Craigneath Bridges & Summer House

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.

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All that’s left of the Summer House in September 2013

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Only a couple of stone courses remain in the Castle Summer House.

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!

3 Comments

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  1. Yes I do, the roofs were conical or domelike, and made of thatch, sticks and moss,.. Some may even of had a woven look about them with the twigs and thatch neatly arranged. The summer house which is subject of your article is a more substantial building which may have had slates in whole or part. Everything through though the glen was designed to match and be made of rustic unshaped wood.

  2. Thanks Chris. Do you know what the roofs were made of? Thatch or wood? I’m amazed that this area is SO forgotten about in Blantyre and now so inaccessible.

  3. There was another four summer houses nearby of which there is the traces if one on the woodhead burn that flows down from brankumhall,.. The other two have no trace, one being steeply uphill to the south by south west of the featured one in this article and the other right next to the too of the ruined stair which leads down to calderwood linn (aka the big linn or castle falls), I strongly suspect there were others, namely beside the head of the linn and there was one on the raised bank shortly south west of the calderwood castle site.

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