Glorious Gardens: Stonebyres Castle and Estate
Not all gone
- Ruth Thomas, Glorious Gardens volunteer
These days, if you notice Stonebyres at all it might be as you drive past an entrance lodge or perhaps wonder about the distinctive grid layout of fields if you looked at a map. There is, though, much more to this old estate which dated back to the 14th century and if you take the time to wander about the estate you would find the remnants of a grand estate, once one of the largest in the area.
From a fortified castle in the 14th century, Stonebyres House was gradually modified over the centuries to a large mansion. In the 1840s, the profligate lifestyle of the owner led to the sale of the house which was then greatly modified and was surrounded by a designed landscape with four entrance lodges, drives, avenues, parkland with specimen and woodland. The estate had a walled garden, smithy, coach house, laundry, ice house, gasworks, man-made loch used for curling in the winter, quarry and its own water supply.
There was another major renovation of the house in 1906. When the owner died in 1933 the house was demolished and the land sold to the Department of Agriculture who created small holdings for unemployed men from Auchenheath. Elements of the old estate and the designed landscape exist today. Watch the videos below for journeys through what remains of the Estate today.
This is the drive from the lodge in the North West of the Stonebyres estate (Grid Ref NS 8392 4437) to the site of Stonebyres House (Grid Ref NS8408 4389).
This video follows the route of the old east-west road that runs through the estate. The video starts at the crossroads at the centre of the estate (Grid Ref NS 8402 4372) and finishes at the point where the road is no longer visible on the flanks of Black Hill (Grid Ref NS 8333 4417).
The video follows the track from the site of Stonebyres House (Grid Ref NS8408 4328) to the Coach House and Stables (Grid ref NS 8415 4362).
To find out what remains, why not read the report under ‘Related Resources’, and then perhaps take stroll round Stonebyres to get a flavor of the old estate?
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.