An extract from “The History of Crossbasket Castle” by Paul Veverka (c)
Two days after the closure of James Little College, on 22nd July 1977, now having exclusive use of the entire Castle and remaining 27 acres of ground, George Baxter Russell sold off 4.9 acres to the North East side of Crossbasket Castle. The buyer was David Brainard Baxter Russell and his wife Margaret, of 14 Glenturret, East Kilbride, George’s brother and sister in law. It proved to be another excellent business transaction, for George sold the 4.9 acres for £23,500. (£150,000 in 2015 money), and more in line with the worth of that land.
Lets just take a second here to put this in context. A reminder, in 1976 George acquired Crossbasket Castle and 27 acres of estate land for £35,000. Just one year later, he sold only 4.9 acres receiving £23,500, recovering 67% of his initial outlay, yet still retaining the Castle and 22.1 whole acres!
David Brainard Baxter intended on building a “modern” bungalow on his 4.9 acres, east of the Castle and commenced work on that construction project in early 1978. Standard security of a further £18,550 was put up by Leeds and Holbeck Building Society, to fund David’s build. The bungalow was complete by late Spring 1980.
1980 – On 22nd September 1980, a reference note was added to the deeds stating that the earlier funds Lady Iona Mary Huddlestone-French had used to buy the leases of the estate satellite cottages back in 1965, had been paid off in full on 30th April 1976. The three estate cottages now all privately owned.
On 17th October 1980 David Brainard Baxter Russell whom by now had built his bungalow on the estate grounds, sold it off as a “modern new build”. He didn’t live in the property at all and at the time of selling the bungalow and 4.9 acres of ground, he was living at 13 Calderglen Road, East Kilbride. It would seem all along that George had sold his brother the 4.9 acres of land, simply to build a house on it and sell it on. The new owners of the bungalow and 4.9 acres were William Alexander Wilson and Sally Elizabeth Ruth Wilson, formerly of 10 Dechmont Gardens, Priory Bridge.
By 29th December 1980, David Brainard Russell had paid off his entire loan from the building society, using funds acquired from the sale of the bungalow, no doubt, leaving him with a nice, healthy profit, for all his effort during those last 3 years. The overall effect though was that Crossbasket Estate had lost another 20% of its remaining size. The Estate was now 22.1 acres whereas in medieval times it had been 304 acres. The price of progress indeed!
As a young teenager in the early 1980’s, I can remember walking up to Crossbasket and getting violin lessons in Sally Wilson’s bungalow. She was strict, fair and competent teacher of music as I’m sure all of her students will testify. I won certificates and awards for many music concerts because of her teachings. I remember her being a nice lady and very knowledgeable.