Glorious Gardens: Baronald House
The Echo in the Crags and the Botanist
- Chloe and Nick Bennett, Glorious Gardens volunteers
Baronald, now known as the Cartland Bridge Hotel, lies on the northern edge of Lanark off the Carluke to Lanark Road within the Clyde Valley. The estate has origins in the late 14th century.
The estate was owned by William Lockhart by 1793, and was visited by Dorothy Wordsworth, William Wordsworth and Coleridge in 1803. Dorothy described the estate and her visit to the Cartland Crags, and experienced the Echo well known to local visitors.
Mary Anne Watson visited in 1813. She was the wife of John Grant of Glenpark, Balerno and the daughter of Captain Andrew Watson who was a cousin of Sir Walter Scott. In a letter to her mother she wrote a long description of her visit to Cartland Crags:
‘The first place we came to was to hear a very remarkable Echo, at the foot of a wood on the banks of the Mouse water, there is a seat placed in a beautiful situation for the purpose of visitors to converse with it, it returns long sentences in the clearest and most distinct manner and very loud; immediately opposite to where we were seated calling to the Echo stands the house of Baronald belonging to Mr W Lockhart, one of the most picturesque vistas possible in the middle of a sweet garden.’
A subsequent owner was Lt Col Hall who commissioned a fine map of the estate in 1850, as seen in the image gallery above. This shows the new road from Carluke to Lanark crossing the estate via Cartland Bridge designed by Thomas Telford.
Possibly the most interesting horticultural discovery of our research was the brief ownership of John George Robertson, a botanist and plant collector, who lived and farmed in Tasmania and Australia from 1831 to 1854. He sent back a collection of 4000 dried specimen plants to Kew Gardens. He had two plants named after him, Ranunculus robertsonii Benth (Slender Buttercup) and Calochilus robersonii (Purplish Beard Orchid).
When he returned to Scotland he purchased Baronald in 1857 and built glasshouses including a vinery and orchard house on the steep slope to the side of his house for his collections of Australian plants. These glasshouses were part of the upgrading of the estate by Robertson and as the advertisement in the Glasgow Herald of 1863 says, ‘he expended very large sums in beautifying and improving the estate’. The glasshouses can be seen in the postcard above from 1914. Robertson’s collection was put up for sale separately by Lawrie and Symington following his death in 1862.
Baronald was remodelled for Allen Farie of Farme, Rutherglen in the late 1880s by Sir John James Burnett, a well-known architect. The Faries continued to own Baronald until the Second World War.
In 1944, Baronald became a private hospital where injured soldiers were treated. The hospital continued after the War - see text with EF Brown's painting of Baronald, above. It then became an inebriates’ home which closed in 1954.
By 1963 the house became a hotel and continues as that today although under different ownership.
Baronald, or Cartland Bridge Hotel is listed Category A (LB 12967), the stable block is listed Category C (LB 13344) and the Lodge as Category B (LB 12968). The grounds are accessible for hotel visitors. It is surrounded by steep slopes in all directions so any visitors would be advised to contact the hotel first before exploring.
This research was carried out as part of the Glorious Gardens volunteer project, which is managed by Scotland's Garden & Landscape Heritage and delivered by Northlight Heritage, with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and from Historic Environment Scotland. To find out more about the project, explore the other museum items below.