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Old 17th Apr 09, 09:21
Urban Shadow's Avatar
Urban Shadow
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Default Cumbernauld House, April 2009.

Hi guys,

This had been on my radar for sometime and eventually I managed to get in for some shots. I'll do a little about the history first then carry on with the pictures.

Time Line History

1. Romans, Normans, Comyns, Bruce, the Douglases,James IV, Mary Stewart, Montrose, Cromwell, Covenanters, Jacobites, Robert Adam, 19th century soldiers and seamen - all are connected with Cumbernauld's square mile of history, centred around Cumbernauld House and Park.

2. The Antonine Wall, of 114, with forts at Castlecary and Westerwood.

3. The Comyn motte, 400 yards from Cumbernauld House

4. "Let the deed shaw" - the Fleming motto - a reference to the tradition of Fleming severing the head of the murdered Commyn in 1306. Bruce granted him Comyn's lands in Cumbernauld as a reward.

5. The building of the stone Cumbernauld Castle after 1371.

6. Fleming of Cumbernauld murdered by the Douglases in 1406 for exposing their plan to kidnap the child King James I and send him captive to England.

7. Fleming of Cumbernauld beheaded at court in Edinburgh in 1440 along with the two Douglas heirs after the infamous 'Black Dinner' of James II.

8. Castle Cary built after 1473 from reparations paid by the Flemings for attacking their Livingstone neighbours.

9. James IV wooed Margaret Drummond at Cumbernauld Castle, where Margaret's sister was married to Lord Fleming. The Drummonds sisters lie buried in Dunblane Cathedral following their poisoning by a government determined to marry an unwilling King James to the sister of Henry VIII of England, Margaret Tudor. The murders made James IV a frequent visitor to Cumbernauld, Margaret Tudor accompanying him on one occasion.

10. Mary Fleming was one of the four "Queen's Maries". Mary and her brother, Lord Fleming of Cumbernauld went into exile with Mary, Queen of Scots in France. In 1558, Lord Fleming was one of the Scottish Commissioners arranging the Queen's marriage to the Dauphin of France. Fleming and other commissioners died mysteriously on the voyage home, poison being suspected.

11. In 1561 Queen Mary visited Cumbernauld Castle. Tragically, the great hall collapsed during the visit. Mary spent much time in Cumbernauld village comforting relatives of those servants killed in the accident. She also visited Castle Cary, where one of her other "Maries", Mary Livingston, was staying. The two young women planted a pair of yew trees which still grow in the castle garden. Lord Fleming fought for Mary at Langside in 1567 and, as Governor, led the defence of Dumbarton Castle for the Queen, until its fall in 1571.

12. In 1640, John Graham, Marquis of Montrose, together with Lord Fleming and other nobles, signed the Cumbernauld Bond. This led to Montrose raising the royal standard for Charles I in the Civil War and to his "year of victories" in 1645 AD, which ended at the Battle of Kilsyth. Lord Fleming narrowly escaped, together with Montrose, from the field of Philliphaugh.

13. In 1651, Cromwell's General, George Monck, destroyed Cumbernauld Castle while Cromwell himself destroyed Kilsyth Castle. Monck billeted English Cromwellian troops in Cumbernauld village, 1651/54, as part of his Forth - Clyde defence line against Covenanter resistance from the north.

14. The Restoration period after 1660 saw the oppressed Cumbernauld Village Covenanters passing through Cumbernauld Park to hold their conventicles on Abram the Hebrew's Hill - later Hebronhill and now Abronhill.

15. The 6th Earl of Wigton (Lord Fleming of Cumbernauld) fought for 'Bonnie Dundee' and the Jacobites at Killiecrankie in 1689. (Dundee's widow lies buried in Kilsyth). Fleming was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle to prevent him fighting in the 1715 Rising. At least this meant he held his estates after the Rising collapsed.

16. Cumbernauld House was built in 1731 by William Adam, student of William Bruce who pioneered the classical style in Scotland in the 18th century. The style reached its height under Robert Adam, William Adam's son. The House is a particularly good example of William Adam's work.

17. In 1746 the retreating Jacobite army was billeted for a night in Cumbernauld village. Rather than stay in Cumbernauld House, the commander, Lord George Murray, slept in the village's Black Bull Inn, where he could enforce closer discipline on his soldiers.

18. The last Lord Fleming, Earl of Wigton, died childless in 1747. The estates passed to the Elphinstone family - Charles Elphinstone-Fleming, laird from 1799-1840, had retired as Admiral and was MP for Stirlingshire. His son Lieutenant-Colonel John Elphinstone-Fleming, died unmarried in 1861.

19. It is recalled that a daughter of the Elphinstone-Flemings of Cumbernauld played a highly prominent part in the development of early Victorian Scottish photography.

