Crossbasket Exterior, Gardens & Mills

Standing at the edge of the front entrance area of Crossbasket, there is a good view west, down to the beautiful River Calder. At the time of writing (April 2015), the old wooden footbridge over the river that once led to the ruins of the mill, to the northwest of the Castle has been removed. At this location the water in the river, behind the tower is forced through between natural rocks, known as “The Pillow Rocks”, a name allegedly forged by General Peter in the late 1790’s. The waterfall on the River Calder is quite delightful when viewed from the adjacent river banks and gardens. If viewed in winter or when the river is in full spate, it’s really quite exciting.

Crossbasket Mill Pit, in 2004

Crossbasket Mill Pit, in 2004

The Mill, millhouse and outbuildings are now completely in ruin. There is a ruined brick building on top of much older stone foundations. Also at this location, is a very deep, square shaft containing rusted gears and at the bottom, a downpipe which has a small turbine in it.

The area currently feels fairly precarious although is blocked off now to anybody visiting Crossbasket for safety reasons. Originally a corn and lint mill in the 17th and 18th Centuries, it became a dye mill in the 19th Century.

The last use of the mill was to harness water power to drive the turbine to charge small banks of batteries which were then used to provide light for the house. Very ingenious, very sustainable and most excellent for the environment. It also provided free use of a  readily available energy.

Looking back from here, from the causeway, facing up the slope gives a fine view of the back of the Castle, in design perhaps not as grand as the front, but still impressive.

To the right of the causeway are the ruins of the ice house, once kept sufficiently away from the house, in case it ever “defrosted” and contents spoiled. Around it used to be the duck pond, but much of this was filled in deliberately in 1987, with flowers planted to attract wildlife, butterflies and birds.

To the southwest of the Castle, on a much lower elevation and across the river Calder was Crossbasket Lade, or mill chase. The stone lined lade was controlled by a sluice gate. The island formed by this chase gave refuse to ducks but this only happened once the River Calder was regulated by Environmental Control Agencies and the water started running more purely again, as it does now. This area is now very different, replaced by new homes built on the estate grounds in 2014 and 2015. It is assumed their current construction is connected in some way to Crossbasket owners acquisition in 2012. Moving round from this position and looking back towards the Castle, it is not hard to visualize what the Tower must have looked like as a simple, fortified house.

This lower elevation on the river embankments also offers a view of the magnificent General’s Bridge, on top of which is Stoneymeadow Road, a road connecting Blantyre to East Kilbride.

Beyond to the west, can be observed a small footbridge crossing the Lees Burn. This leads up to paths which cross and lead down to a point at the ‘Queen’s Gardens’. To the left is an old reservoir, once damned with sluice gates near to Crossbasket lade.

(c) Paul Veverka “History of Crossbasket Castle featuring ‘Tales of Crossbasket'”

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Jim Cochrane In the 1960 and 70s the building was still intact with a roof and floors and I remember old glass batteries stacked on some shelves inthere and a staircase at the side leading down the shaft with the tubine.seemed very dangerous even then butalthough we were young I was always aware of danger coming from a farm.

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