole setting was no more than a whimsical hoax on the part of Sir William Maxwell for we have no proof that a hermit ever "sided there.

Craigneith Castle

Across the river from Calderwood Castle and to le northeast, perched above a range of cliffs lay le building called Craigneith Castle (illustration 1) built between 1750 and 1850. The building provided accommodation for three of the Calderwood Castle servants as well as being estate and part of the Gothic philosophy underlying the lay-out of Calderwood Glen. Over the years the building fell gradually into disrepair and no trace now remains.


Calderwood Castle was a truly magnificent building. In all my visits to the Glen I was never inside the castle but had many opportunities to observe the exterior. In company with John Lawson and Jimmy Aitkenhead visits were made to another boyhood friend Jimmy Hepburn whose father ran a market garden on the estate. Upstream from the castle were the Horseshoe Falls and the Black Linn - popular bathing places for local youngsters. Calderwood Estate was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and romantic places in the West of Scotland and its fame spread far and wide through the excursions and trips available during its ownership by the SCWS.

Bill Niven Writes: Fred Mitchell's research and industry into the history of the Maxwellton and Calderwood Estates have preserved an incomparable record of your heritage. From boyhood he developed a love of the countryside through long family walks through Calderwood Estate. He was much encouraged by his gardening mother and his botanical aunt Phyllis Woodland. He was inspired to record the area and the spirit of the place before it vanished. A series of articles on various topics were drafted during the 1950's and editing was completed in 1969. Fred was a professional librarian and set up and managed the Department of History and Topography in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow. During the year 2000, I hope to publish a double page article on Maxwellton Village derived from his private papers.