Glorious Gardens: Cleghorn Estate
A landscape of magnificent trees
- Anne Armstrong, Glorious Gardens volunteer
Cleghorn Estate lies along the bank of the Mouse Water, west of Lanark.
The Romans built several camps, a road, and a bridge here in the 1st century AD. Monks in a medieval chapel may have built fish ponds along the burn.
There were certainly two mills and a tower house here in Pont’s map, 1596. Roy’s map of 1754 shows a lime walk (still there), an Italian garden and a village (both now gone).
The avenue along the Roman Road from Cleghorn Bridge was planted with lime and beech trees about this time. By 1816 many trees had been planted on the estate.
Sir Henry Steuart came from Allanton in 1827 to demonstrate his tree planting machine at Cleghorn Estate. Soon the house was surrounded by magnificent specimen trees and sloping lawns and gardens. The largest ponds were filled in to make gardens.
Around 1850, a railway line split the estate, passing close to the house. A brickworks flourished for about 25 years around 1900. After WW1, the gardens at Cleghorn were revived. A statue thought to be of ‘the deil’, but actually of the Greek god Pan, was dug up and reinstated. It has since been sold.
Cleghorn House was blown up in the 1960s, but its garden is open to the public every March on Snowdrop Day.
This is a small estate where the owners live, and there is no right of public access to the garden areas. To find out more about the site’s archaeology and history, click on the links under ‘Related Resources’. 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 by Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and from Historic Environment Scotland. To find out more about the project, explore the other museum items below.