Calderwood estate was once dubbed ‘one of the loveliest of western glens, magnificent in its grouping of craggy heights, sprinkled with trees and with the amber-tinted Calder winding through the richly wooded and festooned valley’. It was opened to the public in the early 1900s under the ownership of the Scottish Cooperative Society, but the formal gardens and indeed the whole estate later fell into disrepair, with the Castle itself being demolished in the 1950s. Today the estate is a Country Park and this linear walk heads to the former site of the castle.
Not many local residents are aware that across the river divide, some of Calderwood estate fell on to the Blantyre Parish side. We’ve deliberately avoided posting too much about Calderwood Castle as it firmly sat on the East Kilbride side, but on the Blantyre side was Craigneath and the remains of the formal ornate Summer pool , fountains, complete with waterfalls falling gently from craggy outcrops.
During a recent walk to the area in the High fields above Blantyre, i saw for myself the abutments of the old stone bridges that once spanned the river near Craigneath falls (Fiddler’s Burn). The stone abutments were still visible amongst the trees, a hint at how impressive these stone arched bridges must have been. Click the pictures to enlarge into hi res.
It’s clear some features within the Glen were added by the Calderwood Castle owners to “beautify” the place. One such addition was the stone Summer House, offering grand views perched on the cliffside. A stone, circular Summer House approx 8 feet tall, and likely lined and plastered inside, was left natural and rough on the outside to blend in with the surroundings. This would have been a welcome retreat after the walk up the hill, within Calderwood Glen during the late 1800’s. Nothing much remains of the old SummerHouse but my recent 2013 photos may give you an idea of the type of structure it was.
A word of warning though. This is a tough walk to get to this structure. Be prepared for some steep inclines and paths, off the beaten track!