1987 was the “European year of the Environment”. As part of this heritage celebration, the Crossbasket Christian Society organized a guided walks day titled “The Three Estates” on 21st March 1987. The intention was to walk through Crossbasket, Greenhall and Milheugh estates and to show the renovation and preservation of the environment through the decades. This is something I clearly remember although did not attend the walk. I was sixteen years old and recall it being advertised and having some intention to attend.
The small pamphlet given to the members of the public who attended, offered a brief history of ownership and gave good , but brief descriptions of the estate as it was in 1987. Now much later, this pamphlet serves as a good record of the work that had been done at Crossbasket, in particular to the outside in the grounds.
We have to give the workers of 1987 a nod of recognition, not just for the work they did in the Castle, but for the extensive work they did in and around the grounds that summer. For example, the area around the Mill house was regraded. It had been badly eroded by breaching of the nearby small reservoir. Those floods also destroyed small outbuildings and ruins near the mill.
That year it was also the intention of the owners to buy the Baxter Russell acres to the north of the Castle, despite them being covered in dense woodland. The intention was to restore the woodland paths, opening them up to the public for their enjoyment, just as they had been once. This didn’t happen and Mr. Russell retained the woodland to the north, just as he does to this day (as of 2015).
The reservoir was excavated in 1987 and cleared of large quantities of silt. Many of the retaining walls were rebuilt, then filled in adjacent to them, redefining the original layout of the reservoir, which was threatened to be lost. Much of this whole area was landscaped that very busy and productive summer.
The Sluice gate is pictured around 2004, courtesy of Alex Rochead. Words are from the book, “The History of Crossbasket Castle” by Paul Veverka (c) 2015