Crossbasket House

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

High Blantyre

Crossbasket House

Crossbasket HouseThe ancient proprietors of Crossbasket were the Lindsays of Dunrod, who had been seated at the Mains of Kilbride since the time of Robert II. Their old property was at Dunrod in Renfrewshire, but they seem to have preferred Mains Castle, where they afterwards resided. The remains of this ancient building are still to be seen. The Castle, with the lands of “Crossbasket,” which at one time formed part of the Hamilton estates, came also into the possession of this family, and was used as their jointure house.

The properties, both in Kilbride and Renfrewshire, remained in the hands of the Lindsays till the beginning of the seventeenth century, when the wickedness and extravagance of Alexander of Dunrod ruined the family and caused the alienation of the estates. He was reduced to the depth of poverty, and died in a barn belonging to one of his former tenants. He is said to have “greatly exceeded all his predecessors in haughtiness, oppression, and every kind of vice;” and numerous stories are told of his cruelties. He latterly, in the character of a warlock, gained a scanty livelihood by consorting with reputed witches in the village of Inverkip, and along with them selling favourable winds and protection from the Evil One to the sailors and fishermen on the coast.

The following verse of an old ballad gives an idea of the feeling cherished in former times towards the last of the old lairds of Mains and Crossbasket:-

“In Auld Kirk the witches ride thick,
And in Dunrod they dwell;
But the greatest loon amang them a’
Is auld Dunrod himsel’.”

The property afterwards belonged to Thomas Peter, who was Dean of Guild of Glasgow in 1708-9, and who made a mortification “for the sustentation of an honest, decayed and poor man of the merchants’ rank, being a burgess, guild brother and inhabitant of the burgh,” dated 20th November, 1721.He was succeeded by his son, General Peter, afterwards of Craigmaddie.

Latterly the property has been in the hands of Charles McIntosh (Charles McIntosh, who owned the estate from early to mid c19th, the inventor of waterproof cloth used in the manufacture of raincoats. Many of his experiments involved dyes and, as the mill on the River Calder at the rear of the house was originally constructed as a dye mill, it is safe to assume it was McIntosh who built it.), Alexander Downie, and John Cabbell successively, by the last of whom it was sold to the father of the present proprietor, James Clark, a well known and respected Glasgow merchant, who died in 1873.

Crossbasket HouseCrossbasket House 1908

Crossbasket House, photographed c. 1908. By the 1950’s the old mansion house was being let out as flats and was later taken over as a private hospital. Today it is the property of an American religious group, and the sign outside reads ‘Christian Centre of the Latter Rain Ministeries’. The approach to Crossbasket has changed dramatically over the years; the greenhouses have been removed and the gardens raised to be level with the house – there are no slopes in sight now.

Crossbasket House 2008Crossbasket House 2008

Crossbasket House was home to the Church of Life up till about 2007 and was advertised for sale on the Internet fpr $4.5M.

The house was then being used as a Children’s Nursery and by the look of the windows at the time, which appear not to have been cleaned in many months, I summize that it was being rented.

It’s a shame that such an historic and impressive building is becoming dilapidated.

I have some internal shots showing the extent of the decay.

However, the property was completely refurbished by its new owners in 2015, who spent some £9M on it making it into a Five Star Hotel and Wedding Venue, changed the name to Crossbasket Castle. The Castle is due to be opened on 1st April 2016.

Crossbasket Castle – Open Day 2015

Crossbasket Castle officially opened on 1st May 2016

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Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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