20. John Elphinstone-Fleming was succeeded by his nephew from Canterbury, Cornwallis Maude-Fleming, son of Lord Hawarden. Cornwallis was killed in action fighting the Boers as a Captain of the Grenadier Guards at Majuba Hill, Transvaal, in 1881. Before that, in 1875, he had sold the Cumbernauld estate to William Burns, of the shipping family. The Burns family sold the estate to the government for new town development in 1955.

21. Cumbernauld House is part of a historical conservation area running from the listed Kirk and manse at Baronhill, through the Village conservation area with its Lang Riggs, to the site of Cumbernauld Castle and beyond that to the Comyn Motte and adjacent lime kilns. The whole represents the classic 'herringbone' layout of the mediaeval Scottish burgh with its principal street running from the castle to the church, along the summit of a ridge, with long narrow gardens (the Lang Riggs) stretching out behind. Cumbernauld village boasts almost the sole survivors of the land riggs feature in Scotland. From the slopes of the Wilderness Brae a panoramic view of the whole arrangement may be obtained - a view unique in Scotland: Edinburgh's 'Royal Mile' in miniature. The wide centre of Main Street accommodated the stalls of the weekly market.

22. Part of Cumbernauld Castle's courtyard buildings is still standing, particularly the wall at Cumbernauld House which separates the lower service court from the car park. on the lower side of this wall is a row of distinctively 16th century pattern corbels. in the basement of the Adam pavilion, also forming a limit to the car park, are two vaults of the same period as the adjoining wall. The domestic perimeter of the castle extends as far as 70 yards north - east of Cumbernauld House.

23. The Castle was one of the biggest in Scotland, with a considerable series of buildings and courtyards. It occupied a nine acre site under and around the present House. the castle's size reflects the power of the Flemings as Earls of Wigtoun, Lords of Cumbernauld and Biggar, Governors of Dumbarton Castle and traditional supporters of the Bruce and Stewart dynasties.

24. Fleming House in the new town centre, Wigtoun Place in the old Village and the "Red Comyn" public house serve as reminders of our local history. The traditional old Village gala day is called the "Lang Riggs Fair", complete with a Mary, Queen of Scots gala queen with her 'Four Maries'.

Charters Granted

1/ Charter by King Robert III (of Scotland) to Malcom Fleming, son and heir of David Fleming of Biggar, knight (and his heirs).....of Castle of Cumbernauld with these five merk lands in which it is situated, with the pertinents, the lands of Badsherry, the lands of Dirletry or Dillator, the lands of Auchinstarie with pretinents............with the forest of Cumbernauld and the miln of Badsherry (Lenzie Mill) Sealed and dated at Scone. 7th March 1400 ad

2/ Charter granted by King Charles I, of ever blessed memory, to John, Lord Fleming, and his lady, regarding the lands of the lordship of Cumbernauld, detailing Stirling areas, Peebles, Monklands (inc.Glentore) and that the house of Cumbernauld built or to be built be the messuage for sasine. Holyroodhouse. 1634 ad

3/ A Precept signed by King Charles II, of lands of William, Earl of Wigtoun, creating the town Cumbernauld as a burgh of barony with a weekly mercat, and two yearly fairs. 1669 ad

About the Flemings

When the Flemings came to construct their castle at the end of the 14th century, the best they would have been able to build would have been a strong stone tower. The country was much too impoverished to permit anything more ambitious, such as the great courtyard types of baronial strongholds built before the death of Alexander III.

Such a tower would have been an "L-Plan", a rectangular block, with a wing projecting at the end of one of the long sides. A few small timber or stone outbuildings would also have been attached. As time went on, and the power and influence of the family grew, the castle would have been enlarged by the addition of other stone structures, such as a Great Hall for festive occasions.

The site chosen is where Cumbernauld House stands today and, although the original tower has disappeared, blocks of its masonry can be picked out amongst the stones used to construct Cumbernauld House.

Part of the courtyard buildings are still standing, particularly the wall that separates the lower service area from the car park. on the lower side of this is a long row of corbels, or projecting stones, of a distinctive 16th century pattern, designed to support timbers of a lean-to building.

In 1963-4, Cumbernauld Historical Society, in co-operation with Glasgow Archaeological Society excavated an area to the north east of Cumbernauld House and uncovered part of the domestic periphery of the castle, comprising a 15th century rubbish chute, an adjoining prison and cellar and a well house reached by a flight of steps. In 1981-2 Cumbernauld and Kilsyth District Museums excavated an area adjacent to the earlier excavation and found a cobbled courtyard, the base of a circular building and significant walling.

History taken from Cumbernauld archives and time-line websites.

Thanks for looking folks, this house means a lot to me, and if I had the money, I would buy it.

On with the pics,

Main building.

Inside the house

Main stair-case.


End of Pics,

Hope you enjoyed that guys, and gave you a little insight into the history that surrounds my local area.


Last edited by Urban Shadow; 17th Apr 09 at 09:34.
Thanks given by: Nizzy, upsydaisy

Number of replies to this post: 25
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