Craighead House was on the outskirts of Blantyre and is photographed here in 1870 by Thomas Annan.
The house sat on the Blantyre side of the River Clyde, just before Bothwell Bridge. (behind Ireland Alloys)
The house and estate were sold at the beginning of the 19th century to James Smith, son of a West Indies merchant in Glasgow, James Smith of Craigend (d 1786). After James Jnr’s death c 1815, his nephew sold Craighead to another Glasgow merchant, Thomas McCall, who made considerable additions to the house. Yet another Glasgow merchant, George Alston of Muirburn, acquired the property in the 1860s. Following on from that, it went to an organisation “Jesuit Fathers” of the Roman Catholic Church as was used as a religious retreat. The mansion lay empty in the late 1990’s until it was destroyed completely by fire on 18th February 2001. Contractors subsequently demolished the remains to make it safe.
Did you know? Sir Walter Scott was a regular visitor to this house. It is claimed he wrote parts of his work “Old Mortality” within that house and that his references to Fairyknowe, was actually referring to Craighead House.