Crossbasket – End of Findlay era


A short extract from my book, “The History of Crossbasket Castle” explaining the final years of ownership of Thomas Dunlop Findlay in the early 1930’s.

1931 – Crossbasket Farm came under the attention of the local authority who were considering making an offer for the property to turn it into a local maternity hospital. However, nothing came of this. It continued vacant and unsold that year, as did the Castle.

1932 –There is a local rumour that in 1932 it is thought that members of the Findlay family disliked the sight of dirty coal miners at High Blantyre making their way to and from Dixons collieries and it was this that caused them to sell Crossbasket.      Personally, I don’t think they were precious enough for that to be the case, and much prefer the solid evidence that opportunity presented itself for Findlay to become the Laird of Boturich.

During 1932, Thomas Dunlop Findlay had received offers for Crossbasket estate from the Roman Catholic Church hoping to create a religious retreat. Other bids came from Scottish Music Hall star, Sir Harry lauder, but both bids were unsuccessful. He eventually sold Crossbasket Castle and Estate to a local man, James Little for the fixed sum of £12,000. This would be £712,000 in today’s money and a drop in the ocean compared to the sum he would have parted with to buy the magnificent Boturich.

Thomas Dunlop Findlay lived a short, but very privileged life and died on 24th January 1950 at Boturich on the banks of Loch Lomond, near Balloch, aged 55.

As you can see, by 1932, a pattern was emerging. For the last 40 years prior to 1932, the owners of Crossbasket had used it, for at least part of the time, as their second homes, secondary to their main residences or intentions and during this time, there were periods of time when the Castle was vacant and perhaps not tended to as well as it could have been. This may have had an effect on the upkeep of the house and gardens and indeed the owner’s interest and could have been the start of a downwardly spiral in the 20th Century.

Pictured around this time are 2 photos of the waterfall at the back of Crossbasket Castle.

From “The History of Crossbasket Castle” by Paul Veverka (c)

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